WHAT IS THIS WEBSITE ALL ABOUT?:
This Locativeaudio website covers a number of sonic-centric projects in the city of Manchester, UK, and beyond, with a focus on the concept "City as Museum /City as Instrument" through sound. Our projects take advantage of Location-based Audio and other Interactive Media and Game-Engine Technologies, combined with our strenght which is music composition and computer music. As composers, we want to take a step further the way we interact with cities and people and learn from other agents who do so; e.g. historians, social enterprise leaders, developers, policy makers, archaeologists, urban planners, heritage officials, to mention a few. By combining creative forces to collage narratives and sound via soundwalks, composers and sound aggregators can also interact with other disciplines to project a new understanding of a specific place and time. Such audio-guided geo-walks may convert the city into a new 'open hall' to experience sound.
Our locativeaudio soundwalks are literally connected to the concert hall using standard mobile phone 3G technology and geo-location so that performers, composers and audiences will be able to interact with the city from the hall and viceversa.
To see the programme for the event in June 29th, 2012, click here
WHO IS BEHIND LOCATIVEAUDIO?
We are a group of pople at NOVARS Research Centre, University of Manchester. Back in March 2011 we run an experimental project in collaboration with Cities@manchester, NoTours.org, Escoitar.org and the MANTIS Festival
, including our first Audioguide City tour using smartphones/GPS technology and other musical events.
To see more details about the organising team and collaborators, click here
In 2012 we continue to broaden avenues by inviting researchers and practitioners from around the country and beyond, to respond to the idea of combining:
- "The study of Cities from a sonic perspective" (e.g. using mobile technology and physical tours around the city), with
|| - "The concert hall', as an immersive interactive environment (often using physics-graphics-audio-game engines and virtual worlds) which can potentially connect with the former.
- WHAT IS LOCATIVE BASED AUDIO AND WHAT IS IT UNIQUE FOR?: Location-based Media, an umbrella for Locative Audio, brings to composers the idea of customising and associating sonic ideas to a specific geolocation. Mobile technologies, such as the GPS smartphones employed for Locativeaudio.org project and custom made software provide the core tools for its realisation. These unique tools enable sound artists to apply locative audio and media technologies to creative thinking and to take the results to our streets and own pockets as an extension and reinvention of the concert hall. By 'Augmenting the Aurality' of a specific every-day location, composers can recover memories of a particular place, can produce sonic alternatives to repositories of visual information; and even attempt to forecast desired futures through sound. What else can be done?
- NEW PARADIGMS OF THE DIGITAL ERA: Scholars argue that the digital era is drastically transforming modern living; but, how can we influence the direction it is taking?; can we incorporate these changes to reinvent expression and communication without compromising our musical thinking?.
From a personal perspective, my compositional practice has
gradually migrated from writing music from the electronic studio's desk, to composing-on-the-move, while being involved on projects with a focus on social interaction or using many forms of ubiquitous computing models. This has not only provided me with a new creative stimuli but also with the potential to humbly recover my composer's role to influence social and cultural transformation.
Changes in technology have shaped composers' thinking and their methods when composing music but also altered the way we interact with others as artist. For music composers and sonic artists using computers, sound is the primary source of thinking and exploration. Although our methodologies often looks into sound properties from an acute typomorphological perspective, we hardly manage to get away from the semantic meaning of sound and its context. Locative Audio adds another level of complexity to this composition puzzle and provides new ways of engaging with other disciplines (i.e. history, archaeology, urban and city studies, architecture, environmental science, etc), but also connecting with new audiences.
Audioguide locative audio walks can provide serious dosis of sonic significance to the music and the understanding of city nuances. It can help to provide bridges between audiences and the musical language we composers use, which can often be too complex or unaccessible for untrained ears.
I hope these series of LocativeAudio events can help to push collective creative energies in a single direction, to accomplish a good level of musical compositions around this new medium, and to push the use of this technology while widespreading the musical language into new audiences.
- 2012: With renewed support by Cities@manchester, a new Locative Audio Project 2012 will take this exploration a step further by connecting the 'Augmented Aurality CityTours' with 'The Concert Hall'. We are inviting a number of participants from the UK and abroad to share their creative thinking with us, combining Location-based Audio and Media with game-physics-audio engine technologies often found in the production of virtual environments and games. We are also proud to have appointed the first Locative Audio Ensemble: The Noise Upstairs Ensemble. We also have collaborative texts for the audioguide tours contents from a number of groups like the Whitworth Park Community Archaeology and History project or original writings by musicologist like Roddy Hawkins and postgraduate students in Music like Alex Allred and of course the full support and creative energy from our great NOVARS-MANTIS Team as usual.
Free entry for ALL!
- 2011: Sponsored by Cities@manchester, our 2011 Locative Audio project in the streets of Manchester, comprised five concatenated compositions using smartphone-soundwalks as sonic narratives, which combined reality with sonic fiction. We made use of GPS AudioGuides by NoTours/Escoitar, building stories as geo-tagged audiofiles which were informed by historical events and our artistic impressions of the city. We also included a number of other small projects related to cities and places.