Spatial Sound

Drifting in Void:
Emerging Practices with Spatial Sound (2018)
Paul Oomen

December, 2017


Spatial Sound Institute, MONOM

This essay by 4DSOUND founder Paul Oomen was originally published for the occasion of 4DSOUND: A RETROSPECTIVE, an overview exhibition of sound works selected from archives of the Spatial Sound Institute. Opening December 9th, 2017 at MONOM, Funkhaus Berlin.

4DSOUND: A RETROSPECTIVE is an exhibition dedicated to the exploration of spatial sound as a medium, an anthology of sound that celebrates sensitivity, receptivity and reciprocality as fundamentals of our personal and shared spaces. In a world where our attention is constantly drifting between the physical and the digital, the technologies integrated in our lives transporting us ever further and faster into the realms of the virtual, spatial sound leads us in the opposite direction. In its physical immediacy, it brings us back to an awareness of the here and now.

Instead of fulfilling our constant need for gratification through overstimulation, spatial sound presents us with an experience of void - limitless time and borderless space allowing curiosity and imagination to emerge. But maybe this is what scares us most? For the uncertainty of our time and age might not be circumstantial in the external world, but within us. And are we not inclined to any form of escape from confrontation with ourselves? Contradictory as it may seem, this presents a possible turning point to experience things differently. Among the multiplicity and fragmentation of our digitally connected lives, it challenges us to listen to the world in a more engaging way, emphasizing patience and reticence in contrast to the driving forces of our everydayness - speed and immediate efficiency (Ksenija Orelj).


Edgard Varèse (1883 – 1965), the composer considered by many as the father of electronic music, recalls in one of his journals Wronski’s definition of music as the corporealisation of the intelligence that is in sounds. This led him to start thinking about music as moving bodies of sound in space 1 . Among his best known works is ’Poeme Electronique’, originally conceived for the Philips Pavilion at the Brussels World Fair in 1958. Using an estimated four-hundred speakers throughout the interior of the pavilion, it was one of the first and largest endeavours to realize a purposefully-built spatial sound environment. Being one of the very few actual electronic pieces Varèse created, it can be considered the composer’s most explicit attempt to establish a musical language with sound objects in space. Among abstract electronic sound, we recognise various sounds from the world around us: sirens, pneumatic drills, a jazz- drum solo, voices and a church-organ. There is a fluent, borderless transition between sounds belonging to the virtual or the real world, as what the composer takes away from these sounds is exactly that - their context or where the sounds belong. As w experience each sound in isolation from a reality we know, or by lack of an imposing narrative scheme provided by the author, what we are left with is to appreciate the sounds as things in themselves. Seemingly devoid of any meaning other than what is contained within the sound object - its physical dimensions, materiality and dynamic behaviour - each sound addresses the listener to explore one’s own spatial relation to the object, or for that reason to explore the mechanics of how one perceives the object. The piece opens with the sound of a low church-bell tolling. As the sound fills the room, we feel as if being enclosed inside the object. Later in the piece, the church-bell reappears but this time softer and muffled, suggesting a spatial distance between ourselves and the sound. Tones grow and diminish in intensity, sounding like lines passing through the space that are coming towards or moving away from us.

Sequences of short percussive pulses suggest a constant shifting of position, density and vicinity of the sounds in space. As the composer poses us the question what is music but organised noises?, there is another question emerging within the listener, by means of an answer to the original question: what are noises other than how they are perceived? It is in this agency for the listener to provide meaningfulness to the sounds, that listening becomes an essentially spatial process - interactions defined by distance and directionality, like an unexpected embrace from behind… something threatening to fall on our head… shadows moving on the floor as we circle around it…


In a recording experiment by Shaun Crook, we hear multiple throws of marbles and ping pong balls falling on the floor. The sounds are recorded using a spatially distributed grid of sixteen microphones identically scaled to the configuration of omnidirectional speakers that are used for playback, resulting in a hyperreal spatial projection of the captured sound objects. The illusion of the sound object is such that it evokes a schism in our relation with the perceived object in space. By judgemen of our ears, we are instantly convinced that what we hear is real, whereas at the same time we know, and for that matter also see that it is not. This experience leads us into the uncanny valley once we see-through the illusion of the object yet it remains to appear as strangely familiar and real 2. In discussing the relation between hyperrealism and the uncanny, Margulies writes: The main condition for the emergence of uncanniness is a hesitation between two states: a dichotomy of animate and inanimate (clearly related to the fear of death) 3. It is noted by Freud as the feeling that automatic, mechanical processes are at work, concealed beneath the ordinary appearance of animation. Crook’s approach allows us to rethink these notions along the lines of what is virtual and real. The approach of spatially identical playback of the recordings omits any virtualization from the process of rendering the sound object. Whereas virtual media by rule strive to convince us that what they show is real, in this case the physical media transmission appears to become the virtual. It changes our relation with the object from a physical to metaphysical one - defined by self-deception and without a tangible basis in reality.


In the works by Koenraad Ecker and Maxime Gordon, the uncanny expresses itself through distorted proportions of scale and by simultaneous appearance of seemingly unrelated spaces and events. Ecker’s work ‘...and a spark lit the blaze’ explores how orientation-through-sound plays an essential role in regulating our instinctive emotions and responses to the environment: closeness, fear, protection and isolation, even the physical sensation of warmth or coldness are influenced by the space we acoustically perceive ourselves to be in. He achieves this by offerin the listener multiple disorienting perspectives to precisely rendered sounds placed in space. Experiencing sounds simultaneously in close-up and far-away, from different contradicting angles at once, evokes in us, consciously or subconsciously, the disquieting sensation that something is not as it’s supposed to be. The appearance of the double, deja-vu, as well as passing misrecognitions of something or someone quite familiar, are seen as figures of the uncanny, a perverse compulsion on the part of nature to repeat, according to Margulies. Similarly, Gordon emphasizes with her work how personal perspectives enable the spatial realities we experience. She is interested in the way technology and the human body interact, and specifically how this relation can hinder or disturb our human experience. In her piece ‘Physique’ we listen to the artist’s own breath, touch and teeth clattering. We are treated to spatially disproportionate, blown-up perspectives of the most intimate of human sounds, or witness independent movements of sounds belonging to body parts that have become disjointed from one another. By compelling the audience to listen to her body in this way, she does away with its most fundamental element – its physical coherence.
The effect is that of a human machine, a steam engine of sinews and bones, and this throws us deeper into the uncanny valley. What appears to us as familiar and human, nows elicit feelings of eeriness and revulsion 4. Gordon asks us to rethink our relation with the body from an experience of emotional discomfort and insecurity, using spatial sound technology as a distorted lens to observe the physically tangible.


The apparent absence of any contextualisation in the work of Varèse and Crook, as well as the deliberate confusion of context with Ecker and Gordon, is juxtaposed by the conscious exploration of sounds’ connection to place, space and identity in the work of Alyssa Moxley. Her work thrives on collection and recollection of field recordings to explore questions of individual and shared space and how soun can be transmitted as spatial and emotional memory, subjective to the individual’s perception of place. In a fragment from her work ‘Living Memory’, we hear one of the world’s oldest, most profound and most actual cultural-political conflicts embodied by the simultaneous appearance of two sounds in space: a church-bell tolling and a muezzin calling for prayer. This instantly recalls the memory of an actual place: the old town of Jerusalem. In the everyday reality of this city, the tangible conflict over occupied space is expanded to the sonic realm with the cacophony of different church-bells and call for prayers audible with intervals throughout the day and night. Nevertheless, Moxley’s skilful collage provides us a more reflective time and space to experience and possibly develop second thoughts. The encounter of the sounds is almost guileless, without intent, as if because of the wind changing direction, shreds of distant sounds are filling the air, drifting in and out of the sky. Instead of evoking conflict, the experience is rather one of mild suspension inducing a soothing emotion - while at the same time making us all the more aware of our involuntary role as helpless witnesses, as the conflict holds a daily grip on our media and erupts in violent confrontation around the world. In his spoken diary ‘How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse)’, John Cage says: going in different directions, we get instead of separation, a sense of space. Similarly, Moxley proposes a space for acceptance rather than a call for action, using spatial sound as a means for corporeal processing of the repressed anxieties we suffer from.


The exhibition includes an early sketch of a scene from ‘NOQTURNL’, composer John Connell’s expansive inquiry into the transitional state between waking and dreaming. The sketch introduces the mythical figure of the Minotaur dwelling in the maze of the labyrinth. The maze can be regarded a symbol for the intricate structure of the mind whereas the Minotaur is the embodiment of fear, somewhere hidden in the maze of the subconscious. We are certain that if we encounter the Minotaur, we will be devoured. Fear is prolonged as long as we are able to hide from this shapeless creature, whereas the moment it would find us the monster transforms and the dream would end. We are trapped in this paradox: we continue to flee out of fear for the unknown - to be devoured - whereas the only way to conquer the fear is to face the unknown - and overcome this existential shadow on the psyche. This classical theme in dream psychology is choreographed in space with a reverberan growling sound appearing somewhere in the distance. Although its presence can be felt and fills the space, we can never hear where it is located. We feel it threatens to approach us, but we cannot determine where it will be coming from. The essence of the piece is that the Minotaur will not reveal itself, thus prolonging the presence of fear. In its sounding manifestation, we identify fear as an enveloping spatial condition, as sounds of inherently distant and vaguely diffused character, the unknowable. This turns the paradox around again - once we recognise that fear will never manifest itself in the form we fear it, this dissolves the experience of fear itself.


Using spatial sound to create a mirror of the vivid, intuitive imagery and sensations that we find within dreams offers new ways for artists of self-expression, as is also evident in the work of both Casimir Geelhoed and Murcof. And to be able to consciously and physically engage with these experiences provides a chance for listeners to explore self-reflection and self-awareness and to stimulate processing of memories, anxiety and fear at a deeper level. Geelhoed notes that he intently creates during night time, while he tries to recall and recreate memories and feelings on both a conscious and subconscious level. In his work, silence manifests itself as darkness, that what is unknown or still to be uncovered, the dream before it is dreamt. From a prolonged state of near-darkness, very gradually a landscape reveals itself around the listener. Shreds and clods of gravel and dirt swirl around, drifting across a seemingly forlorn and abandoned terrain. In the distance, we imagine hearing a wolf howling, sudden whispers of a female voice can be felt close on the skin. The eventual realisation within the listener that we are interacting with the subconscious stems from the fact that every sound we thought we recognized eventually becomes uncertain in its identity. We convince ourselves these presences must be machinations of our mind, and if we would come closer, we would likely recognize the source. But the sounds remain veiled in mist throughout the piece, and their contours are not getting sharper wherever we move within the space. Thus we are suspended in this state of uncertainty.

The work of Murcof alludes to the mechanics of the subconscious by traversing the wilderness of time and space in search for emotional resonance with the individual listener. Here we leave the realm of earthly spaces and enter the vast dimensions of the cosmos, where the experience of time becomes fluid and occurring events seem to be taking place in past and future simultaneously. This feeling is strengthened by the fluent integration and convolution of classical acoustical instruments and electronically produced sounds. Murcof’s spatial canvas is of infinite proportions, yet his subjects are often concerned with the stirring of personal emotions and intimate gestures. These works make us aware of our existential condition - that we are essentially alone within the boundless nothingness of space and time. Standing on the edge of a cliff one not only fears falling off it, but also dreads the possibility of throwing oneself off. In this experience where nothing is holding one back, one senses the lack of anything that predetermines one to either throw oneself off or to stand still, and one experiences one's own freedom 5. As Kierkegaard proposes, the starting point for each individual is the sense of disorientation, confusion or dread we experience in the face of an apparently meaningless or absurd world, but on the other side of the scale there is the sense of human freedom and responsibility that provides us agency to give meaning to life and live it passionately, sincerely and authentically.


The work of JG Biberkopf departs from the latent absurdity, insanity and fragmentation of space caused by the omnipresence of media and ceaseless flow of information digestion, yet arrives at very different conclusions with regards to strategies of listening to our everyday reality and possible ways to transcend the noise. He takes aural signifiers eminent in the public sphere to become building blocks of a sonic architecture that disassociate the materials from an original, often highly disturbing context, and turns their expression into new aesthetic constructs in their own right. The artist conceives of these sonic architectures as a self-organising ecology, a living biotope around the listener that continues to expand, contract, change and adapt abruptly in response to patterns of behaviour and expectation. The way to make sense of the turmoil surrounding us is not to attempt to resolve it, but to delve headlong into its spinning vortex. From the total
deconstruction and disassociation of sounds from the known reality, we can arrive at a new state of associative dwelling within these sonic spaces with a growing sense of lucidity. In relation to his work ‘NOQTURNL’, Connell refers to a similar sense
of clarity found in altered state - the imaginative and highly receptive intelligence available within the dreaming mind. He suggests that as a counter-balance to our increasingly dysfunctional and disingenuous information environments, the hyper-lucid might be one of our last remaining spaces in which we can freely and intuitively decipher the symbolism within the external world and their impact on our psyche - and reflect on new directions and possibilities. In this case, spatial
sound becomes a medium to intently navigate non-ordinary states of consciousness such as dreaming, hyper-lucidity and hallucination - allowing for different and unpredictable ways of experiencing reality to emerge, that divert explicitly from the overturned and exhausted mechanisms of logic ruling our ordinary waking state.


Can spatial listening provide access to realities that lie beyond our everyday perception of the physical world? Can we listen to the mechanics of space on a deeper level, such as the wavicle, probability instead of materiality, pattern recognitio within the structures of elementary particles? Moving away from Newtonian physics and the world of 3-dimensional sound objects, we arrive at virtual models base on generative or speculative physics of an order unlike our own natural world. From the series of sculptures ‘Imagining the Hyperspace’ by sound artist and researcher IOANN, the exhibition features a representation of a 24-cell 4-dimensional geometry.

The ‘24-Cell’ is an example of a multi-dimensional superstructure that transcends our ordinary rendition of perception. We cannot actually hear the shape, as the complexity is such that its totality will always exceed the range of human hearing and its geometrical order can never fully materialise in the 3-dimensional physical world. The structure, as a whole, can therefore only exists in the realm of the virtual, the theoretical or the mathematical. It is essentially rational in nature - but once manifested as music it becomes an experience that strongly appeals to the irrational. We perceive a sounding entity that appears to be completely erratic and counter-intuitive in its behaviour. Similar to the simple rules of quantum-mechanics that produce orders of logic that challenge our familiar expectations of the physical world as we intuitively understand it, confrontation with this sound structure deeply challenges our assumptions of reality and the conditioning of pattern recognition. The artist confronts himself and the listeners in a way with the incomprehensible, as the structure’s perfect harmony in the geometrical realm now appears to us as monstrous, uncontrollable and potentially frightening. The process of sculptin the structure in a sonic form then becomes a process of moderation. The artist attempts to navigate us through it in steps, exploring different corners and details to be found one by one. Each step in the process seems unknown in its outcome, highly unstable and viscerally challenging. But ultimately the artist cannot avoid to rely on tendencies that we recognise as all-too-human. Faced with a challenge he cannot solve, the artist is forced to return to what he knows and trusts - artistic intuition and aesthetic interpretation - and this moderation with the human side of things brings the experience somewhat back to more safe and familiar territory.


Two works in this exhibition provide another type of reflection on the reality of the spatial experience, regarding it as a purely synthetical process in its own right. As we identify and synthesize the attributes of spatial propagation and perception of sound, we are then able to tweak and experiment with each of these attribute separately. The spatial synthesis does not necessarily aspire to make sense to the human ear as being a lifelike reproduction of space as we know it, but rather invites the listener to explore perception beyond the borders of the natural, to discover what is inherent to the nature of space, and how we can find new forms of expression based upon it. In a fragment from the spatially recorded works by Peter van Hoesen, we hear single synthetic sounds performed through an elaborate network of different spatial processes and effects set up by the artist - creating an awareness machine as Van Hoesen refers to it. In my own work ‘Pathetique’, orchestral sounds extracted from Tchaikovsky’s 6th Symphony are processed through differently prepared synthetic chains that generate complex clouds of positioning, filtering and delays of the sounds, with the aim to let space speak for itself. The aim of this process is no longer an object of defined aesthetic intention by the artist, but a curiosity towards deeper observation of the dynamics that underlie the very nature of our spatial perception.

Surprisingly, both works sound closely resembling the movements we find within nature. We are embraced by spatially expansive, organic structures that sound like rain, wind and thunder, and even evoke likeness to other natural phenomena that don’t sound, such as mist or rainbows. In fact, the suggestion of movements and dynamics generated through spatial synthesis feels in many respects more real and intense than natural experiences of such phenomena. But we should be aware there is no attempt of illusion in this case. These experiences are unmistakably
of a synthetic nature, yet they are interfering directly with the patterns of our perception, the way we recognize reality based on what we know and assume about the world around us, and show us the mechanics at work. We are traversing the borders between the virtual and the real, the natural and the synthetic, and from there, a new kind of euphoria about the world might arise in bright technicolor.

Text by Paul Oomen


Edgard Varèse (1883 – 1965) was a French-born composer who spent the greater part of his career in the United States. Varèse's music emphasizes timbre and rhythm and he coined the term organized sound in reference to his own musical aesthetic. Varèse's conception of music reflected his vision of sound as living matter and of musical space as open rather than bounded. He conceived the elements of his music in terms of sound-masses, likening their organization to the natural phenomenon of crystallisation. Varèse thought that to stubbornly conditioned ears, anything new in music has always been called noise, and he posed the question, what is music but organized noises? Although his complete surviving works only last about three hours, he has been recognised as a major influence on 20th century music. Varèse saw potential in using electronic media for sound production, and his use of new instruments and electronic resources led to his being known as the father of electronic music. For the PHILIPS pavilion at the World Fair 1958, Varèse composed ‘Poeme Electronique’ utilising an estimated four-hundred speakers integrated in the interior of the pavilion, geared towards experiencing sound as it moves through space. Heard on site by an estimated two million people, ‘Poeme Electronique’ challenged audience expectations and traditional means of composing, breathing life into electronic synthesis and presentation.

Shaun Crook is an audio engineer, studio and location-recording engineer, visual artist and musician, graduated from London College of Music and Media, University of West London, UK.

Maxime Gordon is a Toronto-based producer and sound artist. Her studies as an architect at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture have informed her understanding of space. Her sonic interests have pushed her to explore the boundaries of sound, architecture and the human body. In 2016 Gordon self released her debut EP under the stage name ‘Bénédicte’. The album utilizes her voice as an electronic instrument itself. Gordon alters it at times to be almost unrecognizable. In this way she aims to modify the relationship between humanity and technology.

Koenraad Ecker is a sound sculptor, born in Bruges, Belgium, currently living in Berlin. He is fascinated by the tactility of sound, the imaginary spaces created by music, the paradoxical qualities of silence and the narrative possibilities of editing. Thus far he has released three solo recordings 'Ill Fares the Land' (Digitalis 2014), 'Sleepwalkers in a Cold Circus' (LINE 2015) and most recently a short EP called 'Notes from the Panopticon' (Ecology Tapes 2015). He is part of two long- running duo projects: Lumisokea (released on Opal Tapes, Eat Concrete and Alter) and Stray Dogs. As a composer and performer he has worked on commissions
for contemporary dance such as the Göteborgs Danskompani in Sweden, Ina Christel Johannesen in Norway, Stephan Laks at Springboard Montréal, for theatre such as with Jose Besprosvany and Théâtre du Parc Brussels, Walpurgis music theatre company and A/V installations with Yannick Jacquet and AntiVJ.

Alyssa Moxley utilizes microphone techniques, field recording, interviews, composition, digital and analog sound design, speaker placement, and sculpture to create detailed sonic interventions and environments that relate to networks of memory and knowledge distribution. She studied ethnomusicology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, sound design at the London College of Communication, studio production techniques at the Banff Centre for the Arts, and an MFA in Studio Art in the Sound Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her
work revolves around accessing narratives of identity, place, space, and embodied experience through sound. Her solo and collaborative works have been heard and installed in venues and radio stations in London, Chicago, New York, Paris, Toronto, Dublin, Braga, Syros, Santorini, Starigrad, Karlsruhe and Budapest. She is currently based in Athens where she also curates for the Kinisi Festival of Sound.

John Connell is a Berlin-based composer and media theorist with a deep interest in the way technology and media can alter perception - affecting the formatio of our personal and social constructs, both positively and adversely. His central focus is listening as a practice in itself: how our ability to listen opens up new levels of awareness about space, both the external and the internal, and the implications raised for art forms and social interactions. He has performed at experimental electronic music showcases such as TodaysArt, Berlin Atonal, the Spatial Sound Institute in Budapest and the Düsseldorf Kunstakademie, with essays, talks and workshops examining spatial sound and social theory at Goldsmiths University of London, TEDxDanubia, CTM Berlin, State Festival and others. As creative director of 4DSOUND, he curated several multi-disciplinary artist residencies exploring the relationship between sound, space and perception. These included ‘Circadian’, investigating how spatial listening influences conscious states throughout the day and night, and ‘Techno Is Space’, working with techno artists to spatially deconstruct the psycho-acoustic character of experimental club music. He is a board member of the Spatial Sound Institute.

Casimir Geelhoed is a 22-year old Amsterdam-based composer, producer and creative coder. After education at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague and Utrecht School of Arts, he came to surface with his dark experimental post-club project HOEK, releasing two EP's on Fog Mountain and playing at renowned festivals such as Rewire, Incubate and Le Guess Who?. Geelhoed uses both his musical and technical abilities to create powerful and meaningful music, valuing heartfelt emotions over technical perfection. In 2015 Geelhoed joined 4DSOUND's development team as a junior developer before becoming part of technical staff
of the Spatial Sound Institute from 2016 and MONOM in 2017. Being part of the development team of 4DSOUND, he has been creating new code and devices to generate meaningful and evocative movements of sound elements in space.

Murcof is the performing and recording name of Mexican electronica artist Fernando Corona, born in 1970 in Tijuana, Mexico and raised in Ensenada. Since 2006 Corona lives in Barcelona, Spain. Murcof's music is sparse, minimalist, electronica. Many of his compositions are founded on abstract, glitchy, sometimes complex electronic percussion. The more recent works in the Murcof catalogue
no longer include electronic beats. Developing a distinctive intricacy and depth in his production, his signature is a palpable crossover between the electronic and the classical. Murcof experiments with acoustical warmth and digital precision, incorporating subtle electronic minimalism with a musical language reminiscent of modern classical music and musique concrète. His earlier works, like the 2001 EP ‘Monotonu’, feature orchestral instruments sampled from recordings of works by modern composers such as Arvo Pärt and Morton Feldman. Some of his later works, like the 2005 album ‘Remembranza’, incorporate samples of Corona and his friends playing classical instruments. Besides his personally initiated albums, Corona worked as Murcof on the 2008 commission project The Versailles Sessions, in which he reinterpreted recordings of a baroque ensemble. Live shows of Murcof featured guest musicians from varied musical backgrounds, like jazz trumpet player Erik Truffaz, tabla player Talvin Singh, crossover electronica- classical pianist Francesco Tristano and classical pianist Vanessa Wagner.

J.G. Biberkopf is an alter-ego of Gediminas Žygus, whose past works and collaborations were exhibited, performed in Berghain (Berlin), Pompidou (Paris), Barbican (London), Paradiso (Amsterdam), The Kitchen (NYC), CAC, Rupert (Vilnius) and Spatial Sound Institute (Budapest). Žygus was part of the coordinating team
of Newman Festival 2015, and is part of the coordinating team of Unthinkable Nomos. His works traverses within the paradoxical relationship between club music and art music, assembling a collage spanning a vast range of influences from dark ecology, sound studies, architecture, media theory, existentialist movements, post-dramatic theatre, grime, musique concrète and more. His recent first EP, titled ‘Ecologies’, launched the Knives label created by Kuedo and Joe Shakespeare of Berlin's Motto Books. From cyber ambience and slamming rhythmic constructions, to instant trails of web-filtered grime and beatless studies of net phenomenology,
Biberkopf's first release was intended as a field trip into the representations of nature that emerge from the (social) media scape. From this followed his debut album called 'Ecologies II: Ecosystems of Excess’ in November 2016.

IOANN, is the current artist project of Ivan Sapozhkov, born in Tyumen, Western- Siberia, Russia. Graduated from the department of Philology at the Tyumen State University in 2006, his musical career spans from his early childhood classical music training up to Sapozhkov founding his first rock- and metal groups in the early 2000s. For several years he toured as vocalist and guitarist with Russian mystic- metal band «Molot vediM» and released the worldwide acclaimed studio album ‘Asylum’ in 2004. Since 2006, He began to experiment with forms of electronic sound and virtual instruments, working in the field of experimental sound, film and theatre as a composer and musician. In 2014, Sapozhkov founded his experimental sound studio and label ‘Negativespace’. He became artist-in-residence at the Spatial Sound Institute, Budapest, Hungary, where he continues his research into the perception and spatial projection of multi-dimensional sound structures.

Peter van Hoesen, born 1970 near Antwerpen, is a Belgian electronic music producer, composer, DJ and live performer. Attending seminal techno clubs like Fuse in its early years, he began researching other forms of music in earnest since the year 2000. Around 2004 Van Hoesen expanded his experimental interests and started exploring drum and bass and later on dubstep. He co-organised one of the first Belgian dubstep events with Mutant Hip Hop in 2005. In 2006 he returned to techno with the release of the Increments EP. Throughout his career, Van Hoesen has launched labels like Foton, which ran from 1998 to 2006, Time To Express in 2008, and was co-founder of Archives Interieures in 2013. He also collaborates with Yves De Mey as Sendai, composing music which focuses on fragmented rhythms and advanced sound design. They have released albums such as ‘Geotope’ in 2012, ‘A Smaller Divide’ in 2014 and ‘Ground and Figure’ on Editions Mego in 2016. As such, Peter has produced various styles of music, but is best known for his bass-heavy, abstract take on techno with a psychedelic approach. As both a DJ and performer Van Hoesen has played at key clubs and festivals across Europe, America, Australia and Asia. In 2010 he moved from Brussels to Berlin, where he co-founded synthesizer studio Handwerk Audio.

Paul Oomen, born in Amsterdam 1983, is a composer, curator and technologist, graduated from the Conservatory of Amsterdam and Universität der Künste Berlin. As founder of 4DSOUND in 2007 and the Spatial Sound Institute in 2015, his personal efforts in developing the medium of spatial sound now span over a decade of sound productions, writings and lectures. Oomen has been at the heart of realising close to a hundred 4DSOUND productions to date, including his five-hour opera ‘Nikola’ based on the life and work of inventor Nikola Tesla, spatial exploration of historical musical works by P.I. Tchaikovsky, Edgard Varese, Iannis Xenakis and Terry Riley, and working with diverse contemporary artists such as Peter van Hoesen, Geir Jenssen, Frank Bretschneider, Sasu Ripatti, John Connell, Michelle Lewis-King, Kazuya Nagaya, Robert Jan-Liethoff, Rona Geffen and Ivan Sapozhkov, among many others. He worked with numerous internationally acclaimed organisations such as Waterloo University Toronto, Amsterdam Dance Event, Bavarian State Opera, Red Bull Music Academy, TEDx and more, continuously propagating new forms of experiencing sound, such as sound exhibitions, immersive sonic meditation, participative sound theatre or collective sonic sleep-ins. His curatorial explores spatial sound as a medium with significant impact on a variety of fields such a music and performing arts, architecture and public space, cognitive and behavioural studies, medicinal and therapeutic practices and virtual and augmented reality.

4DSOUND: A Retrospective (2015)[PUBLICATIONS]

4DSOUND & SVS Creative Lab: Exploring the Language of Spatial Sound (2016)