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9th February, 2022

Music in augmented and mixed reality

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Event Details

9th February, 2022
18:00 - 19:30

This paper investigates an emerging new musical multimedia form—interactive musical/sonic art experiences in audio augmented reality.

It is common to think of augmented reality (AR) as visual, in which imagery is overlaid onto a scene viewed through a screen.

However, it can also take aural form—audio augmented reality— in which (spatialised) headphone sound is integrated with (or more commonly) overlays audio from the physical environment surrounding the listener.

Previous research has focused on the technical challenges and realisation of sound spatialisation, interactivity, and storytelling in extended reality formats.

It has less frequently addressed what audio augmented reality means for musicking (presentational and participatory) and musical aesthetics.

Building on Parry’s (2014) insights into the relationship between locative media, open form and spatialised sound, I analyse a range of examples,  including Moonmoons AR app(Anna Meredith, 2019).

I use this to identify distinct approaches to music in audio augmented reality and highlight specific material, aesthetic and phenomenological characteristics of and possibilities for audio augmented reality music, including compositional and listener agency and interactivity, visualisation of sound, the open-work and ludification.

In doing so I reflect on what this emerging new media affords for musicking and how music might be experienced in a metaverse of audio AI assistants whispering in our ears.

Speaker: Professor Nicola Dibben, University of Sheffield

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