Meeting Topic: 22nd meeting of the Portuguese Section of the AES
Moderator Name: Diamantino Freitas
Speaker Name: multiple (please see detailed report)
Other business or activities at the meeting: Election of the governing structure of APEA (i.e. the Portuguese Section of the AES) for the next year (please see detailed report)
Meeting Location: Ovar, Portugal
The 22nd meeting of the Portuguese Section of the APEA (corresponding to legal Portuguese association representing the Portuguese Section of the Audio Engineering Society) took place on 18 January 2020, in a comfortable movie theater of the Dolce Vita shopping center of the city of Ovar, a Portuguese city with a long tradition in fishing.
Salviano Soares, an AES Member and Professor at the University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, was the main organizer and was extremely active putting up an immensely rich and diverse program expanding audio to other arts like cinema, music, and even gastronomy.
The meeting was well attended by more than 30 audio enthusiasts including 9 AES Members. The program was structured in a morning and afternoon technical sessions, in addition to an opening section, a meeting reserved to AES Members at the end of the day, and a brief closing session.
The opening session included brief addresses by Diamantino Freitas, the APEA President, Salvador Malheiro, the Mayor of the city of Ovar, and António Oliveira, the APEA Board President. Attendees were welcomed, Marta Felix -a Doce Vista manager- was especially thanked for making available the cinema theater, and a highlight emerged that a scientific-oriented meeting such as the 22nd APEA meeting is extremely beneficial not only to raise the interest of current and next generations of audio experts, practitioners and lovers, but also to raise the cultural profile of the institutions, and even cities, where the scientific-oriented events take place.
The morning session included presentations on "Sound Sculptures", on a short-movie production on the Ovar Carnival and its soundtrack design, on "Real-time audio focusing", on the "Acoustic correction of a large auditorium", on the "Analysis of different types of audio transducers", and on "QoE enhancement using priorization of IP speech packets". These presentations were complemented with Q&A slots and even lively discussions, for example, with the producers of the short-movie, and its soundtrack, who also attended the meeting.
The first session after lunch was a surprise that was kept secret until it materialized. Only the name of it was known: "Ask a robot to do this". It turned out to consist in a live musical performance by 4 musicians, two of whom were Salviano Soares (guitar) and António Oliveira (bass), around the well-known "Route 66" song. The idea was to start with a MIDI realization of that song, and then, one by one (bass, drums, guitar and harmonica/vocals), human-based instrument playing joined the accompaniment such that the ensemble gained a "live" flavor completely masking the underlying MIDI realization. The whole performance was accompanied with images/video and its video recording is available (see https://youtu.be/3mmH9SVJkNc). This surprise was unprecedented in APEA meetings and was immensely appreciated by the audience which recommended that similar initiatives be included in future events.
The more technical part of the afternoon session included presentations on "Plans for a Portuguese sound archive", on "Future studios of the Portuguese Public Radio", and on "The connection between sound and text in forensic investigation". As in the morning session, Q&A slots also complemented the presentations.
As a break before the APEA meeting restricted to AES Members, another musical moment followed with popular songs that are typical of the region of Ovar and which represent, in the words of the Ovar city Mayor, unique cultural habits that are presently being documented for an application to be submitted to Unesco for recognition as immaterial cultural heritage. This moment was made even more enjoyable because it was accompanied with sweet cakes from the Ovar region, and Porto wine.
Finaly, but still within the planned schedule, the meeting reserved to AES members took place. The main purpose was the election of new APEA governing bodies (Chair, Board, Tax Board), to wrap-up the current meeting, and to address new ideas for future meetings. A single list was submitted for voting and was unanimously approved. The new structure has only a few differences when compared to the previous structure. Specifically, the new Chair includes Salviano Soares (President), Aníbal Ferreira (Secretary) and José Vieira (Treasurer), the new Board includes Diamantino Freitas (President), Joel Paulo (Vice-President) and Paulo Alexandre (Secretary) and the new Tax Board includes Guilherme Campos (President), Nuno Fonseca (Vice-President) and António Oliveira (Secretary).
Since the number of AES members is reduced to fill all positions in the APEA governing structure, in order to facilitate the proposal of future governing bodies, the names of future APEA presidents have been lined up for the next 8 elections, i.e. until 2028. A decision was also taken to contact AES HQ in order to discuss the sharing of a sponsorship awarded to APEA by the Tourism of Portugal in connection with the participation in the organization in Porto, Portugal, of the 2019 AES International Conference on Forensic Audio.
During the meeting closure Salviano Soares was enthusiastically thanked for the organization of a successful and eclectic event. It was also highlighted that this meeting showed that opening of the Association to new audiences has a double benefit: to stimulate existing members to new realization avenues and to motivate new people to the themes and activities of our association. In this perspective, plans are already underway for an active participation of APEA in a cinema festival that will take place in Ovar in July 2020.
The next APEA meeting was decided to take place at ESMAE-IPP, in Porto, and the main organizer will be Marco Conceição.
A link to photos and videos of the event can be found here: https://aes.org.pt/.
Written By: Aníbal Ferreira