Virginia Tech® home

Liminal Spaces: A first-of-its-kind sonic journey through the spaces between

Loading player for
Category: research Video duration: Liminal Spaces: A first-of-its-kind sonic journey through the spaces between
Liminal Spaces is a fully immersive 15-minute sonically-rich, layered audio, spatial experience that was performed inside the Cube at Virginia Tech. A collaboration between Ben Knapp, executive director of the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) and professor of computer science, and Eric Lyon, a music technologist and composer, and professor of composition and creative technologies in the School of Performing Arts, the piece used the one-of-a-kind capabilities of the Cube to completely immerse participants in sound, inviting audience members to experience music in an unprecedented way.

Through the piece, audiences explored the time that exists between morning and night, between near and far, between calm and storm. It was a plunge into the time between what was and what comes next.

Liminal Spaces is the first piece to make use of a layered immersive spatial audio system, consisting of two high-density loudspeaker arrays (HDLAs): a far-field 140-loudspeaker array (the Cube) and a nearfield 32-loudspeaker array (the Tesseract), coupled with bone conduction headphones. This configuration allowed Ben and Eric to deliver sounds in the range from highly intimate sounds delivered via bone vibrations, all the way to acoustic infinity with the far-field speaker array. A "starburst" array of eight loudspeakers distributed between the Tesseract and the walls of the Cube gave them the ability to explore the liminal spaces between the two main HDLAs.

More info: