VR + 3D Audio

Disrupt/Construct (2017)

Graham and Manzione

“Memory is malleable. Whether intentionally or otherwise, human beings have a tendency to misremember parts of their personal histories. Misremembering may provide the means to manage a troubled past—a method of self preservation—an escape from prior traumatic events. Accepted personal narratives may not necessarily be representative of the truth even though they may be based on factually accurate information or what an actor may presume to be the case.” 

Disrupt/Construct is a performance piece regarding the origin of object and place. An improvising musician and visual artist explore assumptions about personal memory and the disruption of automatic trust in paramnesia. A history of of the musician’s gesture data is recorded from an augmented instrument and mapped to determine a variety of interactions between sounds and objects within a complex virtual scene. The visual artist has a degree of control over the unfolding virtual environment through a motion tracking system, which allows the accompanying performer to interact with the objects to trigger additional audio samples within a static timbre space. The audience views a projection of the artist’s first-person view within the virtual environment in addition to viewing the improvising musician in the physical performance space. This piece seeks to reposition or re-contextualize performance systems design within the context of virtual reality environments while exploring where a music performance–and by extension the human performer–may be situated along the Reality-Virtuality Continuum. This piece will be premiered at NIME 2017 in Copenhagen.


Mixing Between Ambisonic Soundfields in VR

Four A-Format recordings of my music are decoded and placed in four quadrants of an ambisonic cube array. A performer may use trackable items (headset, hand controllers etc.) to mix between the 3d audio recordings while in VR.

Sound Objects in VR

Mono audio sources are attached to objects in VR allowing a performer to interact and perform with physics-enabled structures. Axial data may be mapped to impact timbral and spatial location cues.


To Notice and Remember (2016)

Cluett, Graham, and Manzione

This piece was first shown as part of Space Between the Skies at Apex Art in March 2016.

This project was made in collaboration with Seth Cluett and Chris Manzione by using virtual reality technology and a custom ambisonic spatial audio system to immerse viewers in an uncanny 3D environment. By using sophisticated LIDAR technology and 360° audio recording equipment, this group captured a site in New Jersey to create a virtual reality experience that sonically guides the viewer into a serene, enveloping space. The recording from the scanner by Manzione is purposefully incomplete and fractured. Cluett and Graham then re-fill the space left over from the imprecision of the scan with ambient swells and flourishes. Recombined in virtual reality, the original recorded visual data represents a fleeting memory, while the aural interpretations act as an attempt to regain what was lost. Where Paul Virilio would suggest that the virtual “window” or “teleport” would create a sensation of “no more delay” or “no more relief,” this piece instead offers a contemplative manifestation of how we try to hold on to lingering impressions.

Gallery Exhibitions and Festivals in 2016:
Apex Art Gallery – SoHo, New York City, NY, USA
PropellerFest – Hoboken, NJ, USA
Moving Image Immersive Media Festival at Alt Art Space – Istanbul, Turkey
Weird Realities Conference – Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
iDMAa – Winona State University, USA

Coverage in 2016:
New York Times