Speaker: Professor Nicola Dibben, University of Sheffield
This paper investigates an emerging new musical multimedia form—interactive musical/sonic art experiences in audio augmented reality.
It is common to think of augmented reality (AR) as visual, in which imagery is overlaid onto a scene viewed through a screen.
However, it can also take aural form—audio augmented reality— in which (spatialised) headphone sound is integrated with (or more commonly) overlays audio from the physical environment surrounding the listener.
Previous research has focused on the technical challenges and realisation of sound spatialisation, interactivity, and storytelling in extended reality formats.
It has less frequently addressed what audio augmented reality means for musicking (presentational and participatory) and musical aesthetics.
Building on Parry’s (2014) insights into the relationship between locative media, open form and spatialised sound, I analyse a range of examples, including Moonmoons AR app(Anna Meredith, 2019).
I use this to identify distinct approaches to music in audio augmented reality and highlight specific material, aesthetic and phenomenological characteristics of and possibilities for audio augmented reality music, including compositional and listener agency and interactivity, visualisation of sound, the open-work and ludification.
In doing so I reflect on what this emerging new media affords for musicking and how music might be experienced in a metaverse of audio AI assistants whispering in our ears.
About the Speaker:
Nicola Dibben is Professor in Music at the University of Sheffield. She has over 60 publications in psychology of music and popular music studies, and is former editor of the academic journals Empirical Musicology Review and Popular Music.
Publications include the co-authored Music and Mind in Everyday Life (2010), Sounds Icelandic (2019), and monograph Björk (2009), the latter of which lead to a collaboration on the artist’s multi-media app album, Biophilia (2011).
Current projects include an investigation into social and environmental action through music, and research into the implications of extended reality technologies and AI for music makers and listeners.