Experimental Virtual Archeological-Acoustics: Influence of performance spaces on Historically Informed Performance

Responsabilité scientifique :

  • Brian Katz
  • Théodora Psychoyou

Financement :

  • DIM Matériaux anciens et patrimoniaux

Descriptif :

The research and practice of “historically informed performance” (HIP) has advanced significantly in recent decades. This discipline can be summarized as a regard to performance which aims to be faithful to the approach, manner, and style of the musical era in which a work was originally conceived. Two aspects are typically considered in such efforts: performance practice of musicians and use of period instruments. However, little consideration has been given to the influence of performance space on the performance, instrument, or composition of the time. Using real-time virtual acoustic simulations, EVAA aims to include the performance venue’s acoustics as a third component of study for HIP. Placing musicians in various virtual performance spaces, we examine the impact of the room’s acoustics on performance. Such a study also informs investigations on the evolution of instruments themselves, with respect to the evolution of performance venues. Inclusion of the role of composition completes the circle (Boren, 2018), as it can be seen as both a driving force of change and a response to the changing physics of the instruments and rooms used for music performance. Extending the methodologies of experimental archeology, recent advances in computational accuracy of acoustic virtual reality simulations offer the possibility to create ecologically valid reconstructions of historic sites. The project will employ an interactive immersive real-time simulator allowing musicians to perform “live” within virtual reconstructions of historic venues. This simulator significantly advances upon previous projects in realistic off-line rendering of historic sites. Observations of the impact of acoustic variations on player performance, and comparisons of resulting performances between historically suitable venues and modern performance spaces from an audience perspective, will complete the feedback loop between performer and listener necessary for a full understanding of the historical musical context.