Sound penetrates our outdoor spaces. Much of it we ignore amidst our fast passage from place to place, its qualities may be too quiet or fleeting to pay heed to above the bustle of our own thoughts, or we may experience the sounds as an annoyance. Manoeuvring our listening to be excited by its features is not so easy. This paper presents new artistic research that probes the hidden artefacts of everyday soundscapes and draws them into a new audible reality. The work presents a novel combination of art and technology: site-specific composition and the ways of listening established by Schaeffer and his successors are combined with acoustics, perception, beam-forming from high resolution (Eigenmike) Ambisonics recordings, Ambisonics sound-field synthesis and the deployment of a new prototype loudspeaker. Underlying this work is the hypothesis that spatially distributed information offers greater opportunities to explore, isolate and musically develop features of interest, and that composition should address the same degree of spatiality as the real landscape.
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