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Workshop on ambisonics with composer Natasha Barrett

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This workshop is organized by Research Axis 4 [Expanded musical practice] and will be held at the Faculté de musique of Université de Montréal, in the 32 speakers dome studio, room B187. This workshop is free and open to all. Registration is required.

  • Research Workshop
When Oct 26, 2017
from 10:00 AM to 01:00 PM
Where Room B187, Faculté de musique, Université de Montréal, 200, ave. Vincent d’Indy, Montréal [Métro Édouard-Montpetit]
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Registration: Registration for workshop with Natasha Barrett


In acousmatic music, sound spatial imagery, spatial behaviour and the spatial disposition of sounds in space are important elements of the composition. These elements influence how a composer explores the musical language of the work, and how a listener experiences the composers' musical ideas. Ambisonics can be used as a method for spatialising sound in three dimensions without being locked to the position of the loudspeakers during the compositional process. Materials can be recorded in a 'low spatial resolution' and synthesised in 'high spatial resolution'. Yet gaining compositional control over recorded spatial scenes, or synthesising a sound image rather than a mono point in space, presents challenges. In this workshop I will briefly explain what ambisonics is, some of the technical options available to the composer, and go on to show some examples as to how I compose spatial acousmatic music integrating the challenges of ambisonics into my compositional language. These examples will include insights into my approach to the spatial sonification of data captured from human motion archetypes, how spatial considerations may begin in the sound gathering techniques, and how we can creatively 'misuse' ambisonics encoding and decoding conventions to our advantage.

Natasha BarrettAbout Natasha Barrett

I compose acousmatic music, electroacoustic music for live soloists and ensembles, and sound-art installations. I have also created music for theatre and dance, large-scale outdoor media productions, background sound environments for exhibitions and incidental music for games and jingles. Many creations have involved exciting collaborations with musicians and visual artists, as well as architects and scientists.

I am inspired by acousmatic sound and the aural images it can evoke, particularly in terms of the evocative implications of space and the projection of 3-D sound-fields. Over the past 20 years I have become a specialist in the creative application of very high-order ambisonics and precision spatio-musical forms.

Even when composing for acoustic musicians, digital technologies are my core tools.

I also perform electroacoustic concerts; playing my own works as well as interpreting the spatial performance of other notable composers. Follow the concert listing for more information.

For a complete biography, please visit Natasha Barrett's webpage.


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