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Robert Normandeau: Timbre spatialization or the medium is the space

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  • Distinguished Lecture
When Nov 22, 2007
from 04:30 PM to 06:00 PM
Where Strathcona Music Building, 555 Sherbrooke St. West, C-209
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What sets the electroacoustic medium apart is its virtuality. Sound and source are not fused together. A certain timbre heard from a loudspeaker is completely independent of that speaker. And this speaker can broadcast the entire range of available timbres, as can all the other speakers in the room. As well as all the points situated between all the speakers. But what makes the experience of space in electroacoustic music even more unique is the possibility of fragmenting the spectrum in space, and in this way, electroacoustic music distinguishes itself clearly from instrumental music.  Where we had a violin located in a certain place, we also had the entire timbre of the violin. Whereas now, it is possible to distribute the timbre of a complex sound by apportioning it among a group of available virtual points. This is what I call timbral spatialization: the spectrum exists as a whole only virtually, in the concert space.

Robert Normandeau is Professor in Electroacoustics Composition, Faculté de Musique (Université de Montréal, Canada).

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