1st – 5th October at 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Joseph Anderson: Ambisonics toolkit, theory and artistic practice.
Location: Notam studios in Oslo

In this workshop we will immerse ourselves in a central technique of immersive sound; Ambisonics. We will go into the theoretical foundation behind Ambisonics, learn to master the tools practically as well as look into how to work with space artistically. We will also get a visit by Trond Lossius who has worked with Joseph Anderson to create the Ambisonics toolkit for Reaper.

Joseph Anderson is one of the foremost international experts on the artistic use of immersive sound, and is affiliated with the Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS) at the University of Washington. Joseph Anderson is a composer and programmer and has worked extensively with the use of space in music and sound. Anderson’s work is focused on electronic music produced with self-authored tools and signal processing algorithms. He is the lead author of the Ambisonic Toolkit software, a software application that makes advanced techniques for spatial audio easily accessible. Joseph Anderson works both as a composer and researcher and has also worked as a developer in Silicon Valley.

Trond Lossius works with sound and installations. He uses multi-channel immersive sound as an immaterial and temporary sculptural medium in works that investigates the relationships between sound, place and space. Trond Lossius is one of the developers behind the Ambisonic Toolkit in collaboration with Joseph Anderson. Lossius is affiliated with the Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHiO), where he is head of the Artistic Research and Fellowship Programme.

More detailed information will follow.

Bálint Laczkó is a Hungarian composer, audio-related software developer, hobby-programmer, and generally a technology enthusiast. He further describes himself as “ a bookworm, a nature- and cycling-lover, and a learning-junkie as well”.

Bálint has a long experience of music. “I studied music since the age of 7, and after high school I specialised myself in music composition. Sounds and our relationship with them are what has fascinated  me most in all my life. So studying music seemed to be a reasonable choice.

Bálint’s residence which started in september last year, is funded by an Erasmus scholarship.. But why did the young Hungarian composer choose Norway?

“I chose Norway because of Notam, and I chose Notam because it is an exceptional crossroad of technology and organized sound. Here I am surrounded not only by musicians, composers, but people who build custom hardware and software, produce music in studios as well as in concert halls; so generally people from whom I can learn a great deal and who can really broaden my horizon. I didn’t necessarily plan that but I have also learned a great deal from all the people I’ve met, and all the kindness, generosity and enthusiasm which surrounds me here.”

If you drop by Notam, you probably find Bálint working with a project or two. His enthusiasm is quite infectious. “Ultimately, the discovery of sounds or sound-relationships is what has always been my drive, no matter I am listening to music, working on or learning about software and programming, or – especially – composing.

“Generally, I start from something like an aural vision, which is usually how the piece would start as well. It illustrates a characteristic dynamism, source sound(s), process, texture, movement and spatiality, most often a mixture of all these. Depending on this vision, finding the right musical starting point can be a very straightforward and very tedious process as well. But what may be a general approach is that I always look for short, and fairly simple musical ideas to start with, and the act of composition mostly emerges from the expeditionary work of deconstructing or rearranging that idea, and adding more and more levels of abstraction. Another general approach is that I always feel that music is the network of contextuality of a lot of different sound-“beings” sharing some sort of mutual space. This may have something to do with my enthusiasm about nature, and it is definitely closely related to the idea of collage (from a purely structural perspective).”

Bálint will finish his internship at Notam in the middle of June. “It has been great, intense, full of new experiences. Beyond the enormous amount of technical things I’ve learned, I will definitely take a load of dear memories with me, about the lot’s of fun we had together (during and beyond office-time), the sacred 12 o’clock lunches, the high level of shared friendly nerdiness, Uruk (the famous Notam dog) resting his head on my elbow while I am working at my desk, the shared late-night work craziness, the spontaneous bar-times, and that there is always someone interesting to listen to over a cup of coffee or tea… Or just walking through the corridor seeing everyone doing something interesting. I will really miss everybody here!”

On the 15th of June, Bálint will give a presentation on his work. The will be some fingerfood and everyone is welcome.

Developer at Notam, Hans Wilmers, supervised Pernille Meidel under the project Hav-Havn-Savn-Gavn to build a speaker on the sailing boat Slursula. The design of the fog horn was made based on acoustic principles.

Pernille describes the project as follows:

“The noise of fog horn can be heard on the coast when the fog prevents the vessels from seeing. The sound is violent and can carry many kilometers to prevent ships from grounding. The signal consists of low-frequency sounds that travel long distances.

The sound signal is picked up by the landscape and creates echo variations. The sound will then be able to convey the environment despite poor vision, depending on the echo of the sound in the landscape. The signal is associated with mystery, it warns of an unpredictable situation and signals both danger while conveying hope.

It was  the Canadians Robert Follis who invented the fog signal. When he got home one evening while there was fog, he heard through an open window his daughter practicing the piano. He recorded that the dark tones could be heard better than the high ones.

After the lighthouses have been automated, most fog horns, at least in Norway, have been removed and they have been replaced by electric alternatives. “

Why Pernille further why she chose the Fog horn:

“I am primarily concerned with the huge dread such a horn can make and the mystery I feel it represents. The subject of the project revolves around how the fog horn signal can both give us a sense of security and insecurity at the same time. The doubleness that the fog horn signals danger while simultaneously signaling that one should avoid danger makes the sound both beautiful and creepy at once.

I think it’s an important aspect that after the lighthouses have been automated, most fog horns have been removed and replaced by electronic alternatives. “