Transdemonium Parc Asterix, Paris




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Peer reviewed



Following the development of Total Audio Works for the award-winning theatre installation Hotel Gasten, Liseberg Park, Gotenberg (1999), I was commissioned to devise a sonic environment for a ‘float through’ water drama, Oxygenarium, Parc Asterix. In most thematic applications audiences are pulsed through the score at predetermined intervals to synchronise with actors, animatronics and drama. Sound and music effects are triggered in isolation with no thematic thread between sequences TAW is designed as 48 points of looped audio, each broadcast simultaneously and discretely mapped to 48 strategically positioned speakers. This uniquely enables an audience to explore a sonic environment in their own time, auditioning the sound as if travelling through a symphony – with the freedom to move forwards or backwards through the score - the drama unfolding in a more natural organic form. TAW was developed using looped digital music samples (as generative music for games) but sequenced as a non-linear-through-score. In 2002, Asterix asked me to look at a proposed ride-through experience inspired by Carolingian Renaissance. One sequence required the power of prayer to be symbolised as aspiring to a higher and higher spiritual order manifested in the audience physically rising upwards through a 30m spiral. Conventional multi-point immersive audio confines listeners to exploring sound fields within the single horizontal plane. There are instances where sonic artists configure gallery installations in the vertical, but none has through-scored music. The challenge was to create a soundtrack of multiple harmonic Gregorian phrases that rendered the sensation of journeying upwards through a choral work made up of multiple layers of sonic strata. The final sound installation combined the principals of TAW, reconfigured in a vertical form, with five separate surround systems stacked at 6m levels. Transdemonium was the first public thematic experience with scored music for vertical surround. The first thematic experience to use original music composed and designed for a multiple stacked surround in a vertical configuration. Based on C14 scriptoria of composer Guillaume de Marchant


RAE 2008, UoA 63 Art and Design



Research Institute