skip to main content

Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2018 / May 

Help Virginia Tech lead a revolution in sound

May 16, 2018

Dustin Wong and Takako Minekawa
Avant-garde fusion musicians Dustin Wong and Takako Minekawa are two of the featured artists performing during this year's Cube Fest.

Faculty, staff, and students with Virginia Tech’s Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) are leading a revolution in sound and inviting technology enthusiasts to join them through a crowdfunding campaign.

The innovative work is happening in the Cube, a unique campus facility in the Moss Arts Center that serves as a research laboratory, performance space, and sound studio.

Home to one of the largest multichannel audio systems in the world, with 149 independently addressable loudspeakers, the Cube supports a wide range of audio approaches, from data sonification to spatial sound composition. These capabilities make the Cube a sought-after space by artists, musicians, and researchers from around the world.

ICAT is building a collaborative community around spatial music, immersive aural experiences, and 3D audio technology, and the annual event Cube Fest, presented in collaboration with the Moss Arts Center, is the centerpiece of those efforts. Held this year on Aug. 9-12, Cube Fest will bring together a group of 20 international audio technology experts, computer engineers, music technology experts, musicians, and composers who will present performances of original compositions created for the Cube and preexisting works, including music by the late David Bowie.

While a very small number of similar spatial music festivals exist in national and international university settings, they approach spatial music and audio technology topics from an exclusively academic perspective. Cube Fest, however, is a one-of-a-kind festival that is designed for general audiences.

ICAT and the Moss Arts Center have launched a crowdfunding campaign to support this year’s featured guest artists — electroacoustic rocker Christopher Willits, avant-garde fusion musicians Dustin Wong and Takako Minekawa, and Appalachian folk singers Anna & Elizabeth — who each will bring wildly diverse styles and sounds to this year’s event.

Contributions to the campaign will help Virginia Tech continue to pave the way for the future of sound, advancing the ways people experience sound in cinemas, at home, and in cars. Making an online donation will help researchers and their collaborators move the university forward in the field of immersive sound, and with a variety of giving levels – from innovator to revolutionist – gifts of all sizes will make an impact.