Duration 14'00 - Ambisonics version, 2000.
13'24 - stereo version, 2000.
"The Utility of Space" is an exploration of spatial musical structure. This exploration is manifest in two ways: through poetic spatial implication, and through carefully controlled real spatial locations, trajectories, and sound magnitudes.
Recited text, taken from the "Tao Te Ching" (translated by Raymond B. Blakney, 1955), is one of the sound sources, and is a driving force behind the composition:
"Between the earth and sky
The space is like a bellows,
Empty but unspent,
When moved its gift is copious."
The original concert work was realised in the ambisonics format (hexagonal speaker arrangement) combined with traditional stereo diffusion. The CD version has been re-mixed for stereo; either version is suitable for concert performance.
The work was commissioned by NICEM, with support from the Norsk Komponistfond.
'The Utlity of Space' was created in the composer's studio with spatialisation research carried out at NoTAM (Norwegian network for technology, acoustics and music).
It received first prize in the tape music category in the 2001 Interntional Electroacoustic Music Competition, Bourges. In 2003 it received the 'Euphonie d'Or'. These special awards have been given to the 30 most significant prizewinning works since the inception of the competition in 1973.