Lead Research Organisation: University of Liverpool
Department Name: Sch of Music


This research aims to find new applications for the auditory arts-with respect to both fields of
composition and sound art- through the design of new systems and devices that can increase
the interactivity of sonic performance spaces. The use of interactive technology for art purposes
has been rapidly growing with the advent of digital technology, mainly through computer
automation and sensors (e.g. motion, touch, heat, camera, distance and several other
functions). Artists often search for technological solutions to accomplish aesthetic ideals, raising
the need for specifically designed tools that may be absent, neither commercially available nor
freely distributed. Thus, taking the perspective of a composer and sound artist for the research
outset and further working alongside innovation and within companies in the UK's North West,
it is possible to generate, experiment and suggest new design models for art and industrial
purposes. This investigation poses questions of different natures; such as utilitarian
questions-how can design contribute to the sonic arts?-historical-what has been adopted
by the sonic arts for interactivity through recent digital technology?-and questions linked to
cognitive branches, such as 'what can be learnt from all the different mechanisms of human
interaction within the sonic arts?'

The research will be developed through a practical methodology and a series of short term (3-
6 months) projects. This embodies artistic practice -musical performances, digital recordings,
exhibitions of mixed media art and installations-and experimentation with new loudspeaker
designs, sound spatialisation systems, sensor interactivity and other technologies, facilitated
by the production of bespoke electronics, software engineering and product design. The
process of each individual project may start either from an aesthetic goal or from
experimentation with recent developed technology. The second phase will consist of
establishing industrial partnerships for developing prototypes and the final stage is a set of
performance, compositional development and user trialability.


10 25 50
Title Bi-dimensional. Composition for Alto Flute and Live Electronics. 
Description Bi-dimensional explores the interaction between 'pitch space' and the 'auditory space'. When the alto flute plays certain notes, an electronic sound moves between six loudspeakers positioned behind the audience. The result is that the flute is able to assume the role of a spatial conductor. In some sections, this interaction is 'linear', where the changes in pitch are equivalent to the spatial shift between the loudspeakers. In other sections, the interaction is non-linear, generating interactive gestures or bi-dimensional shapes. Through the Max MSP platform, software was specifically designed for this type of interaction. 
Type Of Art Composition/Score 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact This resulted in an original performance for the Open Circuit Festival in 2017, which was recorded with state-of-the-art techniques of 3D audio and video and displayed on YouTube. In addition, the same composition was used in a 'sound canvas', using the same software for user interaction. 
Title Ceramica Soundscape. Sound Art Interactive Installation. Tate Liverpool, UK. 
Description The sound installation Ceramica was developed in collaboration with EcaLab, a team of researchers who explore the use of ceramic material for architecture. The soundscape created for Ceramica aims to support the tangible relationship between people and sound spatialisation. The mechanism was designed for directional sound, thus having individual speakers in 70 ceramic cones, operating as acoustic chambers. This allows the audience to feel close to the sound they are manipulating through their hands. A combination of synthesised sounds, random signals and lights elaborate a unique environment that through an auditory futuristic image suggests innovative ways for the application of sonic or solid materials. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact The installation attracted hundreds of people to the Tate Museum in Liverpool. It generated ideas for designing circuit boards for the purposes of sound interaction in galleries. 
Title Immanence. Composition for Percussion Trio and Augmented Instruments 
Description This composition investigated the use of technology design for augmented instruments. Bespoke circuit boards with WiFi, LEDs, accelerometer and sensitivity sensors were designed and protected by 3D printed cases. The devices were attached to bows and mallets, generating augmented interaction by the performers. For instance, percussion sounds are modulated or light up when the performers move their bows or vibrate their mallets. 
Type Of Art Composition/Score 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact This composition has been performed as part of the Open Circuit Festival in 2019. The technology used has been further developed and has potential for commercialisation. 
Title Sound Canvas 
Description A 'sound canvas' or 'musical painting' is composed by the spatialisation of sound inside a small area, in which the spectators position themselves in front of the sound field to experience the composition. These pieces are comprised of an array of loudspeakers and a compact multichannel system hidden behind a canvas. This approach offers a range of possibilities to the field of composition and sound art, as it can be representative (e.g. soundscapes), performative, interactive or conceptual. Musical paintings share the same physical space as traditional paintings, but instead being composed of paint and other plastic or visual material, they are composed mainly of sounds. Endless approaches can be taken to express art and sound through this format. For instance, sounds can be spatialised to different angles of a canvas and utilising techniques of sound localisation and cinematic stereophony, an illusion of sound navigating through space can be achieved. Extra-sensory works can also create an artificial synaesthesia, such as pieces employing LED lights and other visual elements that are combined or synchronised with sound. 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact Several sound canvasses have been developed between 2016 and 2020. The technology developed from simple stereo audio codecs to bespoke circuit boards for multichannel audio. A conference paper has been published for the Proceedings of the International Conference on New Musical Concepts and Inspired Education (ICNMC) 2019. 
Title Sound Graffiti: Technogenesis, Public Installation in Elsinore and Aalborg, Denmark. 
Description Sound Graffiti is a project that consists of the use of loudspeakers, sensors and transceivers to create sonic networks inside urban areas. Bespoke multichannel circuit boards were developed for this purpose. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact An installation was displayed in Elsinore (as part of CATCH Summer Camp) and Aalborg (as part of the 8th International Conference on the Histories of Media Arts 2019, RE: SOUND). This project has called attention of other academics and is being further developed in collaboration with RMIT in Melbourne, Australia, for future installations. It led the project research to the design of sound devices that operate through solar panels. 
Title Syntony. Composition for Cello, Live Electronics and Live Painting 
Description This was a composition made for exploring live interaction between visual arts and music. It uses Max MSP, Arduino boards and ultrasonic sensors. The sensors were attached to the canvas, thus the painter's position could be tracked and modulate the cello sound in real-time. 
Type Of Art Composition/Score 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact This composition was performed at the Bridewell Studios & Gallery in Liverpool, in June 2017. 
Title Voci della Terra e del Cielo. Site-specific Composition for Soprano and Tenor, Pisa Baptistery, Italy. 
Description This site-specific composition was designed for an interplay of voices within the acoustics of the Pisa Baptistery (Battistero di San Giovanni). The reverberation time of the Baptistery can reach up to 15 seconds, offering a vast space of time to handle sustained notes. Its reverb sound is created through different resonant frequencies, also offering a unique texture. The composition, therefore, explores chords created only by two voices, leaves gaps of silence so the listeners can focus on the reverb sound, interacts with the room's main resonant frequency and develops a sense of a quasi-static texture. The chosen tuning was A on 432Hz, due to this frequency being close to the room's main resonant frequency and for its relationship with the rotation of the Earth around the sun, which is 136.10Hz (C#). The title, Voices of Earth and Sky, refers to the singer's voices and the Baptistery's resonance coming from the dome. It's a dialogue between sounds of the ground and of higher structures, as well as earth and sky. 
Type Of Art Composition/Score 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact An audio and 360 video recording was taken on the site 20/04/2017 and is available from YouTube. The audio recording was post-produced for a musical painting (sound canvas project). In addition, this resulted in an academic paper presented in conferences. 
Description AudioTrek 
Organisation Pulse Systems
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The research team investigated new technology for people with visual impairments and provided software and tools to the industry partner.
Collaborator Contribution The industry partner provided materials, circuit board design and manufacturing and office space.
Impact The outcome from this partnership was a prototype device, AudioTrek, which is a sensor-based assistive device used for visual sonification. It was made especially for visually impaired people, artists and curators. We intended to develop state-of-the-art algorithms and transform it into sound stimuli to offer new possibilities for navigation in space and new forms of communication for visually impaired people. The device integrates many functions such as colour identification, long distance range finder, obstacle proximity, tag and motion detection. In a gallery setting, the device can identify tags in its field of view and orientated the user in space (exit, toilets, etc) or give information about an artwork on display. Further development of the product was not conducted, however, the technology and software led to posterior projects.
Start Year 2018
Description OPPO 
Organisation Sensor City
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have provided an art installation at the Sensor City reception hall and supplied the partner with information about relevant data collected from the building (temperature, humidity, light, occupancy counter).
Collaborator Contribution The partner has contributed by allowing research to be conducted in their premises and by supplying us with information (BMS) and materials.
Impact This research project was multi-disciplinary, related to architecture and music. In the architecture side, outputs considered room behaviours analysis. For the music field, outputs considered different techniques for mapping data to music scores. The final design considered the ABCJS Javascript library as relevant for converting data to music scores. In addition, the project resulted in conference presentations.
Start Year 2019