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Relocation of the visual, gustatory, olfactory and haptic environments into the aural space

Pasoulas, Aki (2019) Relocation of the visual, gustatory, olfactory and haptic environments into the aural space. In: Convergence 2019, 12 - 15 September 2019, Leicester. (Unpublished) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)

Abstract

This paper explores a compositional method based on the interpretation of information received through all our senses as gestural and textural activity in the aural domain; it attempts to map our experiences from a number of systems (visual, gustatory, olfactory and haptic environments) to another (aural space).

The paper details the method I followed when creating my latest composition, as a case study for this approach. My piece uses information collected through multisensory walks, including environmental recordings and sensory maps as starting points to create layers of sound material. The piece does not employ data sonification digital processes, but instead, it conveys sensory information from the immediate environment as either sonic gestures or textures.

Starting from Denis Smalley’s motion and growth processes, I approached my experiences as shapes developing in time. Gesture implies a motion, a temporal structure, whereas texture implies a consistency, the feel and appearance of something. The construction of the piece involved mapping sensory experiences on a relative timeline on separate soundmaps, smellmaps, touchmaps, tastemaps and sightmaps. Composite layers of that information were combined with recognisable sounds from the environmental recordings I made during the walks, to form musically meaningful structures.

For example, according to my interpretation, a smell that starts strong and disappears slowly can be represented by a relatively fast attack that gives rise to a texture which gradually disintegrates and disappears; whereas grazing in a passing gesture bristles of tall cereal crops can be translated into thin high-frequency spectral lines appearing and disappearing over lower-frequency oscillating figures. Transferring experiences between senses may seem to have followed a loose interpretation in my recent piece, but focusing on constructing more detailed maps will overcome this tendency. Similar structural processes were followed for all senses, where possible, which were combined to create polyphonic structures that eventually formed larger sections in the composition.

In addition, the composition explores interrelationships between music, time perception, memory and the listening environment, as it is based on a number of multisensory walks with senses acting on different timescales. Ultimately, the composition becomes an imaginary soundscape approached in a non-linear way, in the sense that no story is unfolding but rather, it is a presentation of snippets of experiences about particular spaces, places and times, based on a specific theme (‘rain’ in the case of my recent composition).

Evidently, listeners will not relive the experiences I had through the multisensory walks, as the composition does not replicate them. Instead, this process allows us to use creatively information that we received from other senses, often neglected when thinking about sound.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
Uncontrolled keywords: New compositional method based on information and timescales derived from different senses.
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of Arts > Music and Audio Arts
Faculties > Humanities > School of Music and Fine Art
Faculties > Sciences > Centre for Music Technology
Depositing User: Aki Pasoulas
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2019 13:18 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2019 20:14 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/76263 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Pasoulas, Aki: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6734-9133
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