Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Organised sound: Call for submissions

Call for submissions
Organised Sound, Volume 15, Number 3
Issue thematic title: Sound <–> Space: New approaches to multichannel music and audio
Date of Publication: December 2010
Publishers: Cambridge University Press

Issue co-ordinators: Scott Wilson and Jonty Harrison {s.d.wilson.1, d.j.t.harrison}@bham.ac.uk

In recent years the field of multichannel electroacoustic music and audio spatialisation has experienced something of a renaissance. In addition to the development and increased availability of new technologies (higher order ambisonics, vector base amplitude panning, wave field synthesis, various spectral diffusion approaches, etc.) we have seen multichannel presentation of electroacoustic music become standard in a way that it never was in the past. 'Eight channel is the new stereo,' one practitioner is known to have declared. At the bleeding edge of this trend we have seen the extension and development of large-scale multichannel systems for performance and research, such as the ZKM Klangdom, BEAST (Birmingham ElectroAcoustic Sound Theatre), the Sonic Arts Research Centre at Queen's University in Belfast, and the Allosphere at UCSB in California.

Along with the possibilities presented by these techniques and systems come problems and challenges. Issues of accessibility, portability, and practicality arise. Historical problems (e.g. the need to adapt to less than ideal performance spaces, the cost of accessing the space for sufficient preparation and rehearsal time, the sweet spot issue, etc.) remain very much in play.

Issue 15/3 of Organised Sound will explore this growing field of multichannel audio and music in aesthetic and social, as well as technical terms.

Potential subjects include:

1) Aesthetics
- Historically one might roughly divide spatialisation approaches into two broad categories: the virtual (i.e. artificial reality simulation and holophony), and the pragmatic (i.e diffusion and other space and system adaptable and/or specific approaches). What value do these different approaches have in the current context? To what extent are they combinable?
- What are the aesthetic implications of different approaches? Which amongst the possibilities enabled by new systems and technologies are the most 'musically' relevant (in the broadest sense), and are these in any way distinct from those more suited for virtual reality applications?

2) Practicality and Portability
- How can pieces be composed to be adaptable to the growing variety of system configurations (rings of eight with various orientations, domes, spheres, 'horizon' approaches such as WFS, 'acousmoniums' like the GRM, hybrid systems such as BEAST, ad hoc non-symmetrical and/or non-homogenous setups; i.e. sound installations, etc.)?
- Can or should presentation systems be designed with maximum adaptability to existing formats/paradigms (stereo diffusion, quad, 5.1, ring of eight, massively multichannel, etc.) in mind?
- Is a spatial interchange format (e.g. the recent 'SpatDIF' proposals) practical and/or desirable? What are the implications of combining low level (i.e. implementation specific) and high level (i.e. human-meaningful) descriptors in a single format?

3) Techniques and implementations
- What are the current solutions to software control of (especially large-scale) multichannel systems?
- What future developments will be possible and/or desirable?
- What role should performance (in the broadest sense) play in spatialisation, whether for pragmatic or aesthetic reasons?

4) Accessibility
- To what extent do the new large-scale multichannel systems represent a return to the historical accessibility problems of electroacoustic and computer music? Are we seeing a return to the 'institutionalisation' of electroacoustic music and sound art? To what extent (if any) does the availability of relatively inexpensive commodity hardware (powerful computers, MOTU 24I/O interfaces, etc.) help with this problem?

5) Hybridisation
- Historically, different approaches and techniques have exhibited particular strengths and weaknesses, while attracting (sometimes almost religious) communities of advocates, who (perhaps for reasons of technical limitation as much as anything else) made use of these techniques relatively exclusively. Given the current state of the art, what advantages or disadvantages do hybrid approaches present to the user?

As always, submissions related to the theme are encouraged; however, those that fall outside the scope of this theme are always welcome.

Deadline for submissions is 15 January 2010. Submissions may consist of papers, with optional supporting short compositions or excerpts, audio-visual documentation of performances and/or other aspects related to your submission that can be placed onto a DVD and the CUP website for “Organised Sound”. Supporting audio and audio-visual material will be presented as part of the journal's annual DVD-ROM which will appear with issue 15/3 as well on the journal’s website.


Notes for Contributors and further details can be obtained from the inside back cover of published issues of Organised Sound or at the following url:

http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayMoreInfo?jid=OSO&type=ifc (and download the pdf)

Properly formatted email submissions and general queries should be sent to: os@dmu.ac.uk, not to the guest editors.

Hard copy of articles and images (only when requested) and other material (e.g., sound and audio-visual files, etc. – normally max. 15’ sound files or 8’ movie files) should be submitted to:

Prof. Leigh Landy
Organised Sound
Clephan Building
De Montfort University
Leicester LE1 9BH, UK.

Editor: Leigh Landy
Associate Editors: Ross Kirk and Richard Orton
Regional Editors: Joel Chadabe, Kenneth Fields, Eduardo Miranda, Jøran Rudi, Barry Truax, Ian Whalley, David Worrall
International Editorial Board: Marc Battier, Hannah Bosma, Alessandro Cipriani, Simon Emmerson, Rajmil Fischman, David Howard, Rosemary Mountain, Tony Myatt, Jean-Claude Risset, Francis Rumsey, Margaret Schedel, Mary Simoni

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