1.1. Information on the development of the arts-based research project

OSIL dealt with the IKO, the icosahedral loudspeaker as a new electroacoustic musical
instrument. A working hypothesis was that if loudspeakers with their own directivity alienate natural sounds (cp. P. Boulez, ICA, Paris, 1983), spherical beamforming trajectories of the IKO can acousmatically naturalize alien sounds in the surrounding room.

In fact, its sound beams
involve the surrounding space and evokes perceived auditory sculptures that appear to be projected holographically. The working methods involved a systematic development of increasingly more complex musical works (miniatures, etudes, concert pieces) for the IKO, which are steadily accompanied by psychoacoustic experimentation and technical development to achieve a deep understanding and inter-subjective effects for an entire concert audience.

Miniatures already generated as much knowledge that the intermediate composition complexity
(etudes) was not carried out as planned. Instead, typical shortage of quiet and large concert spaces for long working periods also led our goals developing the technology for a virtualized (headphone-based) vIKO.

In composition, it turned out that complexity of musical entities require a sculptural concept. This
led to extended studies into archetypes and qualities of physical sculpturing that was adapted to its auditory counterpart.

1.2. Most important results and a brief description of their significance

Aims were more than achieved. Fundamental experiments used either vIKO or IKO with various sounds, static or moving beamforming effects, and several layers of beams under the influence of precedence and grouping. They provided comprehensive insights into the IKO’s auditory effects, their dependency on sound and spatial geometry or reflector arrangements [SFZ19, WZFH17, WF18].

Correspondingly, models of distance and direction perception [ZFWZ16, WF18] were conceived,
understanding of how moving-beam trajectories map to auditory event trajectories acquired [WF18], and the hierarchical construction of auditory sculptures, their classification, and sculptural quality grading [SFZ19, WSFZH17].

The technology was made commercial in a collaboration with the company Sonible GmbH, with the product/instrument IKO by IEM and Sonible. It was used in an international call for
compositions for IKO (2015), several workshops (2016, 2x2017), various concerts, and intensive workshops (2015,2x2017,4x2018). Disciplines of the project involved electroacoustic music, psychoacoustic experimentation, acoustic/audio technology. Musicology was involved in discussions of the final symposium of the OSIL project and in the preparation of comparative workshops in 2018 and 2019.

The team members prepared and selected artistic material for the IKO to be extensively

explored in our research. But not only Gerriet K. Sharma from the team composed complex works for the IKO. These art-based research results of auditory sculptural features were shared with international guests and scholars who could benefit from the IKO and the OSIL project (Antonia Mannhartsberger, Paul Wolff, Ana Dall’Ara-Majek, Angela McArthur, Giulia Vismara, Mesud Zaimovic, Jan Urbiks, Stefan Riedel, Gut’s’n’faders). Those composers could work on and present their own pieces for the IKO in concert. Most of them starting out with workshops/courses held by Gerriet Sharma, e.g. as Edgar-Varese guest professor (master class “Spatial Practices”) at TU Berlin, at two 3-Day Ambisonic Symposia in 2017, or two international workshops at TU/UdK Berlin and HAW Hamburg, or local briefings at IEM.

Two artists in residence at IEM specifically worked on pieces with the IKO (Dugal McKinnon,
Angela McArthur), and Natasha L. Barrett composed a piece for IKO as a guest in 2018 and 2019.

The applied result and developed means of sculptural expression were interesting enough that
renowned institutions such as Universität der Künste Berlin, SIM Berlin, Next generation festival and InSonic-Symposia ZKM Karlsruhe, HAW Hamburg, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, Technische Hochschule Köln, Izlog festival Zagreb, Musikprotokoll/Steirischer Herbst, SMC Hamburg, NYCEMF New York, Tonmeistertagung, hosted concerts, mostly in music festivals or conferences.

We expect that the auditory sculptures [SFZ19] and body-space relations [WSFZH17] contribute
new means of verbalizing and understanding various auditory effects that are utilized in electroacoustic and acousmatic music, in general. Most obviously this was presented in a lecture by Gerriet K. Sharma, Frank Schultz, and Stefan Weinzierl (Hybrid Lab TU/UdK-Berlin 2018), and Sharma and Schultz in Hamburg, klingtgut in 2018. The newly developed descriptions of spatio-morphologies allow for a deeper discussion and aesthetics discussions in a comparative receptionist or creative and artistic ways.

     m a i n p a g e


The concept of auditory sculptures and their qualities established is expected to turn into an essential missing element in the discussion of electroacoustic music, of which one of the main ingredients, spatiality, manifests itself as sculpturality in the room. These aspects yield future directions.

On a technical and psychoacoustical level, because OSIL showed that directivity can be an
instrument, the IKO became an ideal device to evaluate whether virtualization of a room involving the directivity of a source is of high quality. Moreover, the results of OSIL allowed to start developing smaller/lower complexity instruments such as the IEM loudspeaker cubes (2017) and and the surround with depth technology (2018, T.
Deppisch, N. Meyer-Kahlen, K. Pollack), mostly developed with students, and the mixed-order 393 and OKO loudspeaker arrays (S. Riedel 2018).

The IKO itself can be regarded as a new arts-based research instrument, as it opens up many new
questions that permit a similar treatment in more classical electroacoustic forms of installations/music presentations.

Apart from common quantitative psychoacoustic tests, a new triangular test paradigm was

developed to directly rate in a 3-dimensional sculptural quality space to distinguish and classify auditory sculptures, which was successfully employed in [SFZ19]. A robust way to check auditory sculptural qualities separately from other aural qualities was
demonstrated in [WZFH17]. Open data, transcriptions of miniatures, audio files, and virtualization were provided to promote reproducibility.

1.3. Information on the execution of the project, the use of available funds and (where appropriate) any changes to the original project plan

The project duration could be extended from the original 3 years to about 3.75 years.
The original project proposal planned personnel costs for Gerriet Sharma as a Dr.art. candidate with 75%, an unnamed PhD candidate in audio/psychoacoustics 75%, and a PostDoc Matthias Frank with 25% involvement. PhD candidate Florian Wendt for the audio/psychoacoustics share of the project was accepted in the doctoral school of the university with his research proposal, which permitted to reduce his employment amount to 25% after the first year of OSIL.

Dr. Matthias Frank’s 25% employment was not used anymore because of a full-time employment
at the university. The university was interested enough to let Dr. Frank participate in OSIL. Costs allowed to acquire PhD candidate Markus Zaunschirm with a 25% employment to investigate technical solutions such as the vIKO.

Dr.art. candidate Sharma finished his Dr.art degree in 2016, which allowed to increase his salary
to a PhD salary scheme, and later also the amount of his employment to full-time. Dr. Sharma was moreover employed 4 months in 2018 in a knowledge-transfer program (WTZ Süd) to transfer his project-based knowledge to colleagues elaborating their works for the Graz-based contemporary-music festival Musikprotokoll.

In addition to the university-staff team (R. Höldrich, M. Ciciliani, M. Frank, F. Zotter) involved in
OSIL in-kind, it was possible to get the university interested in the successful course of the OSIL project, so that other university-internal budgets and project budget could be used for a shortterm employment of Dr. Frank Schultz was for a span of 6 months between March and Sept 2018, and intern Flora Dokonal for Sept 2018.

Students from the curriculum Electrical and Audio Engineering took an active role in the

research agenda: F. Zagala, J. Linke, C. Baumgartner, N. Meyer-Kahlen, T. Deppisch, K. Pollack, K. Wegler, S. Riedel. Their support is reflected in the extensive list of publications.
From university budget, IEM bought two more IKO systems plus amplifiers during the OSIL project, which contributed a lot to the quality, compared to the first IKO prototype.

The artistic events such as workshops, concerts, and recitals were outnumbering the original
plan (see listed below), and the way and scheme to host artists was exceeding the original plans. It turned out better to hold most workshop events (except from the final one) externally, within international events to maximize visibility in the first years.

  *[WZFH17] Wendt, Zotter, Frank, Höldrich, „Auditory Distance Control Using a Variable-Directivity Loudspeaker“, MDPI, Applied Sciences, dx.doi.org/10.3390/app7070666, 2017.

  *[WF18] Wendt, Frank, “On the localization of auditory objects created by directional sound sources in a virtual room”, Tonmeistertagung Nov. 2018.

  *[SFZ19] Sharma, Frank, Zotter, “Evaluation of Three Auditory-Sculptural Qualities Created by an Icosahedral loudspeaker”, MDPI Appl. Sci., doi.org/10.3390/app9132698, 2019.

  *[ZFWZ16] Zotter, Frank, Wendt, Zaunschirm, “Auditory object localization of the variable-directivity icosahedral loudspeaker”, Fortschritte der Akustik, in Fortschritte der Akustik - DAGA, 2016. (conference, openly accessible, selfarchived)