Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag: raum-Arbeiten – The Space of Sound and Acoustic Architectures (Sonic Acts XIII, 2010)

Since the Renaissance the visual sense in our Western civilisation dominates our orientation, and since the geometrization of the world Euclidian space comes first. Even in the notation of sound and music we can see this priority. When in the middle of the 20th century space became again important as a parameter of music like for example in Stockhausens Kugelauditorium in Osaka 1970 which had more than 40 channels and speakers, space as an acoustic parameter was, and still is, limited to directions where the sounds comes from. In the late 1980s, working on the philosophy of the perception of space, models of space and on acoustic phenomena in composition, I started to create non-Euclidean spaces out of interference-fields of dozens of high tuned sinus sounding units. In the beginning of the 1990s I started to work on the physicality of the sound itself: standing sinus-pressure waves created an amorphous sonic architecture inside the Euclidean architecture where the audience could walk or better dive through. In 1993 I realized, on an IRCAM Workstation, together with programmer Jörg Spix, the first endlessly rising and falling movements in noise to create a paradoxical situation of perception by a simulated volume movement in the space. The main problem of talking about the acoustic space is, that what we call hearing happens in our brain and not only with the ears, with the space of our body too, and also combined with all the other senses. Sonntag will talk about the theoretical background and the development of his raum-Arbeiten and sonic architectures. Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag (DE) has an academic background in instrumental music, fine art, art history (new media), music theory, composition, philosophy and cognitive science. He has mostly focused on site-specific installations based on sound and biomass but also specifically on monochrome gas discharge light. This presentation was part of "Session 8: Spatial Perception".

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