Pauline Oliveros: Dynamic Spaces

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    Dynamic Spaces


Creation Year:



    Co-located performance, improvised contemporary music, visual arts


Artist Statement:

    Musical performance usually takes place in a static, unchanging space. The acoustics of the
    space are coupled with the instruments and/or voices to create the sound of the music, which
    has always posed a challenge regardless of genre. For example, the right balance of reverberation is needed to ensure both clarity of the performance and perceptual fusion of the musical instruments. This project explores the relationships within an acoustic and electronic performing ensemble for improvised music in virtual environments with deliberately varying characteristics. Variations in acoustics provide a new dynamic parameter of music in addition to harmony, melody, and rhythm. The performance is enhanced by dynamic visual elements with interwoven artistic images and views of the performers in a shared virtual space. In implementating a live, co-located music-performance space, a central question is: How can we capture the aura of a remote environment and bring it back to life during a concert? Although our work incorporates reproduction of recorded spaces as well as real-time creation of virtual spaces, the concept of reanimating previously experienced venues goes well beyond the physical reproduction of the space and enforces creation of an abstract but functional audio/visual environment.

Technical Information:

    The Tintinnabulate Ensemble performs improvised music with traditional and non-traditional
    acoustic instruments. Live electronics play a central role in the concept of Tintinnabulate. The ensemble uses two software environments to create functional virtual acoustic spaces that are projected by up to 24 loudspeaker channels. Pauline Oliveros conceived of the Expanded Instrument System (EIS) in the 1960s as an interactive electronic sound-processing environment designed for improvising musicians. ViMiC is a computer-generated concert space based on an array of virtual microphones, with adjustable directivity patterns and axis orientations. The design allows creation of sound imagery similar to that associated with standard sound-recording practice and goes beyond pure recreation of physical acoustic spaces.

Other Information:


    1. P. Oliveros. 1995. The Expanded Instrument System Acoustic and Virtual Space as a Dynamic Element
    of Music. Leonardo Music Journal Vol. 5.
    2. J. Braasch. 2005. Virtual Microphone Control: A loudspeaker-based 3D sound projection using
    Virtual Microphone Control (ViMiC), Convention of the Audio Eng. Soc. 118. May 2005. Preprint 6430.