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virtureal ton 2.

h i g h !

* this is the second call for proposals

        for the  " v i r t u r e a l   t o n "
        (music magazine published by the austrian section of ISCM
        new online version by ORFkunstradio)

* some ideas about "akustische virtualitaet"
an maybe an inspiration for your . . .

cool reflexio n ear you soon

        s h a .
        PTM andreas rodler

grashofgasse 3/8/10 - 1010 vienna - austria - tel/fax +43-1-5130309

(papers & other works should be submitted by the deadline of September 15, 1996)

thanks for

 A !
2 . c a l l

composers, musicians and musicologists in particular are used to regard music as
"space and music" are considered to belong rather in the field of acoustic
 science. it would seem a
little too ambitious at this point to explore the origins of this misconception
 ; i would just like to
mention the complete neglect of the aspect of space within our method of
 notation which took the
basis for the comprehension of music in western civilization for the longest
 time. space is being
discovered - "musicalized" - very slowly and too often with all the wrong basic

nonetheless the perception of space remains the human being`s most basic
 approach towards the
environment. the perception of time seems to be derived from the perception of
 space and to be
interspersed with the concept of space. time - which cannot even be known to
 exist beyond our means
of perception - can only be experienced as "space of time", and even when
 leaving the state of being
awake - of being conscious - the perception of space dissolves only after all
 other perception of
reality has vanished.

to accomplish this

        p r o c e s s   o f   p e r c e i v i n g   s p a c e

the ear holds an eminent position much underrated by musicians and producers of
 public and private
environments (architects, designers, advertising agents, planners of traffic
 facilities, etc.) alike:

with its ability to differentiate macro- and microstructures at great distances
 as well as in closest
proximity the sense of hearing is a link between the intimate sense of touch and
 the "sense of
distance" of the eye. but beyond identifying sound the ear can also localize
 sound-sources and even
listen round the corner; all this with the highest sensitivity (at the threshold
 of audibility one would
encounter an amplitude deflection of the basilar membrane of approximately
 10exp-10m (the average
diameter of a hydrogen atom) and the energy it takes to trigger the transverse
 fibers of the basilar
membrane is 10exp-20J (a tenth of the energy of a quantum of visible light).
 furthermore it is an
everyday experience that the ear "reacts" faster than any other sense organ;
 hearing doesn`t depend
on any physical "reaction" (whereas to be able to look at something one has to
 turn the head or focus
the eyes). localization of sound is a matter of milliseconds, a typical sound
 can be recognized in
thirty thousands of a second. the ear can also perceive a much wider bandwith
 (frequency range) then
e.g. the eye: we can "see" one octave but can hear ten octaves.

in combination with the other sense organs we are able to perceive a multitude
 of impressions which
determine our conception of space in all detail. but - due to the differences
 between the bits of
information provided by our sensory perception - it is hard to define a
 standardized concept of space.
the fact that every person has their own

        p r e c o n c e i v e d   n o t i o n s   o f   t h e i r   p e r s o n
 a l   s p a c e

renders such a definition even more complex as this phenomenon applies to
 "ear-space" in particular:

the acoustic perception of the "natural" environment of everyday life simply
 projects the superficial
aspects of space (i am able to recognize my living room because i have learned
 how it reacts to
acoustic signals - a car passing by, my lover`s voice, . . . - or vice versa)
 whereas "non-natural"
sounds produced and/or realized by electronic means go beyond the superficial
 aspects of - visual -
space. these sounds carry their own physical volume; they appear to be large and
 dark or peaky and
light at times. instead of being perceived as simple features of a sound source
 and as indicators of
the sound source`s localization they mutate into quasi-objects complete with
 their own physical and
spatial qualities. this creates an "ear-space" the dimensions of which are in an
 odd and confusing
proportion to the "eye-space".

this confusing,

        " u n r e a l "   p r o p o r t i o n
        o f   o p t i c a l   a n d   a c o u s t i c   s p a c e

is the characteristic feature of  a c o u s t i c  v i r t u a l i t y  which
 shall be discussed here.
however in this context the main interest is not the conventional reading of the
 terms virtual reality
and cyberspace both of which proceed on the assumption of an almost exclusively
 visual (virtual)
world in which all other sense organs merely support the data of perception of
 the eye - not unlike
the sound design of various hollywood productions they are accompaniment only,
 never allowed to
play an equal part in the game of perception. by means of an irritating and
 relativizing relationship
between ear-space and real-space both could equally fertilize each other, thus
 providing a long-term

        e m a n c i p a t i o n   o f   t h e   e a r .

virtual acoustics - the sector of development in music aims to expand the

        a r t   o f   a c o u s t i c   s t r u c t u r i n g   o f   t i m e

into the

        a r t   o f   a c o u s t i c   s t r u c t u r i n g   o f   s p a c e

and - using contemporary technologies and media (like computers and
 loudspeakers) - has already led
to astonishing results. in this context the definition of "space" would include
 both, the surface as
well as the inside - the microspace - of sound / a sound structure. these
 astonishing results were
made possible only by the use of modern up-to-date technologies, but these
 technologies in fact
would never have been developed if not for the visionary wish to obtain these
consequently, attention shall be devoted to the space / the time between
 "vision" and "realization" -
defined by the individual visions`s "feasibility".


        t h e   d e v e l o p m e n t   o f   h a r d w a r e
        (interactive 3D/4D spatialisation-systems striving to win
        the most precisely controlable sound of space from the space of sound)


        s o f t w a r e
        (computer programs for analysis, dsp and composition the basic structure
        of which takes the aspect of space into consideration as a crucial

should be presented at this point.

furthermore a survey of the latest scientific findings within the fields of

        p h y s i c a l
        p h y s i o l o g i c a l
        p s y c h o l o g i c a l   a c o u s t i c s

shall be presented as these provide the basis for an understanding of the
 abilities related to spatial
audioperception- and transformation, and redefine these abilities with regards
 to the phenomena
mentioned earlier.

other focal points are the testing of the musical and physical qualities of such
 an (acoustically)
virtual reality as well as the conscious

        o p e n i n g   u p
        o f   t h i s   n e w   s o u n d - a r t   i n t o   t h e   p u b l i
 c .

the realization of these projects is no longer bound to venues reserved for
 production of the arts;
this art form will have / will want to conquer its very own space. and that does
 not just mean only to
"open up / redesign" everyday-locations but also to extend the idea of
 "mediadesign" to an
experimental understanding of telematic / virtual space, like global networks.

all these areas are dealing with examinations and studies of the effects of such
 acoustic intrusions -
some of which are happening permanently - upon the environment and people; but
 after all it is a
discussion about a new

        " f u n c t i o n a l i t y "   o f   t h i s   k i n d   o f   m u s i
 c .