Innermost (2019), 18'50

Innermost 7th-order 3D ambisonics

Other multichannel formats and stereo for sound diffusion are also available.

photo © Marc Downie 2019

'Innermost' is a collaboration between digital video artist Marc Downie and composer Natasha Barrett. The original version of the work was in high resolution 3D ambisonics and 3D video, and since then has also produced in 2D video with 3D sound, and as a solo 3D ambisonics concert work. For the ICMC the work can be performed as a music only concert or in one of its video formats.

Innermost is about inner individuality finding outward expression and commonality. Our inner-state is often reflected in our posture and the way we move - or our gait. Innermost reveals and develops this expression in 3D movement and morphology. The materials stem from two mass Norwegian celebrations devoid of political anxiety or violence and the free expression of individuals as a collective, including runners, marching bands, dancers, and cheering crowds.

Yet a darker tone underlies the work: the materials are created by applying the latest processing techniques for image and sound recognition already in use for population surveillance, facial tracking and gesture-recognition. 3D audio is decomposed into spatial objects and huge amounts of data are transferred from visual processing into sound via 3D audio sonification. Human traits are then revealed: sometimes energetic, sometimes harmonious, at other times aggressive or akin to a flock of reanimated lifeless bodies. Harsh shouts and whistles climax into a cacophony of mechanical drilling and juddering engines leaving silvery trails which then release into a counterpoint of silky spectral lines and a projection of care and embrace.

Marc Downie advanced skills in computer science and visual arts are combined with Natasha Barrett's decades of experience in 3D sound, music and composition. Together they create a magical synthesis of experience, placing the audience inside the work.

Innermost was a joint commission by Ultima and EMPAC/ Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York. The work was supported by the Norwegian Cultural Council and EMPAC.