Sculpturing space: Re/Synthesis of Complex Spatial 3D Sound Structures

2017.18 Artistic Research Residency. Núria Giménez-Comas et Marlon Schumacher. In collaboration with the Acoustic and Cognitive Spaces team and the ZKM.

2017.18 Artistic Research Residency

Sculpturing space: Re/Synthesis of Complex Spatial 3D Sound Structures
In collaboration with the Acoustic and Cognitive Spaces team and the ZKM.

The proposed collaborative artistic research project aims to explore and develop the notion of a “synthetic-soundscape” in the sense of working with densities in in various sound synthesis dimensions (in frequency as well as in space). The idea is to create not only the sensation of a sound expanded in space but a synthetic background around the listener that is densifying-increasing, in different emerging sound layers. To this end, composer Núria Giménez-Comas envisions the use of drawing tools connecting in an intuitive way graphical descriptions of mass densities (and their movements) with the sound synthesis and spatialisation tools in Open Music, more precisely the OMChroma/OMPrisma framework, combining synthesis/spatialization models, perceptual processing, and room effects. Marlon Schumacher’s contribution will be dedicated to R&D of new tools informed by cognitive mechanisms studied in spatial auditory perception and scene analysis, e.g. in order to develop “intelligent” systems adapting decorrelation/modulation of signals according to frequency content.

Núria Giménez-Comas et Marlon Schumacher



Núria Giménez-Comas studied piano and then composition in Barcelona with Christophe Havel and Mauricio Sotelo. After a one-year exchange in Geneva she continued studying for her Master’s degree in Mixed Composition at HEM in Geneva with Michael Jarrell, Luis Naon, and Eric Daubresse. Her final thesis examined points of sound perception as a “sound image” concept, masking effect, and sound illusions. Highly interested in mixed-music composition she took part in Cursus 1 and Cursus 2 at IRCAM. Her final project was carried out in collaboration with Royaumont on the subject of sound scenes and used spatialization system in 3D ambisonics. Interested in working with images she has was selected to take part in the ManiFeste academy’s In Vivo Video workshop working with images by Dan Browne. She continues the work on the space dealing with spoken voice and re-synthesis. Her acousmatic pieces have been played in several festivals such as Archipel (Geneva) and SON (Madrid). And her instrumental and mixed music pieces have been played by musicians such as Harry Sparnaay, Klangforum's Wien trio, Ensemble Contrechamps, Brussels Philarmonic, Diotima Quartet. She has won several presitigous awards including the Colegio de España (Paris)-INAEM Prize, First Prize of International Competition Edison Denisov. She has also received commissions from Proxima Centauri Ensemble with "Aide à l'écriture" of French Ministry of Culture support, Radio France, Grame-Ircam among others. She works as an electronic performer in a selection of ensembles such as Ensemble Diagonal.

Marlon Schumacher studied musicology and philosophy at the Eberhard-Karls-University in Tübingen, holds degrees in music theory, digital media and composition from the HFMDK Stuttgart, and a PhD in Music Technology from McGill University. He works as researcher and lecturer in the fields of spatial sound synthesis, computer-aided composition and musical interfaces. His contributions to these topics are various: publications, presentations, workshops, several open-source software tools and artistic/research projects. He is permanent committee member of the MuSA conference and regularly serves in review panels for research grant applications and conferences on computer music and digital instruments, such as NIME and ICMC. Since 2017 he is appointed as full professor for Music Informatics at the Institut für Musikwissenschaft und Musikinformatik and as director of the ComputerStudio at the Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe.