Call for Spatial Audio Workshop & Concert in 2023

OPEN CALL for Artists to participate in Spatial Audio Workshop and Concert at SARC 8 & 9 March 2023

ISSTA is delighted to partner with the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) at Queen’s University Belfast to present a two-day spatial audio workshop and concert programme in March 2023 for composers, sound artists and performers.

This is an open call for artists who wish to develop their sound practice through the use of spatialisation and immersive audio techniques such as ambisonics in the unique setting of the 40+ loudspeaker soundsystem of the Sonic Lab at SARC.

ISSTA will select four artists to develop strategies for bringing their audio work into a spatial audio setting through a group seminar and practical workshop session time in the Sonic Lab (8 March).  Artists will then have the opportunity to present their work at a public concert in the Sonic Lab (9 March) as part of the SARC’s weekly lunchtime concert series. 

Successful artists must be available for the following activities:

  • Group Seminar 8th March 1-2pm
  • An Individual Workshop timeslot 9 March – times vary 10-1 / 2-5pm 
  • Concert 9th March 1-2pm  (Soundchecks 10am-12pm)

Through this programme of events, ISSTA hopes to give the selected artists an opportunity to develop their practice in new directions – both metaphorically and literally – using the Sonic Lab’s soundsystem that forms a ring around the audience across 4 vertical levels – ear-height, cinema-height, ceiling and below. 

Composing space can bring attention to the physical environment of the listener, repositioning other environments, or it can transport the listener to new imagined spaces. The Sonic Lab gives us an opportunity to explore how we use sounds all around, above and below, and we encourage composers to consider how we can extend the dimensions of our listening practices vertically.

For the concert, we are asking artists to respond to the theme of immersion, acoustics and spatial audio either by developing new spatial elements for existing audio works, or by creating new audio works specifically for spatialisation in the Sonic Lab. 

Works may be in any genre of music, audio and sound art, and may involve spatialising elements of live performance, or focus on audio playback. 

Successful artists will be invited to consultation meetings with ISSTA and SARC staff on how to best spatialise their audio.  They will then bring multi-track stem audio files to the Sonic Lab and be guided through spatialisation processes in a workshop with ISSTA team and SARC staff. 

We are particularly interested in hearing from emerging composers and early career researchers who may not have had opportunities to use spatial soundsystems. 

We have a very small budget to support travel. This will be allocated depending on the needs of the participants. At the moment, we can only guarantee a contribution of €100 towards costs for those not in receipt of institutional support.  

How to Submit:

Deadline for submissions: 17th January 2023

Please prepare a folder (named with Artist name) including the following files for your submission: (1) Sample audio file(s), (2) Text document file, (3) Image files (Landscape orientation):

(1) Audio File(s) Max 3

  • Examples of existing work that is indicative of what you hope to present in Sonic Lab
  • Naming format: ArtistName_TrackName.mp3
  • Duration of example audio: 2-5 mins
  • Audio format: stereo/binaural, mp3/aac file

(2) Text Document File

  • Naming format: ArtistName (.doc or .pdf preferable)
  • Include
    • Artist name and homepage URL
    • Artist contact e-mail 
    • Statement on what kind of audio work you wish to present in the Sonic Lab and how it develops upon your existing practice (150 words max)
    • Statement to contextualise Audio File example(s) in relation to what you will hope to develop and present in the Sonic Lab (100 words max)
    • Artist bio (100 words)

(3) Image File(s) Max 3

  • Naming format: ArtistName_# (.jpg preferable)
  • One or more images of you
  • Image(s) in landscape orientation
  • Image(s) may be used in promotional material if selected.

How to upload:

Please use the file uploader here: https://www.dropbox.com/request/bkJz2hvICd1RKe5p0LUh  

Please drag and drop your folder containing the requested files (or a compressed .zip) into the uploader. 

If you have any questions, please send an email to: issta.pres@gmail.com

The loudspeaker arrangement and specification of the Sonic Lab can be found here: https://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/ael/Discover/facilities/soniclab/SonicLabSpecs/ 

Submissions will be reviewed by 31 Jan, and successful artists will be notified by 3rd Feb.