An Urban Archive as an English Garden - Acoustic Landscaping in Time and Space

2018.19 Artistic Research Residency. Brynjar Franzson Davíð. In collaboration with the Acoustic and Cognitive Spaces team and the ZKM.

2018.19 Artistic Research Residency

An Urban Archive as an English Garden – Acoustic Landscaping in Time and Space.
In collaboration with the Acoustic and Cognitive Spaces team and the ZKM.

This project explores how complex artificial 'acoustic' spaces can be constructed from synthetic resonance impulses, how these resonances––and the resonant features of a space––can be varied in time, and how the placement and temporal behavior of these resonance responses can be treated as a compositional tool.

Convolution reverb is a common audio processing technique that mimics the reverb characteristics of existing spaces. It can also be used to construct artificial resonant spaces based on synthetic impulses using any resonant model as an impulse. These can be a sound––such as the different multiphonics of an instrument––or a function or model capable of producing a spectral representation of its output or state.

The Acoustic and Cognitive Spaces team at IRCAM has done work mimicking more complex resonance models such as coupled volumes using multichannel and multi-location impulses. These impulses do not only encode the general acoustic response of a space, but also encode the subtle changes in resonance produced by variations in the measured space, producing incredibly life–like acoustic recreations. By varying the placement and temporal behavior of the resonance responses, the resonance of the space can be made both spatially and temporally variable, producing an immersive listening experience and a very powerful compositional tool.

Taking this work as a conceptual starting point, the project explores how artificial 'acoustic' spaces can be constructed from synthetic resonance impulses placed in an arbitrarily shaped speaker grid through which the audience can wander, taking control of their own experiences by exploring the acoustic features of the space and the relationship between instrumental sound and spatial resonance on their own.

Brynjar Franzson Davíð



Davíð Brynjar Franzson is a freelancing composer based in New York. Recent projects include the release of the Negotiation of Context by Yarn/Wire on WERGO; the cello concerto on Matter and Materiality, commissioned by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Icelandic National Radio’s commissioning fund; longitude, an installation based opera in collaboration with the Reykjavik based artist Angela Rawlings and the Berlin based Ensemble Adapter; and the Cartography of Time, an ongoing exploration of the experience of time, developed in collaboration with gnarwhallaby, Vicky Chow, Mariel Roberts, Matt Barbier & Weston Olencki, Matthias Engler, and Ingolfur Vilhjalmsson.

The Negotiation of Context was selected as one of the ten best contemporary releases of 2014 by the Wire, and has been described as ‘engagingly tactile’ by the NY Times, ‘compelling’ by the Wire and as ‘sonic art that is clearly going places’ by Gramophone.

Upcoming projects include new works for +/-, Ensemble Chromoson, Russell Greenberg, Ryan Muncy, Matt Barbier, as well as a new large scale project with Yarn|Wire. Davíð co-runs Carrier Records—a label for new and experimental music—with Sam Pluta and Jeff Snyder.