Executive Summary

The spatial reproduction of sound scenes by means of audio transducers is possible since more than a century now. Already at the International Electricity Exhibition 1881 in Paris performances from the Paris Opera have been transmitted stereophonically to the exhibition site. Since the middle of the last century, loudspeakers are used in various arrangements for the performance of electroacoustic music and in sound installations. The rapid development of the possibilities of sound projection has been driven primarily by the requirements of the entertainment industry. Research in the domain of spatial sound has mainly been scientific research, especially in the last decades.

Complementary to this development, the artistic research project The Choreography of Sound developed new approaches towards spatial sound projection based on an artistic practice integrating perspectives of electroacoustic music composition and sound installation art. In a concert hall transformed into an aesthetic laboratory especially for the project (the György Ligeti Hall at MUMUTH in Graz) and based on a radically site-specific composition practice, concepts, case studies, works and software tools have been developed, offering artistically motivated alternatives to prevailing ideas about sonic space. Contrary to the concept of sound spatialisation, the choreography of sound understands sound synthesis and projection as an inseparable unit. Choreographing sound means to design the complex interrelation of sound processes, loudspeaker configurations, room acoustics, and an audience, which may move in the listening space. Choreography refers both to the composition of the spatial dynamics of sound as well as to a situation, in which the sound modulates the dynamics of the moving audience.

In the context of the project, young artists have been familiarised with the project results at international master classes. The findings were also presented at conferences and symposia in the areas of both scientific and artistic research. The general music public could gain an insight into the approaches followed and the new perspectives gained by the project through numerous concerts, installations, and project presentations. The project results have been presented all over Europe (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Norway, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK) and are documented in international publications. The open source software developed in the project is freely available and is developed further and maintained past the end of the project.