Presentations

Roundtable (17 June 2021)

I was invited and took part in a roundtable discussion on the impact of the pandemic on research, with Prof. Nicola Shaughnessy and Dr Ruth Herbert in the School of Arts, University of Kent, for the Non-Conference PGR Research Day.

Roundtable (6 June 2021)

I was invited and took part in a roundtable discussion on networked music-making and acoustic ecology with Kerry Hagan (president of International Computer Music Association) and Jenn Kirby (president of Irish Sound, Science and Technology Association) at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, for the Vocal Constructivists Online Festival “Through the Square Window”.

Soundscapes, Identity and Place: Renegotiating Heritage (24 April 2021)

Dr Aki Pasoulas and his research project team (Dr Brona Martin and Dr Andrew Knight-Hill) presented this research paper at the BEAST FEaST 2021 – Recalibration conference at the University of Birmingham. 

Soundscape is often conceived in objective terms, separated from social & political context, with the listener a detached observer. But we must be careful of our assumptions around objectivity, not least where we find ourselves in contexts as outsiders. As Denis Cosgrove states of landscape, “Landscape is a way of seeing which is […] related to the exercise of power” (1985:45).  In our AHRC funded research project “Sonic Palimpsest: Revisiting Chatham Historic Dockyards” we are investigating the past via sonic means. It would be simple to treat this location as a politically and socially neutral site of industrial activity, to extract soundmarks and represent them as abstracted objects. But in so doing we risk failing to engage accurately with the identity of these objects, and worse, risk offering them up for potential re-appropriation to re-enforce existing misrepresentations.When working with memory and heritage, how can we ensure that sound is deployed responsibly? Respecting diverse histories and engaging positively with the social and political contexts which constitute the making of place? 

Creative Writing Open Seminar (23 March 2021)

This was presented to staff, postgraduate students and invitees for the Creative Writing series of the School of English, UoK, in the hope that this approach will inspire creators in different disciplines, as seemed to be the case from the interesting discussions that followed with participants’ experiences.

In this presentation, I discussed the method I followed to create my composition Irides. This method is in constant development and it is based on the interpretation of information received through all senses as gestural and textural activity in the aural domain. My method attempts to map our experiences from a number of systems (visual, gustatory, olfactory and haptic environments) to another (aural space). For the making of my piece I used information collected through my walks, including environmental recordings and sensory maps as starting points to create layers of sound material. My composition explores interrelationships between music, time perception, memory and the listening environment, based on senses acting on different timescales. Evidently, listeners do not relive the experiences I had through the walks, as the composition does not replicate them. Instead, this process allows composers to creatively use information that we receive from other senses, often neglected when thinking about sound.

Harkee Podcast interview (December 2020)

Harkee is a series of podcasts about listening to the environment, sound walks as inspiration and material for composition, spatial sound in composition & sound experiences in public space.

I was interviewed by the artist Jane Pitt about my innovative multi-sensory process of listening to the environment and mapping the collected information to construct electroacoustic compositions. The interview has been published as a podcast on Spotify.

Introductory Seminar to A Sonic Palimpsest research project (27 February 2020)

This is an introductory seminar on the project by Dr Aki Pasoulas, that was presented at the University of Kent before the research project started in September 2020.

The seminar can be watched online.

Hearing, Sight and a Host of Other Senses (9-10 November 2019)

This paper was presented at SOUND/IMAGE19 conference, Greenwich University, London, UK.

It follows up on my continuing research on a compositional method based on the interpretation of information received through all senses as gestural and textural activity in the aural domain; it attempts to map our experiences from a number of sensory systems to the aural space.
The paper starts from the method I followed when creating my latest composition, as a case study for this approach, where I employed multisensory walks to gather gestural and textural information. Gesture implies a motion, a temporal structure, whereas texture implies a consistency, the feel and appearance of something. The construction of the piece involved mapping sensory experiences on a relative timeline on separate soundmaps, smellmaps, touchmaps, tastemaps and sightmaps. Composite layers of that information were combined with recognisable sounds from the environmental recordings I made during the walks, to form musically meaningful structures.
This system of interpreting information explores interrelationships between music, time perception, memory and the listening environment, as it is based on a number of multisensory walks with senses acting on different timescales. This process allows us to use creatively information that we receive from other senses, often neglected when thinking about sound.

Relocation of the visual, gustatory, olfactory and haptic environments into the aural space (13 September 2019)

This paper was presented at the Convergence 2019 conference at De Montfort University, Leicester. It explores a compositional method based on the interpretation of information received through all our senses as gestural and textural activity in the aural domain; it attempts to map our experiences from a number of systems (visual, gustatory, olfactory and haptic environments) to another (aural space).
The paper details the method I followed when creating my latest composition, as a case study for this approach. My piece uses information collected through multisensory walks, including environmental recordings and sensory maps as starting points to create layers of sound material. The piece does not employ data sonification digital processes, but instead, it conveys sensory information from the immediate environment as either sonic gestures or textures.
Starting from Denis Smalley’s motion and growth processes, I approached my experiences as shapes developing in time. Gesture implies a motion, a temporal structure, whereas texture implies a consistency, the feel and appearance of something. The construction of the piece involved mapping sensory experiences on a relative timeline on separate soundmaps, smellmaps, touchmaps, tastemaps and sightmaps. Composite layers of that information were combined with recognisable sounds from the environmental recordings I made during the walks, to form musically meaningful structures.
In addition, the composition explores interrelationships between music, time perception, memory and the listening environment, as it is based on a number of multisensory walks with senses acting on different timescales. Ultimately, the composition becomes an imaginary soundscape approached in a non-linear way, in the sense that no story is unfolding but rather, it is a presentation of snippets of experiences about particular spaces, places and times, based on a specific theme (‘rain’ in the case of my recent composition).

The Mapping of Senses in Irides (14 February 2019)

This paper was presented at the Rediscoveries XI series, University of Aberdeen, UK. It discussed the procedure I followed for the mapping of the five senses into gestural and textural information to be used in my acousmatic composition Irides. Starting from visual figures and colours and their conversion into thin spectral lines and glissandi, the talk went into examples of olfactory and haptic environments and their relocation into sound scenes. This talk was part of two research exchange events I co-organised between SMFA/CMAT of the University of Kent and the Music Department of the University of Aberdeen. The first of the two events, where this talk took place, was held at the University of Aberdeen on 14 February 2019.

Stimulus Complexity and Time Judgements (2011)

This paper was presented at the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC 2011) in Huddersfield in August 2011, and it is published in the Proceedings of the Conference.

In my endeavour to try and understand the main mechanisms of time perception in electroacoustic music, I explored complexity and how it can affect our experience of timescales and passing of time. This experience ultimately influences our understanding of structures and balancing of sections, our appreciation of gestural and textural development, and the interconnection of concurrent, near and remote events. For the purpose of this research, important papers in time perception written mainly by cognitive psychologists have been examined, and relations to music perception were drawn. A list of situations where complexity may occur in electroacoustic music, with an emphasis on acousmatic music, has been compiled. The relationship between complexity and psychological time is followed by an examination of complexity related to various parameters of sound.

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