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Publication - Professor Neal Farwell

    Composing for high density loudspeaker arrays (if you haven't got one)


    Farwell, N, 2018, ‘Composing for high density loudspeaker arrays (if you haven't got one)’.


    At the same time as domestic multichannel audio becomes more possible, so the scale of institutional HDLAs is increasing – along with their unique aesthetic and research potential. There are ironies. While making the original version of my piece Echoes, time-sharing constraints on the host system (the Virginia Tech Cube) meant that much of the composing was done on headphones and laptop in my hotel room. The reworking for BEAST was done in stereo at home, and is also necessarily speculative. Yet it is also informed by my cumulative experience on large systems, including BEAST itself, something not available to every ‘bedroom’ composer. This talk discusses: 1) the modules of the piece, illustrating some experiments with spatializing on High Density Loudspeaker Array; 2) an aesthetic decision to compose for the particular loudspeakers and configuration of the VT Cube, rather than compose ‘spatiality’ then render it; 3) the way the composing happened, a lot of it in stereo with the target ‘in my head’; 4) the even more speculative process of reworking the piece for BEAST; and 5) some thoughts on bedroom composing, and why institutional HDLAs still matter.

    Full details in the University publications repository