Sound installation/ Composition

[ Computer-generated sound

x192.8 channel Wavefield synthesis system ]





This work was written and recorded in 2016 during a residency in The Game of Life Foundation’s Wave Field Synthesis System, The Hague (The Netherlands). All the material is based on algorithmic synthetic sound.


Wave Field Synthesis (WFS) is a sound production technology designed specifically for spatial audio rendering. The WFS system consists of 192 speakers, which are arranged in a square formation of 10 by 10 meters. Unlike conventional audio procedures (e.g stereo / surround) the perception of these wave fields is not dependent on psychoacoustic “phantom” sound perception. The WFS sound field is actually reconstructed physically*.


We decided to elude as much as possible the more recursive features of WFS, like trajectory- based spatialisation. Due to the technical and spatial characteristics of the system and its powerful possibilities, we built a collection of different discrete synthetic sound bodies with unique peculiarities.


Although Wave Field Synthesis system is assembled in a 192x8 loudspeakers array, our work is approached towards a sort of unitary object-located perspective, so this fact makes irrelevant the number of channels of the composition from a traditional ‘multichannel point of view’. We’ve used the speakers as a kind of ‘building agents’ rather than signal points to move the sound through. These building agents work directly in the materiality, density or sound texture... in other words, we have focused on the sound plasticity as a compositional tool in order to generate a materialisation, mutation and dematerialisation of the sound in space; concluding in a vivid sound bodies rather

than trajectorial events subjected to a loudspeaker positions.


Alongside the sonic pieces, we have developed a free-reading oriented graphic imaginary of the sound. This approach aims to get rid of the three dimensional representation of the sound in space. We have designed a collection of multi-layered spatial models** which relationship among the layers is ‘inter-independent’ (relationship among the visual objects with no holistic meaning, in this way each visual layer is independent itself from the global object, but being still related). The data of the trajectories and space coordinates within the loudspeaker square was used to generate the different architecture of these (non) representations.


This is not about: ‘imaginary sound environments’,‘spatial music’, ‘storytelling’, ‘phenomena’, ‘trendy pseudo-science theories applied to the arts’, ‘abstractness’, ‘me or you’, ’reinterpretation of anything else’...and this is not about ‘music’.


We would like to thank to The Game of Life Foundation, Acción Cultural Española, the free wine of the Institute of Sonology, and Jorge Vicario for their kind support.





© 2017 Elías Merino. Creative Commons 3.0 Unported. All rights reserved.