28 March 2018

Space. Sound. Worlds.

Raumwelten, a platform for Scenography, Architecture and Media, took place for the sixth time in Ludwigsburg, Germany. Raumwelten is a meeting place and a source of inspiration for all those who are dedicated to the art of multidimensional performance. From 16 to 25 November 2017 seven thousand creative minds and decision-makers came to the event.

For the sixth year in a row, d&b attended the event as a sponsor, having been drawn to Raumwelten due to a shared vision of the role audio plays in society, and where it is heading. Each year the event features inspiring case studies, as well as insightful keynotes and workshops with international speakers.

Alongside the keynote speakers to feature at Raumwelten 2017 was Prof. Ulrich Wegenast, Artistic Director from the Film and Television Academy, Potsdam. “The important thing in our opinion is for sound to play a greater role in architecture,” Wegenast commented in his welcome speech at the event: “When it comes to product diversity, digitalization, and the customization of customer needs, the architectural space today must fulfill far more requirements. And all of this with reduced space and on a smaller budget.” The subjects of artistic reflection and discussion at Raumwelten were focused on new and fascinating possibilities of digitalization, futuristic trends and products in all trades, as well as the ambitious goal of blending them within a creative, universal concept.

But how can these developments be conveyed to the audience from the viewpoint of the artist? How does the artist experience and apply these new design options for the performance? This was the topic of the keynote by Kurt Dahlke “Audio Design in Architecture”. Dahlke, a pioneer of electronic music, attracted public attention with the band Fehlfarben during the New German Wave era. But Dahlke also became known through his creative sound installations, not least with systems from and in collaboration with d&b audiotechnik.

The latest project by Dahlke is entitled “Like Birds on a Wire”. In the center of Düsseldorf, on an installation comprising a 250 meter long escalator leading to a subway station, passers-by are enveloped by the spatially orchestrated twittering of birds. The birds appear to follow the passers-by, accompany them, or suddenly fly over them. A very ordinary pathway suddenly becomes an inspiring experience of the senses, or even an adventure. What is the technology behind all of this? Round the clock, a synthesizer programmed with algorithms penned by Dahlke produces birdsong which is never repeated on a single day over a number of years. The sounds are then distributed and moved by forty eight loudspeakers.

Audio pioneers like Kurt Dahlke pave the way for new digital technology with projects such as these, and give an insight into what is possible; For spatial reproduction effects. For new sense experiences. The essence of this concept is to demonstrate the possibilities of differentiated forms of expression, to enhance the flexibility of event venues for totally different performance formats, or to create new types of experiences for the audience, and potential sources of inspiration for artists. In a nutshell, new possibilities for creatively implementing ideas and visions in art, as well as at concerts, events, or any other type of sound-reinforcement application.

Another example of this new experience of the senses is the d&b Soundscape (www.dbsoundscape.com). The technology is based on the DS100 Signal Engine and provides users with the same creative freedom that also inspires lighting and set design. “Modern sound reinforcement and our listening experience are no longer defined by physics alone but by the unlimited power of our imagination,” comments Georg Stummer, d&b Product Manager, at the well-attended presentation of the new d&b Soundscape at Raumwelten 2017.

 

Photos: Raumwelten, Reiner Pfisterer