Cláudio de Pina

Convolution and convoluted acoustic spaces

The purpose of this article is to present an alternative way of thinking about the acoustic space. It can be applied to composition, sound design, musical production. It develops from the ideas of electroacoustic music and diffusion. The acoustic space is interconnected with several fields of study and can be developed has a tool in; acoustics, performance, disposition in space. The experimentation of contemporary music, specially acousmatic music with multi-channel diffusion, can be applied to other fields. The space can be a creative medium in a compositional or performative vein.

Convolution is the linear operation that multiplies two functions resulting in a third one. This superimposition along time produces several effects that could be correlated to reverberation. It is a fundamental tool to work with acoustic spaces.
Convoluted is the transformation of a judicial act, opinion or idea. This word is used, with the notion of impose and transform acoustic spaces in a way besides the usual reverberation.

Keywords: Spacialization, Reverberation, Acoustics, Composition, Space, Convolution, Diffusion

Space the final frontier

Does space play a role in sound? In music or composition? The historical context is an important way of putting thoughts in perspective. Although the immediate response will relate to signal processing or other media like Dolby Surround, the music history is full of examples that space, indeed was a criteria for de composers and performers. In that manner, some repertoire will be presented.

Since the times of Early and Baroque Music, musicians and composer felt the need to position groups or instruments at different places. The type of composition of several voices would play nicely and would be more perceived if the voices where physically separated. The same opposition notion would also work, for melding two voices of different instruments (i.e. sackbut and a singer).

But what is being made with the sound. The design and composition of music, one seldom see a rendition of a classical or contemporary piece of music in 7.1 channels, and even if we encounter them, they are only from on perspective, the placement of the microphones and mixing. What if we could ‘move’ the microphones? To really be inside the sound.

So space, is an important thing and its full of precious information. It is interconnected with our survival skills. We can only see what is in front of us, and even that, needs to be processed in our brains to really adapt the sign has friend or foe. But with our ears, we listen in a 360o around us. It can even warn us about a large beast trying to attack us from behind. If this is so important, why we keep listening to music and sound with two speakers if we actually hear like two omnidirectional microphones?



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GIMC — CESEM, FCSH, Nova University, Portugal

Composer of electroacoustic and contemporary music. Pipe organ and jazz Hammond organ player. Titular organist of the historical pipe organ of Parish of our Lady of Ajuda. Research collaborator in Research Group on Contemporary Music at Research Centre of Studies in Musical Sociology and Aesthetics (FCSH). Studied composition with Hans Tutschku, Jaime Reis, A”ke Parmerud, Adrian Moore, Eurico Carrapatoso and Ce!sar Viana. Studied in Gregorian Institute of Lisbon, Hot Jazz Club and Physics Engineering (FCUL). Master in Musical Arts with the thesis Instrumental and electroacoustic music for pipe organ tutorship Isabel Pires (FCSH). PhD student in Musical Arts regarding contemporary music for pipe organ and electroacoustic music (ESML/FCSH). His work has been presented in Milan, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Mexico and Lisbon.