Monday, 18 November 2013

Sound You Can Walk Inside, #SXSC3, Creative Digifest, Southampton, UK

SXSC3 Creative DigiFest, 19 November 2013

Digital Economy Strategic Research Group, University of Southampton

#SXSC3 Speaker profile: Ben Mawson

Benjamin Louis Mawson, Composer and Virtual Performance Developer‏. 

Working to make music composed in the digital studio come alive through motion-tracked real-time interactivity, using 3DBARE.
Ben’s recent work has included sound effects for a London stage production of
-  Bulgakov’s “Heart of a Dog” (simulating Moscow 1920s streets and domestic interiors) and the
-  Cotswold Motoring Museum (vintage motor racing audio in surround sound in the new exhibition space).

He has composed extensively for chamber ensemble in addition to more recent acoustic commissions including
-  “ROOM” (2011), in conceptual art show “Parallax” at John Hansard Gallery, Southampton (excerpt) and
- “Dreaming at the Circular Ruins” (2012), South Bank Centre, London.

Recent compositional work and his PhD thesis are about how composition in the digital studio can be made to simulate acoustic music impossible for human hands: 
doing things that seem to be happening but aren't, creating music you can walk inside and investigate like a physical structure, augmenting the auditory reality of a place.

He is currently working on a commission from New Dimensions (funded by Hampshire County Council) to build a community-based immersive Audio Portrait of Gosport, South East Hampshire, interpreting, depicting, augmenting the acoustic history and present of this pivotal historic port town.

It uses noTours software to create a geo-located multi-layered musical composition that draws on the contributions of hundreds of speaking, singing and playing residents and visitors to the town and is connected by a complex web of structurally linked fragments of virtual sonic reality. 

The composition will cover several hundred acres of the town, accessible via noTours software for Android.

Recent guest presentations on immersive audio have included Cap Gemini and Google, schools in Southampton and the Landscape Institute.


Ben is working on ways to present music created in the digital studio so the experience is continually changeable, impossible to hear the same way twice. These include multi-room speaker installations, GPS-based tracking with noTours software and wireless head-tracking (3DBARE) for listeners in an interior space - Music You Can Walk Inside.

He has a monthly show on internet radio station Basic.fm (Broadcast Art, Sound & Independent Culture) and posts regular articles at http://benjamin-mawson.blogspot.com.

In this event for SXSC3, Ben Mawson will be presenting noTours and 3DBARE, two distinct tools for listeners to walk inside an audio landscape. 3DBARE (under development) is a revolutionary approach to the creation of ‘digital liveness’, making repeated experience of fixed output continually changeable: Music You Can Walk Inside.

noTours software, by Spanish sound collective Escoitar.org is a means to annotate landscapes with audio via a GPS-enabled Android phone handset.

Ben will deliver a Master Class on Annotating Landscape with Sound, using GPS-based tool noTours  at the Avenue campus 65 / 2149 10-4 on December 6:  

“Annotating landscape with sound: an introduction to building geo-located audio sculpture.” 

A practical session on building geo-located sound structures in the landscape. 

Learn how to use the (free) editor software, build soundmaps, publish your work and share it with listeners: 

Watch Ben's video about working with noTours at St Paul's Cathedral here: