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Prix 1987 - 2007

ORF Oberösterreich

Maryanne Amacher

"The Levi-Montalcini Variations" by Maryanne Amacher is more a sonic installation as a composition in the more conventional sense, it is a monumental wall of sound. It is massive, overwhelming, unrelenting and unyielding; but, once the hearing changes gear to adjust to these features, a myriad of details appear to spring from the texture, and somehow one is drawn completely into Amacher's rescaled world.

"The Levi-Montalcini Variations" is a new work which I am developing for emerging 3-D audio platforms anticipating the extended storage capacities of the near future. Taking VR (Virtual Realitiy), 3-D sonic imaging and graphics, telepresence, and cyberspace as a point of departure, the work examines possibilities of individualizing multi-dimensional sonic environments for listeners and for spaces. With today´s programmable immersive technologies, interactive scenarios can be created which focus on multiple perceptual viewpoints as we respond to auditory events. Immersive "aural architectures" are constructed, addressing new concepts of experience design ­ an approach to auditory communication with sonic perceptual information being processed by the listener, in addition to sonic information produced acoustically.

A virtual auditory environment is designed in which people navigate through sonic architectures composed of rare and unusual atmospheres. The experience of being there is simulated perceptually, by the "Transformative Modifier Scores" an interactive interface in which sonic events are transformed to sound "as if" perceived in these particular environments. An evolving narrative will be created in serialized Episodes for interacting with Lead Characters (The Sound Stars) and Supporting Sonic Characters using immersive digital technologies. The work may be produced as a series of installations customized for specific locations (with hard disc re-programming); and for the multi-platforms of emerging media and telecommunication technologies: VR, DVD, sonic theaters, interactive audio cable, home 3-D surround theaters, interactive TV/radio simulcast.

My goal is to compose environment-oriented sculpture that becomes a virtual part of the architecture of our living places. These would be multi-dimensional sonic environments accompanied by imaginative scenarios for entering the interior of the music, accompanied by a score in the form of interactive software for people to construct and transform the aural architecture of these worlds. Certainly the kind of "transformative" variations which I am composing cannot be vividly experienced with the mouse or other such simplistic interfaces. Bruce Toggnazzini, founder of Apple's Human Interface Group (1985) discusses in a recent interview how the interface he helped develop for Macintosh has become an obstacle. He suggests abhandoning our keyboard-centric view of computers. Design instead for a computer that leads you away from thinking about computers as tools you use and toward thinking of them as a space you enter. Rooms, walls, and corridors that sing.