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Spatial music festival pushes the boundaries of sonic innovation in the Cube

July 25, 2016

cubefest graphic
“Cube Fest” features five concerts, each themed to provide a unique experience that pushes the boundaries of spatial sound and explores the capabilities of the Cube.

Celebrate spatial music, 3-D sound, and the latest advancements in audio technology inside one of the largest multichannel audio system facilities in the world during the three-day, spatial music festival, “Cube Fest: Massively Multichannel Music.”

Sponsored by the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology and the Moss Arts Center, the event will be held in the Cube at the Moss Arts Center, 190 Alumni Mall, on Aug. 5-7.

“Cube Fest” features an artist roster of more than 20 international researchers and musicians committed to advancing the field of spatial music, 3-D sound, and immersive sonic experiences. The event features five concerts, each themed to provide a unique experience that pushes the boundaries of spatial sound and explores the capabilities of the Cube.

The festival includes concerts ranging from a spatialized performance of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” to original, venue-specific compositions that cannot be heard anywhere else in the world. In addition to the concerts, spatial sound art installations will be ongoing in the institute’s Perform Studio.

Part performance space, laboratory, venue, and studio, the Cube is home to one of the largest multichannel audio systems on the planet, housing a total of 148 independently operating speakers.

“At present, there are very few performance spaces in the world that are capable of presenting multichannel music with the spatial precision, depth, and richness afforded by the Cube,” explained Eric Lyon, associate professor in Virginia Tech’s School of Performing Arts; Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology fellow; and artistic director for Cube Fest. “Community is at the heart of Cube Fest. Our goal is to create a community around spatial music that has something for everyone. The festival is designed to bring music technology professionals and general audiences together to experience something truly unique.”

Cube Fest events include:

Research ReSounds

  • Friday, Aug. 5, 7:30 p.m.
  • Free, ticket required
  • Join an international group of researchers as they seek to push the limits of the Cube, featuring original, venue-specific compositions.

Sounds in Space I: First Wave

  • Saturday, Aug. 6, 5 p.m.
  • Free, ticket required
  • Step inside this immersive sonic experience, featuring original works by more than 17 international artists on the cutting edge of spatial audio and music evolution.

Under the Shadow

  • Saturday, Aug. 6, 9 p.m.
  • $10 general admission
  • A live spatialized performance by Modality. Based in Missoula, Montana, Modality brings their sonic synth-rock exploration to the Cube for one night only, featuring Charles Nichols, assistant professor of music technology and composition in Virginia Tech’s School of Performing Arts.

Sounds in Space II: Second Wave

  • Sunday, Aug. 7, 5 p.m.
  • Free, ticket required
  • This immersive experience continues to explore the boundaries of spatial sound, featuring the second wave of original multichannel compositions by an international group of artists and musicians.

Dark Side of the Cube

  • Sunday, Aug. 7, 9 p.m.
  • $10 general admission
  • Experience Pink Floyd’s seminal album, “Dark Side of the Moon,” like you’ve never heard it before, spatialized throughout the Cube’s massive 148-speaker surround sound system.

Spatial Sound Art Installations

  • Saturday, Aug. 6, and Sunday, Aug. 7, 12-5 p.m.
  • Free, no ticket required
  • This all-day immersive installation explores frequencies in various forms of motion spatialized throughout the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology’s Perform Studio.

Tickets

Tickets for “Under the Shadow” and “Dark Side of the Cube” performances are $10 for general admission. Tickets can be purchased online; at the Moss Arts Center's box office, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; or by calling 540-231-5300 during box office hours. Tickets for the free events are also available at the box office.

Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Virginia Tech faculty and staff possessing a valid Virginia Tech parking permit can enter and exit the garage free of charge. Limited street parking is also available. Parking on Alumni Mall is free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Kacy McAllister at 540-231-5300 or email kmcallis@vt.edu during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

Written by Willie Caldwell of Blacksburg, Virginia, a graduate student studying arts leadership and higher education administration in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

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