EVENTS AND LATEST NEWS
The Leeds International Medieval Congress provides an interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of all aspects of Medieval Studies. It is that interdisciplinary character that makes this conference the perfect scenario to address the medieval soundscapes in their broadest sense, assessing our sonic past from a variety of perspectives.
The Department of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media (University of York) seeks abstracts on Medieval soundscapes for IMC 2020, to be delivered in a session about sound and acoustics. The aim is to bring together speakers from a great variety of disciplines and provide participants with an opportunity to discuss important aspects on the experience, perception and understanding of different sound environments.
We welcome papers in all disciplines related with sound and acoustics. Relevant topics might include (but are not limited to):
· Medieval sounds and soundscapes
· Philosophical or sociological reflections on medieval soundscapes
· Societal functions of sound, noise, and music
· Sound and gender
· Acoustics of heritage sites
· Virtual acoustics
· Game audio and music to experience the past
· Parallels between the medieval and modern experiences of sonic events
You may find information about the conference, as well as information regarding the technical instructions, on the IMC 2020 website: https://www.imc.leeds.ac.uk/
The technical program will consist of 20-minute presentations for each paper, followed by a discussion.
If you are interested in presenting at the session please send an abstract (300 words max), 3 keywords, and a short biography (100 words) by email to Lidia Alvarez (email@example.com) by September 1, 2019.
Cathedral Acoustics in CDH York 2019
June has been a month full of events. Just after Inter.noise 2019, in the afternoon of Monday 24th June 2019, I attended the Centre for Digital Heritage Conference at the University of York. The conference put together the great variety of research projects around digital heritage, showing how the use of leading-edge technology and virtual reality tools help us to move heritage research further. We participated with a talk on Cathedral Acoustics and their sound as an important part of their Intangible Heritage.
In order to see the complete program of the conference do click here.
Cathedral Acoustics in Inter.noise 2019
On 16th -19th June I was attending Inter.noise 2019 in Madrid, Spain. Three intense days full of fantastic talks, demos, meetings and networking. Participants from more than 60 countries met in the capital city of Spain to share information about the latest scientific developments in acoustics.
The acoustic study of heritage building was a hot topic during the conference, with presentations on the "Acoustic characterization of Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela", on the "Characteristic function of impulse responses in churches" and on the use of "Auralization as a tool of historic reconstruction of Vadstena abbey church". Our contribution, with a conference paper entitled "Cathedral Acoustics: Bristol Cathedral as a case study" received very good feed-back and lot of interest was shown during the poster session on the morning on the 17th June. I also presented a paper on the "Reverberation perception in Spanish cathedrals" fruit of a previous work carried out at the University of Seville.
As an extra, I had the pleasure to share these days with our colleague and collaborator, Angel Alvarez-Corbacho.
Cathedral Acoustics in the Festival of Ideas 2019 - Discovery Zone
- Where Would you Like to Sing?-
On 1st June 2019, Mariana Lopez and myself, Lidia Alvarez, spent the day in the city centre of York bringing the acoustics of heritage sites closer to the 2425 people that came along to the event. We developed an activity to show the participants how a space modifies a sound and how that information can be recovered and used. Just wearing a pair of headphones, they could hear what they were saying in front of a microphone in 4 different spaces: a cave in Scotland, a national park in Finland, a cathedral here in Yorkshire, and a Roman theatre in Spain. They were virtually transported to that spaces, by listening to their own voices as if they were physically in the chosen space, and that is why we named our activity "Where Would you Like to Sing?". The feedback received was very positive and most of the participant wanted to know more about the science behind this and the Cathedral Acoustic project. Children reaction was amazing in some cases, specially when they listened to their voices in the interior of the cave and also when they were dared to sing in the nave of Ripon cathedral.
We would like to thanks the organisation for make things so easy for us and to Claudia Nader for their kind help during the event.
If you want to know more do visit the website of the event by clicking here.
Acoustic measurement sessions at the York Minster
The acoustic measurement sessions of the York Minster were carried out during the evenings of May 26th and 29th, when the cathedral was unoccupied. Seven positions of the sound source were necessary to characterise the peculiar acoustic behaviour of this magnificent Gothic cathedral, all of them chosen considering the present and past use of the space, and also taking into account its architectural features. A total of 76 receiver positions were distributed throughout the different audience/congregation areas, in which the room impulse responses were registered by using two types of microphones (B-format and dummy head). The monaural and binaural RIR registered are being currently anlysed.
The research team of the project, CATHEDRAL ACOUSTICS, and the University of York acknowledge the Dean and the staff of the cathedral for their kind collaboration and assistance during the measurements. We also would like to thanks all the volunteers helping during the measurements, their collaboration was crucial to be able to perform the measurements.
Cathedral Acoustics in AES DUBLIN 2019
- AES 146th PRO AUDIO CONVENTION-
Dublin hosted the AES 146th PRO AUDIO CONVENTION, 4 days full of paper and poster presentations, workshops and technical tours, and tutorials on the most diverse topics relating with audio and acoustics. This international convention brought together researchers and experts from 47 countries to discuss and share the latest advances in their fields. The organisers created a perfect atmosphere to promote the interaction between industry and academia, providing greater opportunities for networking and research dissemination.
On the second day of the convention, I had the opportunity to give a tutorial entitled "Uncovering the Acoustic Treasures of Cathedrals: The Use of Acoustic Measurements and Computer Modeling to Preserve Intangible Heritage". My presentation was followed of an interesting and dynamic conversation favoured by the attendees questions. After the tutorial, I run a 2-hour technical tour together with Dr. Fiona Smyth, who is an expert on sonic architecture, on "Church Acoustics and Sonic Heritage". As part of this tour, I organised a practical session taking acoustic measurement in the Trinity College Chapel. I would like to express our sincerest gratitude to the responsible and the staff of the Chapel for their kind collaboration and their availability.
The positive feedback received by the attendees of both the tutorial and the technical tour, together with the interest shown for my research on cathedral acoustics by people from such a great variety fields of expertise, show the success of this dissemination activity of the project.
Acoustic measurement campaigns of Ripon Cathedral
On February 16th and March 8th, the binaural and spatial room impulse responses (RIR) of Ripon Cathedral were measured, which will be used to characterise the current acoustic field of the building. Those impulse responses were recorded in locations distributed at different listener positions using different types of microphones (dummy head and B-format). The sound source (including two different types of loudspeakers) was placed in 3 positions, representative to the various celebrations and events taking place in the Cathedral and taking into account its architectural features. Now the lab work to analyse the signals obtained begins.
Again, we acknowledge the collaboration of the responsible and the staff of the Cathedral, for their kind collaboration and how well they have treated us.
Angel Álvarez-Corbacho - PhD research stay
We have had the pleasure of having the collaboration of Angel Alvarez-Corbacho, a PhD student of the University of Seville. Angel has spent a 1-month research stay at the Department of Theatre, Film and Television at the University of York as a collaborating researcher of the project, from 11th February to 11th March 2019.
During his stay Angel participated in the measurement sessions carried out in the cathedrals of Ripon and Bristol. It must also be highlighted the excellent work he has done with the planimetry and his help in the planning of the measurement sessions.
Photos by several authors
Acoustic measurements in Bristol Cathedral
Last February, during the night of the 23rd, we had the opportunity of carrying out the acoustic measurement session in Bristol Cathedral. Five position of the sound source (High altar, Choir, Lady chapel, Elder Lady chapel and Nave) were considered and 31 receiver points located throughout the audience area were set, in order to analyse its current acoustic behaviour. Both Source and receiver positions were selected considering the wonderful and complex architecture of the cathedral and its multifunctional character. For each source-receiver combination characterised, binaural and spatial room impulse responses (RIR) were recorded by using a dummy head and a B-format microphone.
The RIR gathered in this measurement campaign describe the acoustic field of this space and those signals will be used for auralisation purposes in combination with a set of anechoic recording that represent the cultural and liturgical use of the cathedral over the centuries. Furthermore, the RIR measured in Bristol cathedral will serve to adjust the acoustic simulation model of the building.
The research team of the project, CATHEDRAL ACOUSTICS, and the University of York thanks the Dean and the staff of the cathedral for their kind permission and assistance during the measurements, and also for the good treatment received.
Anechoic recordings - First session
Last 29th January 2019 the first recording session part of the Cathedral Acoustic project took place in the anechoic chamber of the Audio Lab of The University of York. The professional Tenor Pierre-Philippe Dechant kindly collaborate with us singing Gregorian Chant, including short extracts of Salve Regina (simple tone and second tone), Gloria in excelsis Deo, and the Gregorian Requiem.
Those beautiful pieces will be used to create auralisations so that everyone can listen to his voice as if he was performing in one of the cathedrals involved in the project.
Early Modern Global Soundscapes: A Workshop
On 25 and 26 January 2019 I had the opportunity of attending the workshop on "Early Modern Global Soundscapes" held by the University of York, where international researchers from a variety of disciplines (Music, English, History, Architecture and Engineering) met to discuss about the current research on historic "sounds and soundscapes".
After a two-day program of assorted presentations and enriching discussions, I had the opportunity of participate in the final round-table together with Mariana Lopez (Theatre, Film and Television), Helen Hills (History of Art), Mark Jenner (History), and Emilie Murphy (History). I tried to add my grain of sand to the debate by sharing my perspective as an acoustician, based on my experience on the research of the acoustics of European cathedrals. The general conclusion of this interactive dialogue was that more interdisciplinary studies and collaborations are needed to properly research and plausible recreate soundscapes, specially those related with our past and our culture.
If you want to know more about the workshop, I recommend this excellent summary by Hannah Rodger (University of York), just click here.
The Journey Begins!!!
Cathedral Acoustics starts! Visit our website and follow us on twitter to know all about the project findings and future events. Find the latest news about our research and all the information recovered as part of this amazing project. Lets enjoy!
Ely cathedral picture - Photo by Michael D Beckwith on Unsplash