Dissolve Music, Again

Next week I’ll help kick off a 3-day “spatial sound” festival at MIT’s Black Box theater as one of about 20 acts diffusing sound/music through a 360-degree soundsystem powered by d&b audio. (My own set will probably be from ~9-9:30pm on Wednesday, Feb 19.)

No doubt the performances will run the gamut as far as shapes and styles, and part of the aim is to explore as many ways of using spatial sound as we can. For my part, I’m eager to investigate the affordances for listening to simultaneous versions and renditions. In other words, I’ll be playing some spatialized (s)mashups of alternate takes, cover songs, and riddim jugglings, hoping that by spreading them out we can better attend to their similarities and differences.

Imagine listening to Ella in one corner, Billie in another, and Satchmo in a third as they all sing their way through the same song. Or hearing Charlie Parker duet with himself over the same changes, three years apart and across the room. What about 6 different voicings on the same dancehall riddim at the same time? If I play my Louis Dembow Gottschalk mix with the piano on one side of the room and the dembow on the other, will different listeners find their sweet spot? Can I expand a Venn diagram of taste … with space?

We shall see! (& hear!)