The main project concept (analogy between sounds and cultural heritage) will underlie the project´s core activities and approaches, manifesting itself especially within the SONOTOMIA capacity-building actions, the so-called SONOTOMIA residencies. Participants of the residencies will co-create cultural outputs (works of art) for mediating perceptions, emotions and representations of the experienced culture, stressing intangible and tangible cultural heritage, namely music, biodiversity and historical sites and buildings. Collected soundscapes will be used as the methodological instruments to serve for educational purposes and contribute to raising awareness about the fragility of unique places that surround us. Those places can be natural landscapes or landscapes widely inhabited by people, both being endangered by the societal and environmental changes. By soundscapes, all the natural sounds and man-made sounds that humans can hear and listen to in their surroundings (including industrial sounds, musical instruments, etc.) are considered.
In addition, sound is a common language even when perceived subjectively, and it will be further explored through the process of collective reflection and discussion. This project will contribute to coding new cultural language that can transmit the liberty of widespread expression, mutual learning and empowerment of individuals, collectives and communities.
An additional important ingredient of the project concept will be space: how spaces shape sounds and how sounds can be used to gain further their understanding of space and to develop more subtle, complex and intensive levels of awareness within space. With this, the concept of analogy between sound and cultural heritage will be expanded to spatial sounds and cultural heritage. This expansion will be realised through the use of new digital technologies. Residential activities will apply the 4DSOUND system (hardware and software). It is an advanced sound distribution system integrating a chain of sound processing and physical modelling that allows composers, performers, sound designers, etc. to create and perform with space. The use of this system will create novel ways to distribute the collected soundscapes in selected historical spaces (sites and buildings) to promote cultural heritage. Cultural heritage elements will be integrated both within the collected soundscapes and the selected historical spaces for soundscape distribution. Manipulating, modelling and distributing sounds in spaces for promoting cultural heritage is a new, unexplored field.
4DSOUND system is an innovative system where one does not hear sound coming from speakers; instead, sound appears in the space as a physical entity. The system enables a social listening space in which listeners can move freely to explore a physical environment of sound.
4DSOUND system is, therefore, an object-based sound system. In practice, users of the system are not dealing directly with the distribution of sound to multiple speakers, but instead are encouraged to think about space in terms of physical dimensions and distances, unlimited by the physical constraints of the room one is in and independent from the positions and number of speakers used.
4DSOUND´s real-time processing modules that define over 200 spatial parameters of sound allow to control the following aspects of sound:
- Positioning of sound sources in an unlimited spatial continuum
- Sculpting the physical dimensions of sound sources
- Composing spatial movement trajectories of sound sources
- Generating spatial movements of sound sources through physical modelling, wave shape modulations, algorithmically driven gestures or responsive behaviour
- Spatial sound perception, such as the perception of distance, elevation, angle, speed, phase shifts and diffusion of the sound source in space
- Sculpting spatial acoustics by designing virtual walls, their distance, depth and material characteristics
- Global transformation of the spatial field, such as transposing, rotating, ploding and folding
- Multiple sound sources at the same time
The project residential activities will allow acquiring digital skills for the manipulation and
projection of sounds in spaces and through this experimenting novel ways of promoting our cultural heritage using spatial sounds. The digital skill needs are also confirmed by the recent New European Agenda for Culture (2018) of the EC that establishes as a need to: “Promote the skills needed by cultural and creative sectors, including digital, entrepreneurial, traditional and specialised skills”.