New Media Doctoral Seminar November 23, 2022 15:00-18:00

Please see below for the information regarding the next Doctoral Seminar Presentations:

Presenters: Andrea Mancianti & Sebastian J. Schlecht
Date: November 23 2022
Time: 15:00 -18:00
Zoom Link:

Living thresholds and performing others. An ecological approach to queering immersive sonic experiences.

By Andrea Mancianti
Doctoral Candidate

The context of the present artistic research, carried out in Aalto University’s Department of Art and Media, is centred around the researcher’s own practice as a composer and performer in the field of immersive sonic experiences. This field could be thought as a shifting intersection between electronic and mixed music (the sub-genre of contemporary classical music involving a mixture of acoustic and often traditional instruments and electronics), site-specific installation art or other spatially informed practices such as acoustics, and finally electroacoustic lutherie.
The research is especially concerned with investigating the agencies put in action within the creative processes, especially within collaborative activities where different physical materials and technologies are employed. It enquires how these influence the work of composer and performer, as well as their relationship allowing for a collective, shared creativity to emerge, rather than conceptualising it as an individual effort.
The pieces produced during the course of this research develop across both temporal and spatial artistic domains, appropriating and transforming technologies and practices that are linked to what could be called immersive art (from multichannel installations to Augmented and even Virtual Reality). The project is also an alternative, low-tech and DIY reaction to much of the hype associated with those highly commercial, spectacular entertainments.
The present artistic research, extending across a number of artistic fields and disciplines, is thus strongly motivated by looking for a definition of sonic immersion that can be alternative to those proposed by the mainstream discourses and alternative in its practices.

I am a composer, performer and sound artist mostly devoted to experimental sonic arts. I studied composition with Rosario Mirigliano in the Conservatory of Florence. I hold an MA in composition and music technology from the same conservatory (2012) and a Bachelor in Philosophy from La Sapienza, Rome (2006). I also completed the IRCAM Cursus in Paris (2013-2014). Currently I am a PhD candidate in the department of Media, of Aalto University, Helsinki, researching case-specific sonic experiences. My artistic work, in the intersection between music, sound art and electronic lutherie, includes compositions, installations and mixed media performances, involving interconnected audiovisual ecosystems, where material phenomena extend in the virtual digital world and complex feedback networks are established between the two realms. With media artist Roberto Fusco I founded the audiovisual project quietSpeaker.I am in the board of the association Äänen Lumo (Charm of Sound), to promote experimental music and sound art in Helsinki. I am a strong supporter of open and DIY culture, and my work is all available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence. My works have been performed or exhibited in Europe and Usa, for institutions such as Ircam (FR), Biennale Musica (IT), Ars Electronica (AU), Currents New Media (USA), Musica (FR), Impuls and KUG (AU), Muziekcentrum De Bijloke (BE), Centre Henri Pousseur (BE), STUK (BE), Boston University (USA), Nuova Consonanza (IT), Sibelius Academy (FI) and others. Since my biographer is busy, I wrote this my-self in first person.

Sound in 6 degrees-of-freedom VR/AR

By Sebastian J. Schlecht
Guest Speaker

Recent advances in tracking technology brought wide-spread accessibility to room-scale virtual experiences providing the user with movement in 6-Degrees-of-Freedom. But how to create compelling soundscapes that the spectator can freely explore? The possibility to travel through space leads to many technical, perceptual, and design challenges as complex acoustics scenes need to be adapted in real time. Purely physical acoustics rendering continues to be too demanding, particularly for mobile platforms. The most promising results rely on a mixture of efficient algorithms, perceptual subspaces, and sound design. This talk presents recent advances for sound in XR, including virtual room acoustics and insights into auditory perception and sound production in room-scale experiences.

Sebastian J. Schlecht is a Professor of Practice for Sound in Virtual Reality – a joint appointment at the Acoustics Labs, Department of Signal Processing and Acoustics and Media Labs, Department of Art and Media, of Aalto University, Finland. He received the Diploma in Applied Mathematics from the University of Trier, Germany in 2010 and an M.Sc. degree in Digital Music Processing from Queen Mary University of London, U.K., in 2011. In 2017, he received a Doctoral degree at the International Audio Laboratories Erlangen, Germany, on the topic of artificial spatial reverberation and reverberation enhancement systems. From 2012 to 2019, Dr. Schlecht was also external research and development consultant and lead developer of the 3D Reverb algorithm at the Fraunhofer IIS, Erlangen, Germany. Between 2010 and 2019, he spent half his working time as a touring and recording musician playing internationally with bands such as Mighty Oaks, David Lemaitre, and Get Well Soon.

His research interests are acoustic modeling and auditory perception of acoustics, analysis and synthesis of feedback systems, music information retrieval, and virtual and augmented reality and their artistic applications.

He is the recipient of multiple journal and conference best paper awards, including JAES (2020), WASPAA (2019), DAFx (2018, 2021, 2022), and AES AVAR (2018).