Sound Diffusion Presented at the conference
Music and Gesture, University of East Anglia, August 2003
The concept of an orchestra of loudspeakers has been seen as an approach
to performing music that is on a fixed medium. Many of the theories that
have evolved on sound diffusion have been dependent on a specific type
of repertoire and often for solo acousmatic compositions.
In this context, the interface adopted for sound diffusion has been the
mixing desk and the fader has become the diffusers instrument.
A distinct difference in aesthetics and performance practice exists between
acousmatic music and live electronics. In acousmatic music there is a
focus on textural nuance and timbral detail and the composition,
where a preconceived musical structure is fixed on a medium; whilst in
live electronics, gesture, a diversity of instrumental interfaces and
spontaneity tend to shape the musical aesthetic.
This paper explores some of the creative possibilities of sound diffusion
in an improvisatory ensemble, and the development of a new musical approach
that combines the two clearly definable aesthetics of acousmatic music
and live electronics. Issues such as gesture, spatial dynamics
- the theory of consonance and dissonance based on moving sound - and,
performance-controlled sound diffusion - simultaneous sound diffusion
and performance involving live electronics from a sound stage - are carefully
considered. This paper also looks at how an improviser may respond and
react to physically moving sound and how sounds on a fixed medium may
be re-interpreted through their spatialisation in a group improvisation.
Many of the ideas covered in this paper came about through working with
the ensemble kREEPA whilst resident at STEIM, Amsterdam in 2002.
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