Reverse Spectralism: Composing with site-specific resonance mapping: AR techniques in musical composition. Paper presented at "Spectralisms", An International Conference, University of Oxford, UK

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper documents a compositional method where the choice of sounding materials is directly informed by the acoustic response of the venue in which a piece is to be performed. Although composers have written pieces for particular spaces for centuries, this is traditionally a process informed by aural memory. This paper introduces methods to achieve a tight bond between score and acoustic, through means of a pre-compositional analysis methodology and harmonic mapping process. These are set within what could be described as a ‘reverse spectralism’ technique, where the contribution of a venue acoustic is known, therefore can designed for at composition time. Rather than reverberation being a consequence of a performance, this methodology permits composers to also compose for the reverb, as if it were an additional performer. This paper examines the musical possibilities when a spectral approach to performance space is integrated within an instrumental (non electronic) compositional process. Example patches will be presented in IRCAM’s OpenMusic, and this paper extends previous work by the author as presented in the IRCAM OM Composers’ Book, volume 3 (2016) with new spatial mapping methodology and harmonic process. 
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusUnpublished - 15 Mar 2017
EventSpectralisms - An International Conference: University of Oxford - University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
Duration: 15 Mar 201716 Mar 2017


ConferenceSpectralisms - An International Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

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