Kaleidoscope: arcade (2004, 8'40) electroacoustic composition (C3R records double CD reflection)




Journal Title

Journal ISSN



Volume Title



Recording, musical

Peer reviewed



Premiere: Gare du Nord, Basel: 18.6.05. Further performances: Seoul International Computer Music Festival (2007); ICMC, Copenhagen (2007); CBSO Centre, Birmingham (2007); Keele University (2007); MANTIS, Manchester (2007); Musique & Recherches, Brussels (2006); Aix en Provence (2005). Publication: Reflections, C3R Records double CD [C3R014], (binaural reduction) Research summary: Kaleidoscope: Arcade explores spatialisation strategies in multichannel acousmatic works as an extension of (or challenge to) existing electroacoustic concert presentation practice. It proposes a relatively flexible listening environment, such that—in contrast to (implied-)spectacle-based front-to-back seating conventions—spatial orientation is not prescribed. It embraces qualitatively different perceptions of a work between listeners based on their positions in space, abandoning the idea (as in stereo diffusion models) of an ideal/preferred and fixed listening position. To this end, the piece is presented via a circular array of loudspeakers (both 12- and 8- channel versions, as well as binaural-see CD (encoding by Lorenzo Picinali)) which permits peripheral, oppositional and envelopment spatial activities and relationships (not explicitly left/right or front/back) such that—although the relative placements and trajectories of spatial activity will be perceived differently by different listeners—the overall musical, spatial and structural content of the work should remain coherent irrespective of an individual listener’s position or orientation (see http://www.mti.dmu.ac.uk/~peterb/outcome2.html for more information). The work’s referential content complements this technical exploration: material taken from, or implying arcade origins (pinball flippers, springs and sound effects, rolling balls and coin-operated mechanisms) is treated playfully and musically, in the absence of an explicit narrative, while the extrapolation of internal spectro-behavioural detail conventionally explored as an acousmatic compositional concern is extended to include spatio-behavioural detail. As such it echoes many of the concerns expressed in later research concerning the fabricated aural landscape, though the emphasis is here on poetic commentary on the sound materials rather than a pursuit of the illusion of ‘real life’.


RAE 2008, UoA 67 Music


Batchelor, P. (2004) Kaleidoscope: Arcade (8'40) electroacoustic composition (C3R Records double CD Reflection)


Research Institute