Sunday 24 October 2021, 2–5pm
Cafe OTO is thrilled to launch Stereophonica: Sound and Space in Science, Technology, and the Arts (MIT Press) by Gascia Ouzounian. Described as ‘an extraordinary journey through the archaeology of acoustic and auditory spatialization’ (Aura Satz), Stereophonica grapples with the question ‘how did our understanding of sound become spatial’?
Ouzounian draws on both the history of science and technology and the history of music and sound art. She investigates the development of military technologies for sound location during the First World War; revisits experiments in stereo sound at Bell Labs in the 1930s; the development of spatial music in the 1950s and sound installation art in the 1960s; analyzes the mapping of soundscapes; and investigates contemporary approaches to sonic urbanism. Mara Mills calls Stereophonica ‘An ambitious and brilliant work’, writing, ‘Ouzounian traces the propagation of ideas and tools from science to war to art (and back again) with true virtuosity.’
To celebrate the release of Stereophonica Cafe OTO will host an afternoon of conversations and performances. To open the event, Gascia Ouzounian will be joined by Isobel Anderson, host of the critically acclaimed feminist music tech podcast Girls Twiddling Knobs. Following a conversation and Q&A, there will be performances of electronic music by Gerard Gormley (aka being strangers) and Matilde Meireles. The event will close with a DJ set by Crease.
Gascia Ouzounian is Associate Professor of Music at the University of Oxford, where she directs the project Sonorous Cities. She is the founder and artistic director of the label Optophono, which publishes interactive music and sound art, and author of Stereophonica: Sound and Space in Science, Technology, and the Arts.
Isobel Anderson is a musician, artist, and host of Girls Twiddling Knobs, a podcast for and about women making music with technology. Isobel’s self-produced and self-released music has amassed over 25 million Spotify streams and she has published in academic journals including Organised Sound and The Journal of Sonic Studies.
Gerard Gormley (aka being strangers) creates noise-based works that explore concepts of microsound. He works in electroacoustic music, audiovisual installation, and sound design for film. In addition to his work as a composer, he is active as a sound engineer in studio recording contexts. Gerard is currently a Senior Lecturer in Music at Buckinghamshire University, where he leads the undergraduate programme in Audio & Music Production.
Matilde Meireles is a recordist, sound artist, and researcher who makes use of field recordings to compose site-oriented projects. She is interested in the potential of listening across the human spectrum, and extra-human sound, as ways of encountering and communicating multiple experiences of the world. Recent releases include Sunnyside with Crónica and Useful Constraints with ToneBurst.
Chrissy Stirling (aka Crease) is a London-based researcher and musician/DJ. She is currently a postdoc on the Sonorous Cities project led by Gascia Ouzounian at the University of Oxford. She DJs under the name Crease, helping put on events with Tanum Sound System, and has played shows alongside M Puls3 for NTS and Threads radio.