Spatial sound research residency

Lighthouse, Brighton

Photography/Film: Carlos Jimenez

With sound artist collaborator Alberto Ruiz Soler, we were invited to partake in a Re-Imagine Europe residency in 2019 which we used to begin learning and creating work with spatial sound technologies. By the end of the residency we created a prototype for an immersive sound/touch experience centred on human/non-human migration that was later commissioned and was due to be presented in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

It features a new type of spatial sound system developed with Antoine Hacheme where sounds are staged in a virtual model of a real physical space and become audible to a person wearing headphones in the space that track their realtime location. These sounds are mapped in relation to tactile stimuli in the space, constructing an immersive environment for the participant to interact with.

We are interested in how the static role of a listener in most sound experiences is challenged with this new spatial format. Instead of sound coming to you, here you must move your body through a specially-designed environment to encounter a composition of sound and touch distributed throughout it. In doing so, the participant’s body becomes an active controller/conductor in the experience, deciding the speed and direction of the composition.

We also began working with artist Maria Oshodi to design an experience that is equal in quality for sighted and blind/visually-impaired alike.

This 2019 R&D was supported by Lighthouse in Brighton through Creative Europe’s Re-Imagine Europe programme, as well as a grant from Arts Council England