Sound Entities: A Practice in Spatial Composition

Presented during the IRCAM Forum @NYU 2022

This presentation elaborates on a framework for spatial composition centered on the generation of trajectories in periphonic and binaural reproduction environments.
At the outset, the question of space's role in electroacoustic composition will be discussed, with a particular focus on the desire to elevate space to equal status with the musical parameters of frequency, time, timbre, and amplitude.
The research will then be framed in this context, showing how such a goal may be achieved given the relationship between the nature of instrumental performance and these compositional parameters.
Next, the Sound Entity Creator system will be described, with a definition of the Sound Entity serving as a guide for the role trajectory plays in the compositional framework. Technical aspects of the Max for Live patches used in the system will be discussed, followed by an outline of how the attributes of a Sound Entity reveal a compositional method in which trajectory, and space more generally, can aid in determining form in a piece. Examples will be given from such a work composed by the presenter.
Finally, speculation on the future of the system and the role of visual elements such as virtual reality environments will be touched upon.