(a generative soundscape)

[February-June 2003]


Thanos Chrysakis

Department of Music, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

e-mail: t.chrysakis@gold.ac.uk


Nick Fuller

Electronic Arts, Middlesex University, London, UK

e-mail: n.fuller@mdx.ac.uk






This generative soundscape originally realised in two versions: 1) as a stereo image and 2) for four channels. However, the number of speakers can change according to the required space. It can be played in any room, any location, any building and in any open area. It can be experienced on one’s own or with other people. In any event, the intention is to create a situation in which you locate and encourage the listener for attentive-listening. Why generative then? Firstly, is one of the various directions that electronic music has taken the recent years. Sound synthesis, actually can be considered as the design of particular instruments. When the sounds have been formulated and combined, they create an abstract soundscape. And secondly, a generative soundscape that unfolds in-space, might be seen as an event that prioritises an attentive-mode-of-listening of a real-time sonic event, without the need of the performer’s gestures. Through the subtle sonic-gestures, the sonic-movements, and the spatial unfolding of the work, the space is sensed and perceived. A listener -given the time- can direct his/her attention to the surrounding space, feeling the space between the source of the sound(s) and his/her corporeal self, through the contrapuntal movement of the sounds. A listener in such situation can perceive that the space envelops the listener, and the sound as well. So, space, listener, and sound are perceived as complementary. When perceptual and affective processes are considered the fundamental ground of music & sound, then the ways in which they shape our perception is worth examined.

If «music is a modification of space as it is experienced by the body» as the philosopher Gernot Böhme has suggested, then, it is through the contact of my body and the modified space (by the music) - that music is perceived. It is through this very contact that a sense of one’s self in a space is created, and particular psychophysical spatial qualities are sensed and perceived.



It is in us that there are all the lakes and forests

If we see clearly into what we are,                                                                     

It is not because the waves may break

The green blank edges [...]


Fernando Pessoa