for eight or 16 digital soundtracks

The visual complexity and sense of boundless space in an “Infinity Room” installation has made them very popular in art galleries, but what could we imagine would be the aural equivalent? This work creates a somewhat analogous experience in an immersive space where a large number of environmental sounds are refracted with each other and move around the listener until they trail off into the distance. Percussive, as well as musical, vocal and noisy sounds from various cultural sources, combine in seemingly endless variations as we move from mirrored room to room.

Technically, the work is based on a set of 27 acoustically rich environmental samples, each of which is convolved with all others to create 351 stereo hybrids (where the L/R channels are A*B and B*A). The samples range from impulse responses in large spaces through percussive sounds, musical and vocal excerpts, bells, thunder and strange noises. Each of the 351 hybridized sounds is spatialized independently, often in trajectories around the listener in the multi-channel space. I doubt that any other soundscape-inspired work has embodied this much complexity.

All sounds in the piece were mono cellphone recordings collected in several different countries. 27 files, consisting of various types impulse responses (IR), percussive sounds, musical and vocal materials, bells, thunder and other noises, were then convolved with each other using SoundHack to produce various hybrids, each normalized with or without high frequency boost.

Impulse Responses (7)
Percussive Sounds (10)
Rhythmic Sounds (4)
Textures and Gestures (6)
Kollegeien Church, Salzburg 2"
Milano gate 1" Yorkminster Bells, UK 2" Kids chanting, San Jose del Cabo, Mexico 8"
Milano church 1"
Remai Gallery Door, Saskatoon 2" Salvator Mundi Bell, Salzburg 11" Squeaky floor, Milano 3"
Biblioteca Ambrosiana
Theodoric Mausoleum, Ravenna 6"
Theodoric Mausoleum plus voice 8"

Korean Drum, Seoul 1"
Korean Drum, 3 hits 14"

Clapping, Salzburg 9" Creaky Door, Milano 4"
Creaky Door, Milano 5"

Duomo, L'Aquila, 2 hits 9"
Duomo, L'Aquila, 4 hits 20"

Korean Band 2"
Resonant Drain, Seoul 29" Thunder, Rome 5"
Thunder, Rome 8"

Collemaggio Church, L'Aquila, 4 hits 22"
Korean Bell, Seoul 10"

Bridge, Saskatoon 4"

Dharma Bell, 3 hits, Korea 37"

Choral cadence, Salzburg 7"
Choral cadence, Salzburg 4"

21 Events (with 6 having two versions) for 27 audio files
702 Convolutions, with A*B = left channel, B*A = Right Channel, using SoundHack with a Hamming analysis window
351 Hybrid stereo sounds

Structure of the Work
Section 1
IR * IR (21 files)
Gate*IR+Perc (14 files)
RemaiDoor*IR+Perc (13 files)
(22 files)

KBell*IR+Perc (9 files)
KBand*IR+Perc (10 files)
(23 files)
Bridge*IR+Perc (8)
Kids*IR+Perc (7)
Dharma Bell*IR (7)
KDrain*All (21)
Milan Floor*All (20)
Milan Doors*All (37)
York Bells*All (23)
Thunder*All (22)
Salvator Mundi*All (26)
Cathedral IR1 (25)
Cathedral IR2 (24)

Note: The actual number of tracks in the 16 stereo to 8 ProTools session therefore varies from 16 to 64, depending on how many Timax cues are overlaid, i.e. 1 to 4, each with 16 tracks.

All of the material in the work is spatialized with the TiMax2 SoundHub, developed by Harmonic Functions. Our version uses it as a 16 to 8 matrix mixer where at every cross-point in the mixer, an "image" describes how the signal is routed to the 8 output channels in terms of level (dB) and time delay (ms).

In all cases a Trajectory is created by placing 8 such images in a row, indicated in the Production Score, for instance, Echo1 as shown below which includes 170 ms reflections on either side of the main output channel.
Echo1 Echo5 Echo8