Doktorikontsert: Theodore Parker (kitarr ja live-elektroonika)

  • 18:00
  • Kiek in de Kök
Doktorikontsert: Theodore Parker (kitarr ja live-elektroonika)

7.06 kell 18 / Kiek in de Kök
DoktorikontsertTheodore Parker (kitarr ja live-elektroonika)
"Researching the Acoustic Space" ("Uurides akustilist ruumi")

"Tonight’s performance is part of my current research in doctoral studies at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. The research involves creating improvisations based on the awareness of the performer’s acoustic environment.

The sounds I will be producing for the next hour are organized through improvised decision making. No score or plan was produced beforehand. My musical choices will be executed in real-time in this context. Under a different set of circumstances, I would perhaps make very different choices.

Acoustic Environment is a term used to conceptualize the aural domain of a given area. This includes the sounds that regularly occur in a space as well as the ways in which they travel throughout the specified domain. Reverberation can effect our perception of sound by elongating its existence through reflections and modifying spectral content through absorption and phase cancellation. Background noises collect into unified soundscapes. Different types of soundscapes can create atmosphere and even provoke states of mind like anxiety or relaxation.

Through framing the performance space as an acoustic environment, the improviser could create by relating their own material to the overall scope of that acoustic context. In this sense the sonic decisions and choice of material become parts of the environment. The scope of understanding such music shifts to perceiving the entire acoustic context, and not just the creation or organization of artistically chosen sounds.

I have researched this specific space over the course of three months. This includes measuring its reverberation, recording its background sounds, and analyzing my experiences while listening and improvising. To some extent I have developed a relationship with this acoustic space. My goals are focused in the direction of revealing the acoustic context while maintaining my own sonic position inside of the environment.

The reflections off of the walls and the incoming noise bleeding in through the windows are part of tonight’s performance. So are any and all background sounds that may occur during the concert. The following page contains some information about the room’s acoustic qualities. These are offered to help guide the listener in experiencing the environment. It is my recommendation to attempt listening to the entire sonic situation, with my improvisation being just part of that overall acoustic context.

Acoustic Quality

The room’s reverberation time is quite frequency dependent. Upper frequencies tend to decay quickly, at around 0.8 seconds. Lower frequencies last longer at a range of 1-1.4 seconds. On average the reverberation time is around 1.2, which is a bit low when compared with most concert halls.

The size of this room is important to its acoustic effect. Several reflections occur rapidly after an initial sound due to the short distances between the walls, floor, and ceiling. This creates a reverberant field with a lot of sound power in the first 300 milliseconds.

High frequencies during the first 50 milliseconds maintain a strong sound power. This creates a slight echo effect which is perceivable for sudden burst of short sounds. The rigid texture of the stone walls allows for the higher frequency range to be reflected in random directions. The combination of these two phenomenon can make it difficult to localize a sound.

At lower frequencies the sound can be quite directional. Due to the roundness of the hall several reflections can focus the sound at a specific point in the room. However, due to the massive round clock hanging in the center of the room this effect is disturbed and makes it difficult to predict in which spots this will occur.

The noise level here is rather high, especially when the windows are open. There are cooling fans that run non-stop located in the electrical boxes at the back. The sounds of the city enter in through the windows. This creates a soundscape that can be quite dense with the sonic artifacts of cars, conversations, church bells, whistles, and general city sounds. Parks are located across the street and several bird sounds can be identified. On rare occasions birds perch on the window sills creating direct flapping and chirping sounds." (Theodore Parker)