Imogen Heap creates soundscapes on her Mycelia World Tour.
Leading German audio technology company d&b audiotechnnik has partnered with Grammy award winning recording artist Imogen Heap for her first tour in eight years. The live performances on Mycelia World Tour will be presented using its recently released d&b Soundscape system, which allows artists and designers to present more intimate and captivating acoustic spaces for their performances and events.
Designed to put sonic artistry at the centre of the sound production process, Soundscape can be used to achieve more natural imaging through source positioning, for sound that resonates with our intuitive understanding of reality, or to create sound art, a work of pure imagination.
Imogen Heap recently tested the Soundscape system at her barn in front of an audience of friends, innovators and musicians. “Normally, in a typical gig setup, the sound would be dispersed across a stereo field in front of you,” says Heap. “It’s a bit like going to see technicolour for the first time after seeing black and white… Being able to move sound around the audience in 360 degrees, it feels like a whole other dimension.” Heap added “The sound on the tour is sound like we’ve never heard it before.”
The d&b Soundscape takes sound beyond the realm of physics. It represents a crossover between art and science– a merging, and synthesis of creativity and engineering. For innovators like Heap, it extends the artistic and technical possibilities for sound, and brings the concert experience to a whole new sensory dimension.
The Mycelia World Tour kicked off in Stockholm on 3 September; its unique touring format bringing together music makers, fans and the industry for concerts, talks, workshops and exhibitions. The year-long world tour takes place in various European cities including Oslo, Prague, Copenhagen and Helsinki before moving to the US and beyond.
Following successful debuts at a range of concerts and events including the WOMAD Festival, Sting’s musical The Last Ship, and the acclaimed 3D tour by electro pioneers Kraftwerk, the d&b Soundscape system will play a central role in the sound design of the gigs and concerts happening on the Mycelia tour.
The first d&b Soundscape technologies include a signal processor, the d&b DS100 Signal Engine, and two software modules, En-Scene and En-Space. En-Scene enables up to sixty four sound objects, a loudspeaker or instrument for example, to be positioned across the entire performance space, while En-Space adds reverberation signatures to the acoustic environment. These reverberation signatures recreate the acoustic profiles of world class music venues such as the Vienna Concert Hall and the world famous KKL Luzern.
Ralf Zuleeg of d&b audiotechnik, says “It’s about leaving behind the disconnection between what we hear and what we see. For audiences it will feel like diving into a complete different world.”
Self-produced, independent, engaged, Imogen Heap continues to blur the boundaries between pure art form and creative entrepreneurship. Writing and producing 4 solo albums, Heap has developed a strong relationship with her fanbase. Creating tracks for movies, TV and most recently, the entire score for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play, in addition to collaborating with artists including Ariana Grande, Mika, Nitin Sawhney, Josh Groban and Deadmau5, Heap’s been nominated for five Grammys, winning one for engineering and another for her Taylor Swift’s contribution on the album 1989. She has also won an Ivor Novello Award, The Artist and Manager Pioneer award, the MPG Inspiration Award, a Drama Desk win for Outstanding Music in a Play and an honorary Doctorate of Technology.
In addition to her 20+ year music career, Heap strives to humanise the technology surrounding music performance and business operations with projects including the MI.MU gloves, a gestural music making system, and Mycelia’s ‘Creative Passport’ an ID hub for music makers.
Founded by Imogen Heap, Mycelia is a research and development hub for music makers, driven by a growing community of creatives, technologists and industry champions for the love of music. Their mission, through technology, is to bring to life a music maker database which will help realise a fair, sustainable and vibrant music ecosystem. To the non-music folks, this ultimately means fairer and faster payments to artists and a richer marketplace from which to build their careers by easing collaboration creatively and commercially.