Structures for WFS


This work was written and recorded by Elías Merino and Daniel del Río 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.

This is not about: imaginary sound environments, spatial music, storytelling, phenomena, 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, and the free wine of the Institute of Sonology for their kind support.