Photo by: Polina Shershenkova, Anastasia Blur

Sound installation

"Acousmath" is a spatial sound installation combining modern digital technologies with the classical idea of acousmonium which is ensemble of selected loudspeakers of various types, invented by French composer François Bayle for performing electroacoustic compositions.

In acousmonium each loudspeaker is located in the space around the audience and performer can control the spatial and timbral qualities of pre-recorded composition. Different loudspeakers despite the technical similarity differ from each other no less than the symphony orchestra instruments and depending on the size and number of dynamic heads, acoustic design and location, there may be more differences between two different loudspeakers than between a double bass and a flute.

The operating of "Acousmath" sound installation is based on identifying the nature of these differences and calculating their characteristics. The installation transforms the surrounding space simultaneously into a musical instrument and an immersive algorithmic sound composition.

Overall sound of the system is forming by three complementary units:

  • acoustical unit, consisting of ensemble of prepared loudspeakers and microphone;
  • switching unit, that provides the sound flow distribution to different loudspeakers in accordance with a predefined law;
  • computing unit, that collects acoustical data from distributed sound sources and sound reflections, converts them into digital form, produces various mathematical operations with these data and then reconverts the result into audible sound.
  • Thus, the configuration of the space, the presence of the audience and extraneous sounds become the score for the piece of music created by the installation, and the use of authentic loudspeakers and a microphone produced in the 1970s and 1980s in the USSR and in France allows to achieve the specific sounding that refers to early acousmatic experiments.

    06.07.2018 - 08.07.2018
    The New Stage of the Alexandrinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg
    “Acousmonium” international festival of acousmatic music