mirage 1-6

2015 – 2016
mirage 1-6 – sculptural spatial-soundcomposition for an Icosahedral Loudspeaker.

A series of works that were created as part of the doctoral thesis Composing with Sculptural Sound Phenomena in Computer Music is based on the experiences from grrawe, firniss and graphic below but establishes a complete different approach to spatial composition.
The new spatial sound compositions resulted from an iterative process of composition, listening experiments, psychoacoustical modeling, concert practice and the implementation of theses experiences in new compositional strategies for spatialization in cooperation with the research group OSIL.

Since 2009 I have been working with Franz Zotter on the transformation of the IEM icosahedral loudspeaker (IKO)  from an advanced measuring tool as it was originally conceived into a new and unique composition tool and concert instrument for electroacoustic music. Within the process of this artistic research project, very basic space-sound miniatures have been composed for the IKO. These at first consisted of easy to perceive movement patterns, e.g. cyclic motion and sounds, e.g. sinus pulse, clicks, constant noise that are clearly perceivable in space, and easy to describe verbally. The models have been tested with different listeners in different locations and where subject for further description and analysis to resume in a kind of spelling book. At the next stage, more complex space-sound pieces (etudes) have been composed that built upon the analysis results of the concerted research approach from the miniature studies. This occurs e.g. through the use of several different movement models, sounds and timbres, movement speeds and radiation angles. The newly composed etudes went through the same process of listening, description and analysis. During the last phase the experiences of the previous stages in turn systematically flew into the sculpturing practice and the final pieces: mirage 1-6.

What we can axiomatically say about the evolution in sculpture theory is that ‘a body’ is opposed to the infinite space. Both exist in a reciprocal relation. We can observe that historically the body-mass volume opens step by step towards space, trying to invade it and finally dissolving into it. That means that space is not just a surrounding shell or an envelope but since modernity it is an active co-creator of the sculpture. Since we have a similar idea of spatial sound composition especially in the cause of the last 20 years in electronic music, where space became an equitable parameter to e.g. timbre or rhythm I find it helpful integrating the three basic categories of sculpture into the modelling of spatial sound

01    Kernel plastic/ body plastic = space superseding
02    Space Plastic = space encompassing
03    Kernel-Shell-Concept = space constituting

As these models have the advantage of integrating the handling of space systematically, they are helpful to structure the compositional sound sculpting process.

All the models mentioned above had been empirically tested with listening panel testing and have been extensively delt with in my doctoral thesis until the end of 2016.

Please see both Computer Music Journal Articles*

The overall idea of this artistic research project is not to chart a collection of experimental practices. The investigations shall result in an aesthetic practice that composes space, using space as a plastic sonic material, aiming to find a poetic approach in contemporary media art to use complex environments for creating self evident and unique experiences that make a strong difference to ordinary setups like in cinema, television or home 5.1. and invite the listener to share an extended ontology of sonic spatial arts.

  • [WSF+16] F. Wendt, G. K. Sharma, M. Frank, F. Zotter, R. Höldrich, “Perception of Spatial Sound Phenomena Created by the Icosahedral Loudspeaker”, Computer Music Jornal special Issue on High-Density Loudspeaker Arrays, 2016 (peer-reviewed journal).
  • [ZZFK16] F. Zotter, M. Zaunschirm, M. Frank, M. Kronlachner, “Spherical Beamforming and Exciting Wall Reflections”, Computer Music Journal special Issue on High-Density Loudspeaker Arrays, 2016 (peer-reviewed journal).



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