6–8 May 2016
Sonorities Festival, Queens University Belfast

Three-day symposium on 3D Sound Spatialisation
Concert as part of Sonorities Festival, Belfast

Project leaders:  Prof. Michael Alcorn (Queens University Belfast) & Prof. Michael Clarke (University of Huddersfield) 

In association with:


Dr Trevor Agus (Queens University Belfast, UK)
Prof Michael Alcorn (Queen’s University Belfast, UK)
Dr Natasha Barrett (University of Oslo, Norway)
Ludget Brümmer (ZKM, Germany)
Prof William Brunson (Kungliga Musikhögskolan, Sweden)
Prof Michael Clarke (University of Huddersfield, UK)
Dr Frédéric Dufeu (University of Huddersfield, UK)
Dr Alex Harker (University of Huddersfield, UK)
Dr Gary Kendall (SARC, Queens University Belfast, UK – retired)
Dr Hyunkook Lee (University of Huddersfield, UK)
Prof Fernando Lopez-Lezcano (Stanford University, USA)
Prof Eric Lyon (Virginia Tech, USA)
Dr Markus Noisternig (IRCAM, France)
Prof Robert Normandeau (Université de Montréal, Canada)
Dr David Pirrò (IEM, Graz)
Prof Pedro Rebello (Queen’s University Belfast, UK)
Dr Jøran Rudi (NoTAM, Norway)
Dr Notto Thelle (NoTAM, Norway)
Prof Barry Truax (Simon Fraser University, Canada)
Prof Hans Tutschku (Harvard University, USA)


The second Speculations in Sound event brings together musicians, scientists and theorists working in the field of multi-channel 3D sound. Participants from many of the leading international centres for computer music possessing advanced spatialisation facilities will gather to consider the opportunities and challenges that this rapidly developing field presents. We will exchange ideas and concerns and challenge each other to solve particular problems. Being Speculations in Sound we will not only talk but also listen to music composed by participants and this will form an important part of our interchange. Speculations 2 is being held in collaboration with SARC, Queen’s University, Belfast. It will be in conjunction with the Sonorities Festival in Belfast and discussions will be interleaved with concerts that are open to the public.


Our event begins with everyone presenting a five-minute speculation outlining what they would like to see in the future of 3D sound and, raising issues, problems, matters of contention. These presentations should not require any form of PowerPoint or comprise a literature review. [All supporting materials for the ‘speculation’—such as articles, audio & video examples, diagrams, bibliographies and other notes—may be provided beforehand and will be uploaded to this website for others to view.]

Later we will play a game of challenge. In advance of the meeting participants will be asked to submit two challenges, problems or issues they would like to see resolved and requiring different fields of expertise from their own. For example, composers might like to challenge software designers, or scientists challenge musicians. Each challenge should be summarized in a single short sentence. These will be printed on cards in advance of the meeting and exchanged during the session.

Out of this work/play of the larger conversations, people will self-organise into whatever grouping is necessary for furthering their discussion. Equipment is available for showing/playing work. These groups will be able to schedule their rendezvous within the various available ‘lounge’ spaces on the second day of the meeting. It may be that some have a series of conversations during this time with different groups whilst others stay in one formation for the duration.

We hope that these conversations will be the basis for further collaboration between groups of participants be that publications, further conferences or networking events or joint projects. We intend to publish material from Speculations 2, with contributions from all the participants either in the form of traditional papers or as conversations between participants. The final part of the event will include discussions on future plans and potential funding for such international collaboration.