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STEIM Events | STEIM Events Archive 2011

30 November - 2 December 2011 | Workshop | €40 €80 €120

Wave field synthesis composers workshop

Workshop on creating unique and interactive sonic spaces with WFS

Original annoucement:

Three-day workshop exploring technical and musical concerns when using wave field synthesis. Featuring The Game of Life's 192-loudspeaker mobile Wave Field Synthesis system (WFS). The workshop is hosted by Wouter Snoei en Ji Youn Kang.


Wave Field Synthesis is a technique for distributing sound through space based on physical law, the Huygens principle, applied to sound. The WFS system from the Game of Life foundation is the only portable system in the world, consisting of 192 speakers set up in a square of say 10 by 10 meters. Amazingly, it is possible to move sounds outside the square of speakers, up until 200 meters away. The interface for the system is very capable of working with sounds algorithmically or draw movements with a mouse or pen, registering the speed of movement, thus enabling a very precise and organic way of composing. The worksop will introduce the principle of WFS, working with the system,  including the possibility for real-time design of sounds. Although the system's software is based on SuperCollider, it is not necessary to know about SuperCollider to work with the system's software.

Nov 30. Introduction to technology and software for real-time control and composition 19.00 - 22.00 hrs.

Dec 1. Composition masterclass 11.00 - 14.00 hrs and 15.00 - 18.00 hrs.

Dec 2. Hands-on practice and presentation of the workshop ideas 12.30 - 16.00 hrs and 17.00 - 19.00 hrs.

€ 40 introduction (Nov 30th), € 120 for 3 days.

Discount price € 80 for 3 days, available for students and members of Geneco and C96 (to be mentioned in the registration form at "Affiliation of School or Institute").

You can register through the registration form above.


Some low-cost lodging may be available for those coming from outside of Amsterdam.
More info about WFS and The Game of Life:
The workshop is part of the Wavefields festival, more info:

Address: OT 301 Overtoom 301 Amsterdam Tram 1, stop at J.P. Heijestraat

Wave Field Synthesis (WFS) is a sound production technology designed specifically for spatial audio rendering. Virtual acoustic environments are simulated and synthesised using large numbers of loudspeakers. The innovation of this technology is that sound can appear to emanate from desired virtual starting points, and then move through space in many possible defined spatial pathways. The WFS system from The Game of Life consists of 192 speakers, which are arranged in a square formation of 10 by 10 meters. Within this formation sounds can be composed to move within this square space, however the interesting point is that it is also possible to move sounds outside of this loudspeaker square. So the question is what makes this phenomenon possible considering the loudspeakers are all physically directed inwards.

Sound waves can be compared by analogy to concentric water waves. Suppose one throws a stone into the water. At the point where the stone makes contact with the water surface, spherical waves are created. Imagine that these waves were to encounter a series of boundary points, which consisted of a series of poles, then behind these poles new small waves would emerge. If these poles were placed equidistant from each other, then these small waves would eventually reform into the original wave again. The WFS system works in a similar fashion. Instead of poles in water, our sound waves encounter boundary points of individual loudspeakers placed equidistant from each other. The composer can ‘throw’ their sounds into the space like stones into the water. Using specially designed software, the composer can programme sounds to move in space and to follow many possible trajectory’s. A sound could appear to originate from a fixed point and remain there or it could be programmed to move in patterns within and outside the square formation of the loudspeaker arrays. This possibility of being able to move sounds ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ the direct listening environment offers endless creative opportunities for the artist. The composer can also choose to have sound events manifest physically both inside and outside the speaker array formation. For example, it would be possible to render the sound of thunder rumbling in the far off distance just as one would experience it in nature! This can be accomplished by simply reproducing the appropriate sound pressure level to evoke such a sonic environment in the loudspeaker square. The ‘outer’ sound waves then are reconstructed by multiple loudspeakers. Conventional sound reproduction techniques like stereo and surround suggest spatial movements, by perceptually tricking one’s brain using knowledge informed by principles of psychoacoustics.

Wouter Snoei (1977) studied at the Institute of Sonology (Royal Conservatoire of The Hague). He worked in various fields of music practice, all involving electronic music. Wouter was sound director in several performances of electro-acoustic pieces by Luigi Nono, John Cage and Gérard Grisey. He works regularly with Slagwerkgroep Den Haag, ASKO Kamerkoor and VocalLab. Wouter also performed with Jasper Blom and other jazz artists at the North Sea Jazz festival, and as a dance producer in many Dutch club venues.
In the past few years Wouters focus has shifted more and more towards composition and performance of solo live electronics and electro-acoustic music, adding live control as part of electronic composition. His recent piece Particles for reed instruments and live electronics was performed by Calefax Reedquintet in 2007. Furthermore Wouter is involved as composer and developer of Wave Field Synthesis, a spatial sound system involving 192 loudspeakers placed around an audience, and as a teacher at the Utrecht School of Arts and the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague. BVHaast released a CD entitled Tactile with a cross-section of his work in april 2009.

She was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1977. She studied Music Composition at the Chu-Gye University of the Arts from 1998 to 2002 and was taught by Yong Shil Park. In 2003 she also continued studying as a research student in the Computer Music Department at Han-Yang University. At that time, she joined the ‘Super Jang-Go’ project, rebuilding an instrument to an electronic one using sensors and MSP.

She moved to the Netherlands in 2006, and in 2008 she acheived her master's degree in Sonology 2nd phase in the Royal Conservatoire in Hollands under Paul Berg, and  expanded her knowledge in Electro-Acoustic music and Music composition. From 2009 to 2011, she continued studying Composition at Conservatorium van Amsterdam under Wim Henderickx and Jorrit Tamminga, where she achieved her Master's degree and explored more for composing instruments and electronics. She as well composes for purely instrumental music; her piece for the project with the Nieuw Ensemble, 'Enfolding Plane' shows her reinterpretation of her own tape piece later translated into the instrumental music.

Most of her pieces have been written based on the Korean traditional music, especially ritual and folk music, trying to acheive her own musical colors and language that are expressed by computer generated sounds and multichannel system. Upon the aims, she composed a series of Electronic music pieces 'Nea-Rim Gut,' a representitive Korean shamanic ritual, and 9 pieces for the Wave Field Synthesis System (192 loudspeakers). Her pieces have been played in many different places and festivals including the Gaudeamus music week, Sonic Acts in the Netherlands, and Synthesis in France.

She is also working with different composers as a sound designer and a music technician, creating electronic patches and sounds for their compositions. Currently she is working as a freelancer and as a research associated in Sonology.

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