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Multimodality and Audiovisual Perception: A Case Study involving Spatial Audio, Wave Field Synthesis and Dance Choreography

Spatial Audio Perception and Envelopment are key areas of investigation for understanding audience attention and engagement when experiencing works through loudspeakers sound diffusion systems. This paper reports about the findings of a practice-based interdisciplinary research study on the perception of movement through sound realised at the Unit of Sound Practice Research at the Goldsmiths University of London, in collaboration with Trinity Laban Conservatory of Music and Dance, Mondriaan Foundation, and The Game of Life Foundation (NL). The project consists in a joint choreography of sound and body movement, designed and performed through the 192 Loudspeakers Wave Field Synthesis System by The Game of Life Foundation, premiered in Den Haag (NL) and at the London’s First International Symposium on Sound and Movement Practices in 2014. The ideas and examples discussed are focused on multimodality and audiovisual perception, exploring the involved modalities in movement perception and how they could be integrated in a spatial audio composition for dance. The findings of this investigation inform the context of auditory engagement and attention with the perspectives of a composer and choreographer involved in answering perceptual questions as part of their artistic practice.

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