Carolyn and Rowan exploring Horizons VR experience
Carolyn and Rowan exploring Horizons VR experience

A creative process can sometimes resemble a sound wave as obstacles are encountered and surmounted, with an artist’s greatest strength sometimes being the ability to adapt. Workshop 2 on 8 March embodied that challenging sound wave as artists learnt about immersive and interactive audio. …just not necessarily with the people first planned or at the times first anticipated… Initially planned to start with an introductory session that provided a springboard to practical workshops, the day was instead more discursive, as transatlantic flights and national trains prevented and delayed our audio experts.

Providing the bridge into thinking about immersive sound, Joachim Gossmann stepped in last minute to introduce our artists to grounding principles such as distribution of sound, localisation and colouration. Using a mindmap of spatial audio, he discussed electric-acoustic music, theatre, installations and movie soundtracks, finishing by highlighting tools for making such work. This provided an opportunity for discussions about binaural sound and the challenges and potential for live mixing of spatial sound. This was later complemented by a talk from Robert Thomas on his experiments with adaptive sound, using apps that adapt to ambient atmospheric sound, audio-visual installations responding to viewer’s brainwaves and machine learning in composition.

…and just as the day seemed pretty much done, there was one last chance to play with the Horizons adaptive VR musical experience…

The shifts in programme opened up gaps that allowed some of the collaboration established in the first three day workshop to continue as artists discussed incubating ideas amongst themselves and with some of the speakers. Alongside these moments of group sharing, each artist or artistic group consulted with the XR Circus research team so that their ideas could be matched to technical tools and expertise. Much as the day’s activities adapted to the challenges of disrupted transport, the research team are adapting to the emerging needs of the artists by tailoring resources.

If you want up to the minute on every development from XR Circus then make sure you follow @XRCircus and keep an eye on #XRCircus where we live tweet workshops and events.

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