Sound, space and interactive art

The NOVARS research centre is a major hub for applied research in composition investigating relationships between sound and space.

Its projects embrace sound spatialisation and diffusion of acousmatic composition, as well as exploring interactivity between composition, space and location.

Our composers' research projects have a particular focus on the exploration and manipulation of space and physical environments, including:

  • the maritime sonic journey explored in David Berezan's Nautical cycle;
  • the experimentation with musical analogies to geological processes in the work of Richard Whalley;
  • the application of electroacoustic spatialisation techniques to acoustic composition in the music of Camden Reeves.

The second major strand of our research in this area investigates the importance of place to the listener's experiences of music. Research in this strand includes:

  • a sonic-centric walk experience, Locative Audio, which uses GPS smartphones to provide aural augmentation of specific urban locations in cities around the world;
  • ethnomusicological research by Caroline Bithell, which explores the use of music in urban demonstrations and protests;
  • Roddy Hawkins' research into the aesthetics of listening to music when driving.

Staff in this core research area

David Berezan

Applied research in composition specialising in spatial audio and sound diffusion; music and the natural environment.

Caroline Bithell

Collective singing and political activism in public spaces.

Ricardo Climent

Applied research in composition involving audio navigation in VR; locative audio and the augmented city.

Alexander Gagatsis

Interaction and spatial navigation in improvising jazz musicians.

Roddy Hawkins

Music and automobility.

Kevin Malone

Applied research in composition relating to spaces of conflict.

Camden Reeves

Applied research in composition examining music-nature relationships and cosmological influences on musical structure.

Richard Whalley

Applied research in composition relating music to the natural environment.