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SOTS 2017 : Sounding Out the Space: An International Conference on the Spatiality of Sound


When Nov 2, 2017 - Nov 4, 2017
Where Dublin
Submission Deadline Mar 31, 2017
Categories    sound art   music   technology   visual art

Call For Papers


Date: 2–4 November 2017
Location: Dublin School of Creative Arts, DIT Grangegorman Campus
Organisers: DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, Dublin School of
Creative Arts, GradCAM
Partners: Contemporary Music Centre, Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Society
for Musicology in Ireland, Solstice Gallery, Spatial Music Collective

Conference website:

Keynote Speakers:
Brandon LaBelle – artist, writer and theorist (Bergan Academy of Art and Design)
Bill Fontana – American artist and composer

Sound is an inherently spatial phenomenon. No matter what its point of
origin, be it a musical instrument, a voice, an audio speaker, or
another sound-producing entity, sound must navigate space before
reaching our ears. On this journey it enters into a complex relational
dynamic with the surrounding environment: it may be amplified,
distorted, reverberated, dissipated and subject to a multitude of
transformations which modify it in different ways. While this dynamic
is an intrinsic part of any sonic event, certain artistic endeavours
have sought to exploit this spatial aspect of sound as a distinct
parameter in its own right. Though spatial experiments have a long
history in western music stretching back centuries, the search for
novel means of expression in the twentieth century led to an
unprecedented investigation into the spatiality of sound as an
integral component of the work. From Edgard Varèse’s Poème
électronique to Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Helicopter String Quartet,
such concerns have been at the centre of some of the canonic works of
musical modernism. In the discipline of sound art, auditory dialogues
with the surrounding space have been the defining feature of sound
installations by Max Neuhaus, Bernhard Leitner, Maryanne Amacher and
others, who have sought to locate sound in relation to architecture.
While such work grew out of developments in the wider field of art
installation, increasingly the practices of both sound and art
installation have converged in the work of artists such as Janet
Cardiff and Zimoun forming multi-sensory experiences. Expanding
outwards, the multi-site sound installations of Bill Fontana have
developed the notion of spatiality across geographical locations while
recent innovations in communication and digital technologies have
created virtual networks, redefining our conception of space and
presenting new possibilities for music, sound art and visual art.

Although substantial research on the spatiality of sound has been
carried out within the disciplines of musicology, sound art, and
visual art studies, much of this work has remained separate, enclosed
within these specialised fields of research. This conference aims to
address this imbalance, acknowledging the fluid exchange of ideas
between these spheres in actual practice and fostering an
interdisciplinary spirit amongst researchers and practitioners. The
conference committee thus invites presentations from sound artists,
visual artists, composers, academics, and post-graduate researchers
which consider the spatiality of sound in all its diverse forms. While
the conference remit is broad, the committee especially encourages
contributions which address (but need not be limited by) the following
three strands:

• Sound and Visual Art
‒Contributions from Sound Artists/Visual Artists
‒Convergences between Sound and Visual Art
‒Historical Perspectives
‒Modes of Listening
‒Sound Architectures

• Spatial Music
‒Analytical Accounts
‒Attempts at Definition/Theorisation
‒Composer Perspectives
‒History of Spatial Music
‒Listener Perception
‒Performance Challenges
‒The Role of Sound Technologies

• Geographic and Virtual Spaces
‒Digital Networks and Communications Technologies
‒Live Streaming and Web-cast
‒Interactivity and Participation

Proposals are invited in the following formats:

•Individual Papers (20 mins duration plus 10 mins discussion)
•Joint Papers (max 2 speakers, same format as above)
•Themed Sessions (3 papers totalling 90 mins or 4 papers totalling 120 mins)
•Panel and Roundtable Discussions (90 mins, max 6 speakers)

Proposals for individual and joint papers must be in the form of an
abstract not exceeding 250 words. Proposals for themed sessions,
panels and roundtable discussions should not be more than 800 words
and should indicate the number and title of each individual paper with
its abstract. Abstracts may be submitted in either a Microsoft Word
document or via a PDF attachment. All proposals should include the
name, contact details, institutional affiliation (if any), technical
requirements, as well as a short biographical note of not more than
100 words of each speaker. The conference language is English.
Proposals should be submitted to

All proposals will be subject to a double-blind review process by the
conference’s scientific committee which is comprised of specialists
from the disciplines of sound art, visual art and musicology.
Applicants will receive notification as to whether their proposal has
been accepted by early May 2017.

The deadline for submissions is 31 March 2017

Conference Committee
Dr Adrian Smith (Conference Chair)
Dr Brian Fay (Acting Head of School, Dublin School of Creative Arts, DIT)
Dr Mark Fitzgerald (Senior Lecturer, DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama)
Dr Noel Fitzpatrick (Head of Research, College of Arts and Tourism, DIT)
Dr Kerry Houston (Head of Academic Studies, DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama)
Martin McCabe (Centre for Transcultural Research and Media Practice, DIT)
Jonathan Nangle (Composer and Senior Lecturer, Royal Irish Academy of Music)

Scientific Committee
Dr Enda Bates (Composer and founding member of the Spatial Music Collective)
Dr Brian Bridges (Ulster University)
Jennie Guy (Independent Curator)
Dr Kerry Hagan (Digital Media and Arts Research Centre, University of Limerick)
Fiona Kearney (Director, Glucksman Gallery, Cork)
Dr Victor Lazzarini (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
Dr Linda O’Keefe (University of Lancaster)
Dr Karen Power (University College Cork)
Belinda Quirke (Director, Solstice Arts Gallery, Navan)
Prof Pedro Rebelo (Sonic Arts Research Centre, Queen's University Belfast)

For further details please email:

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