Forms of Space




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Recording, musical

Peer reviewed


This output consists of two movements of acousmatic music, premiered in full at the 2013 Espace du Son Festival, Brussels. The work aims to project as themes not solely the gestural, spectral and referential materials that embody the structural design but also, in terms of form, deeper patterns of meaningful behaviour through motion across states of ‘real’ and the ‘imaginary’ and intersections between pitch and noise. Integration of a 5.1 core with outer circular loudspeaker arrays allows the projection of proximate and distal sound fields to be adapted to different diffusion contexts, offering a robust solution to the problem of resituating the projection of spatially rich acousmatic music. Inventing Air initiates a setting of highly articulate space, both in three-dimensional movement of sound and in pitch space. An evanescent form is projected since structurally it rests on a core of sound types mutated and recontextualised - with spectro/spatio-morphological entities imparting gestural traces that continuously redefine emergent spatial architectures. Pitched timbres are largely consistent in varying forms of falling motion, while noise-based timbres evoke suggestion of human presence through breath sound. Smoke and Mirrors (commissioned by Ina-GRM, premiered Maison de Radio France 2008) extends thematically into realms of more overt environmental reference. These references are intentionally disparate, embedded within an evolving stream of sonic transformation affording sections of rhythmic impetus, timbral development and tonal focus. In Forms of Space the interplay of sound identities, projection of focal pitch and relative source ambiguity/clarity are steered by two key elements of musical design: control of the extent to which recurrent sound identities are rendered masked or audible in relation to others, and manufacture of close amplitude envelope synchronistation between sound identities. These are agents in the way sounds intersect and are interleaved in the shaping of gesture and the construction of textures.


Forms of Space consists of two movements: ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ (16 audio channels, duration 20'30"), ‘Inventing Air’ (24 audio channels, duration 11'50"). The loudspeaker environments for the two works are compatible. Smoke and Mirrors consists of a 5.1 'core' of loudspeakers, a wider circle of 8 loudspeakers, plus two overhead high frequency channels. Inventing Air replicates this with the addition of an inner circle of 8 loudspeakers. The work was first performed in its entirety in the Theatre Marni, at the Espace du Son Festival, Brussels, 21 November, 2013, diffused by the composer.


Acousmatic music


Young, J (2013) Forms of Space, multichannel electroacoustic composition


Research Institute

Music, Technology and Innovation - Institute for Sonic Creativity (MTI2)