The Oxford Handbook of Interactive Audio

PDF The Oxford Handbook of Interactive Audio Reprint Edition

Book author
  1. Bill Kapralos
  2. Holly Tessler
  3. Karen Collins
51 HsSOY9YL SX346 BO1204203200
Description:

As audiences are increasingly no longer solely listeners but also active producer-consumers, and as video games and other interactive systems increasingly permeate our daily lives, understanding interactivity and its impact on the audience has never been more important. A collection of newly commissioned chapters on interactivity in music and sound edited by preeminent scholars in the field, this book marks the beginning of a journey into understanding the ways in which we interact with sound, and offers a new set of analytical tools for the growing field of interactive audio.

What does it mean to interact with sound? How does interactivity alter our experience as creators and listeners? What makes interactive audio different from non-interactive audio? Where does interacting with audio fit into our understanding of sound and music? What does the future hold for interactive media when it comes to our musical and sonic experiences? And how do we begin to approach interactive audio from a theoretical perspective? The Oxford Handbook of Interactive Audio answers these questions by exploring the full range of interactive audio in video games, performance, education, environmental design, toys, and artistic practice. Examining these questions from a range of approaches -- technological, emotional, psychological, and physical -- the book provides a thorough overview of the fascinating experience of interactive sound.​

Acknowledgements:

The ideas in this paper are informed by the Locating Drama project undertaken by Parry, Bendon, Boyd Davis, and Moar at the Lansdown Centre for Electronic Arts at Middlesex University in collaboration with the BBC in 2007 (Parry et al. 2008), as well as the author’s translocational iPhone composition Triptych.

Introduction:

The Oxford Handbook of Interactive Audio is a collection of chapters on interactivity in music and sound whose primary purpose is to offer a new set of analytical tools for the growing field of interactive audio. We began with the premise that interacting with sound is different from just listening to sound in terms of the audience’s and creator’s experience. Physical agency and control through interactivity add a level of involvement with sound that alters the ways in which sound is experienced in games, interfaces, products, toys, environments (virtual and real), and art. A series of related questions drive the Handbook: What makes interactive audio different from noninteractive audio? Where does interacting with audio fit into our understanding of sound and music? What are the future directions of interactive audio? And, How do we begin to approach interactive audio from a theoretical perspective?

We began the Oxford Handbook of Interactive Audio by approaching authors who work with interactive audio across a wide spectrum, hoping that, together, we may begin to answer these questions. What we received in return was an incredible array of approaches to the idea of interacting with sound. Contributors to the Handbook approach the ontological and philosophical question of, “What is interactive audio, and what can it do?” from a number of different perspectives. For some, an understanding of sound emerges through developments and advancements in technology, in writing software programs and codes, or building original hardware and equipment to create new types of sound. For others, interactive audio is more of an aesthetic consideration of how its inherent power can be used in creative projects and art installations. For still others, new perspectives on audio emerge through exploration of its communicative power: how audio works as a link between not only the human–machine interface, but also—and increasingly—between human beings.

From the outset, our goal was to put together a volume of work that was both inclusive and dialectical in nature, a volume that would be humanities-driven, but that would also take into account approaches from practitioners and those within the natural sciences and engineering disciplines. Rather than direct contributors to write to a specific brief, we instead encouraged them to interrogate, interpret, and challenge current theories and understandings of interactive audio, in whatever forms and contexts were meaningful to them. What has emerged from this type of open-ended mandate demonstrates not only a remarkable range of scholarship but also the inherent importance of interactive audio to so many different areas.

However, beneath the seemingly wide disparity between the approach and subject matter of the chapters, a series of themes began to clearly surface and recur across disciplines. It was these themes that eventually led to the overall structure of the Oxford Handbook of Interactive Audio and its separation into six sections: (1) Interactive Sound in Practice; (2) Videogames and Virtual Worlds; (3) The Psychology and Emotional Impact of Interactive Audio; (4) Performance and Interactive Instruments; (5) Tools and Techniques; and (6) The Practitioner’s Point of View. These sections are to some extent driven by the overarching themes that tie them together, although as will be made apparent upon reading, there is considerable overlap between sections, making our organizational structure just one of any number of ways of presenting and making sense of so many diverse and diffuse ideas.​
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