ACOUSCOUS - Navigate physical three-dimensional soundgardens using tracked body and gesture
PROJECT NAME: ACOUSCOUS
FUNDING DETAILS: $10k Distinguished Fellow Residency ICAT Grant 2019
STARTED: September 2018d
SHOW DATES: 25/7/2019 @ 6PM
SHOW LOCATION: Moss Arts Centre, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA (map link)
TICKETS: Free, limited availability in July 2019
BAGEL+BALLOON, RYAN BAKER, KAT MCMANUS, TANNER UPTHEGROVE, ICAT VT, MOSS ARTS CENTRE
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is an interactive audio-spatialisation project that integrates theatre, game design, and modern spatial tracking technologies.
At the heart of the project is a live performance staged in THE CUBE – a research arts facility coordinated by Virginia Tech’s INSTITUTE OF CREATIVITY, ARTS AND TECHNOLOGY and the MOSS ARTS CENTRE – using its high density loudspeaker array. ACOUSCOUS is a highly participatory experience, exploring and documenting the new territory of audience agency in a spatial audio setting.
The performance invites audiences to navigate three-dimensional soundgardens using their bodies and gestures; these soundgardens are dynamic soundscapes that will place participants in various worlds through experimental and cinematic music composition. The project will investigate the use of ambulatory tracking (Pozyx) to encourage movement to trigger changes in the soundgarden. Live actors in the space will play a crucial role to facilitate, support and enhance the piece.
The project is a collaboration of sound, visual, theatre and gaming artists from Boston, MA, Blacksburg, VA, Nova Scotia, and London. All members participated in the 2018 SPATIAL MUSIC WORKSHOP as part of ICAT’s programming for upskilling artists in use of THE CUBE’s sonic and motion capture capabilities. The team established connections after the workshop around a keen desire to work together to bring a collaborative project back to THE CUBE.
RYAN BAKER’s expertise as a composer and KAT MCMANUS’s eye for narrative threads in visual arts and cinematography, combined with BAGEL+BALLOON and TANNER UPTHEGROVE’s cross-disciplinary experience in game design, sound, technology and theatre, demonstrates a unique team that is at the cutting edge of exploration into how live performance, interactive technology and sound composition invite new audience engagement in the 21st century.
RYAN and KAT have successfully designed and implemented a permanent 24 channel spatial audio performance laboratory – the CHOOB. The CHOOB allows the creation and prototyping of spatial music which translates to the spatial audio systems at ICAT, and is an essential playground for the ACOUSCOUS project to be explored from prior to entering THE CUBE.
ACOUSCOUS "Come On Down" Audio Clip
Collaborator biographies below!
RYAN BAKER (robotmonkeyarm) is a passionate interdisciplinary creator, multi-instrumentalist and a spatial audio composer. He attended Berklee College of Music and Full Sail University. RYAN’s current focus is designing immersive interactive spatial sound environments. Prior to discovering spatial audio, he composed and performed in a wide variety of new music, improv, jazz, classical, avant-punk, film music, electronic, death metal and performance art music ensembles across the U.S.
Most recently he completed construction on his own 24-channel special audio lab. RYAN participated in the 2018 Spatial Music Workshop at Virginia Tech, showcasing his own spacially composed music.
Professionally, RYAN has worked for over a decade as a production sound engineer for television and film. His most recent film projects include Rian Johnson’s Knives Out (2019), David Gordon Green’s Halloween (2018), and Amc’s NOS4a2 (2019).
Prop-er Skilled Artist
KATHARINE MCMANUS is a filmmaker and visual artist. She attended Eastern Connecticut State University for Theater and Film, currently she works full-time in the Film and Television industry. She has 7 years of experience in professional on-set production, in her own time she directs her own film projects. Before film, KATHARINE worked in theatre: directing, designing, acting, running lighting/sound boards, stage hand work, and dramaturgy.
She has worked at the Tennessee Williams Provincetown Theatre Festival for 7 years. Her most recent film projects include Rian Johnson’s Knives Out (2019), David Gordon Green’s Halloween (2018), and Amc’s NOS4a2 (2019).
Her other interests include special effects/creature makeup and circus arts.
TANNER UPTHEGROVE, MFA in Spatial Audio, thrives at the intersection of arts and technology as Media Engineer for Virginia Tech's Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology. TANNER composes and designs sound for multichannel audio systems with an emphasis on making music scalable to venues with arbitrary loudspeaker arrays.
Previously, TANNER served as Assistant Mastering Engineer under Grammy Award winning Mastering Engineer Bob Katz. TANNER has presented spatial audio at the Audio Engineering Society, IEEE, and Moogfest.
Tanner has collaborated as composer, performer, spatial sound engineer and designer with robotmonkeyarm and Trey Spruance for Auragami featuring the music of Secret Chiefs 3.