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Blog archive for April 2012

Fun, Fun, Fun – Bformat encoding of Absynth

April 3, 2012


For the last few days I’ve had lots of fun playing around with Absynth at my studio.

Apart from being a rich implementation of common synthesis techniques with a simple GUI, it’s the surround capabilities that interest me. I’m currently working on different strategies towards creating B-format audio content for further processing and spatialisation, as a way of doing sound design and content development for an upcoming project. The screenshot above is a Bidule patch.

It starts out with a 6 channel version of Absynth, controlled by a MIDI keyboard. The 6 channels are spatially distributed in a hexagon pattern. The six channels connect to a custom AudioUnit plugin I made today based on the eminent wdl-ol, Oli Larkin’s take on the WDL / IPlug C++ framework for cross-platform audio plugin development. The 4-channel B-format signal is then passed to Harpex for ambisonic decoding.

At the moment I’m playing with a similar setup in Reaper, decoding to 7 channels according to the rather idiosyncratic speaker setup at my studio. Thanks to Harpex, this actually leads to much more articulated spatialisation than a similar setup using a 7-channel version of Absynth with speakers at the same position as at my studio.

The next step now is to see if and how I can control surround panning using LFOs .And the ultimate goal of it all is to be able to use B-format signals as sources in DBAP decoding for a larger loudspeaker rig.

Lots’s of fun….

MUU FOR EARS 9 launch party at Lydgalleriet

April 16, 2012


Last Friday I did a performance at the MUU FOR EARS 9 record launch at Lydgalleriet here in Bergen. The gig came up at short notice and I simply didn’t get the time to post about it ahead of the performance.


Friday April 13 Trond Lossius and Joonas Siren will play short concerts from 2000.

The new CD Compilation “MUU FOR EARS 9″ explores the sound art and experimental music scenes in Finland and Norway. The compilation contains a wide range of material, including field recordings, sound installations, experimental musical improvisations, remix and sample compositions and live recordings.

The artists on MUU FOR EARS 9 are Child Of Klang, Hemmelig Tempo, Trond Lossius and Marieke Verbiesen from Norway, with Mikko Maasalo, Aleksi Myllykoski/Urban Dark Ensemble, Antti Nykyri and Joonas Siren/Younghusband from Finland.

MUU FOR EARS Event at Lydgalleriet in Bergen offers a unique opportunity to experience new innovative music and sound art. During the event following artists from the CD compilation will perform: Trond Lossius and Joonas Siren.

Trond Lossius is a sound and installation artist based in Bergen. His work is a continuous exploration of sound in space. He is educated in geophysics, music composition and sound art, and combines artistic practice and research with software development.

Joonas Siren is a Helsinki-based aural/visual artist. He often works with sound and uses it in many different ways and contexts. His visual works are often located within the fields of digital art, installation and site-specific art.

The event is organised by Artists’ Association MUU in cooperation with Lydgalleriet in Bergen.

MUU is an artist run, Finnish interdisciplinary artist association, founded in 1987 to represent and promote new and experimental forms of art. The aims of Muu are to develop the collaboration and interchange of artists working within different fields, to produce projects, events, seminars and exhibitions of the Muu (”the Other”) art fields and to arouse cultural political discussion.

Three Cities Project @ MUSA, Aberdeen

April 17, 2012


Coming Sunday I will be performing at MUSA in Aberdeen as part of the Three Cities Project.

This event is part of an ongoing artistic and cultural exchange between the three cities of Aberdeen, Bergen and St Peters-burg. The evening will showcase a rich variety of new sound and audiovisual works by Ross Whyte, Pete Stollery, Trond Lossius and Suk-Jun Kim as well as work by communities from each of the cities.

Jamoma workshops @ Art.On.Wires

April 18, 2012


Art.On.Wires is an annual event in Oslo for researchers, makers, creative professionals, artists, and practitioneers. For one week in May they create a temporary laboratory to explore and construct new technology for artistic expression in a relaxed and innovative atmosphere.

This years festival will include several workshops relating to Jamoma. I will offer two workshops: An introduction to using Jamoma, and a workshop on surround sound, while Alexander Refsum Jensenius from fourMs lab at University of Oslo will lead a workshop on motion capturing.

Please check out the Art.On.Wires web site for further information and tickets.

Effect processing of ambisonic signals prior to or after decoding

April 19, 2012


Figure 1. Analysis using a matrix-based decoder.



Figure 1. Analysis using a matrix-based decoder.


I am gradually exploring how to work on B-format files. Here’s some screenshots of patches I’ve whipped up to study the effect of processing the sound files before or after the decoding. If it is possible to do processing prior to decoding, it has a number of advantages. I’ll only need to process four channels, rather than the probably larger number of channels determined by the loudspeaker setup. Also the processed sound will be agnostic of speaker setup, making the processed files more flexible.

Figure 1 use the ICST ambidecode~ object. This is a matrix-based and hence linear decoder. Not surprisingly we see that there are no phase differences when comparing signals that were processed prior to and after decoding.

The second screenshot use the Harpex plugin instead. This is not a linear decoder:

A physical approach which reconstructs the recorded sound field is possible, but considering the volume of space occupied by even a single listener’s head, it can only work for frequencies below 800 Hz in the best case. So a psychoacoustical approach must be taken instead, where the loudspeaker feeds are designed to produce a sound field which, while different from the original soundfield, reconstructs the perceived auditory scene over a larger region of space. The design of a decoder therefore requires not only a model of the wave propagation from loudspeaker to listener, but also a psychoacoustical model.

Harpex is a new B-format processing algorithm that takes into account both the non-linear, parametric nature of spatial hearing and our uncanny ability to resolve simultaneous sounds.

As can be seen in Figure 2 there are phase differences between the signals resulting from a pre- or post-decoding processing. Now the next interesting question will be: What sounds the best, processing before or after the decoding?

Over the coming weeks and months I hope that I’ll gradually be able to do similar studies of other common (and less common) effects, in order to build up a versatile toolset of FX processes for ambisonic sound design and mixing.

Xenakis week in Oslo

April 20, 2012


Celebrating that Xenakis would be 90 this year, Ny Musikk (New Music) and NOTAM in collaboration with Oslo Kino and Centre Iannis Xenakis (CIX) organize a Xenakis festival May 2-5 in Oslo, including concerts, film screenings, discussions and workshops.

As I am anyway in Oslo at the time for the Art.On.Wires festival, I an looking forward to be able to attend the evening program.

Three Cities Project: Live Event – MUSA, Aberdeen

April 22, 2012

This event is part of an ongoing artistic and cultural exchange between the three cities of Aberdeen, Bergen and St Petersburg. The evening will showcase a rich variety of new sound and audiovisual works by Ross Whyte, Pete Stollery, Trond Lossius and Suk-Jun Kim as well as work by communities from each of the cities.

Pieces of bits while disassembling (for IKEA)

April 27, 2012


Tomorrow (Saturday, April 28) I am doing a one day installation in collaboration with Anna Wignell. The Bergen IKEA store is moving to new premisses, and the Borealis festival is doing an event at the old store house one just before it closes.


Stenger gamle IKEA Åsane med lyd og lys!

Lørdag 28. april 2012, kl. 15:00 – 20:00

Stenging av gamle IKEA Åsane med lyd og lys

Kunstnerne Trond Lossius og Anna Wignell bidrar til markeringen med ”Pieces of bits while disassembling (for IKEA)”, en felles lyd- og lysinstallasjon plassert i øverste etasje av gamle IKEA Åsane. Utenfor restauranten vil Roar Slettelands ”Eske med platespiller” snurre ABBAs LP «Arrival» fra 1975 i skiftende – men alltid feil – tempo, fra kl. 15:00 og ut over ettermiddagen. Det vil også være ulike Fluxus flash performancer – nyskapende, humoristiske performance-stykker fra Fluxus-perioden på 1960-tallet som inneholder bruk av kremkaker, bobler og gummihansker – rundt om i butikken. Kl. 19:00 vil det være en mottakelse hvor publikum får en sjanse til å møte kunstnerne Lossius og Wignell.

Modularitet er bruk av standardiserte elementer som kan kombineres på ulike måter. Dette er utbredt innenfor så forskjellige områder som teknologi, programmering, kunst, design, arkitektur og varetransport. Modularitet er dermed også knyttet til prosesser som standardisering og globalisering. Lossius og Wignells installasjon undersøker generelle ideer om modularitet, og særlig konvensjoner og standarder i interiørdesign og arkitektur (for eksempel kjøkkenløsninger) som i stor grad har blitt definert av IKEA.

Trond Lossius er en lyd- og installasjonskunstner som bor i Bergen, Norge. Hans undersøkelser av lyden i rommet er relatert til kunst og musikk, samt forskning og programutvikling. Han har samarbeidet med andre kunstnere i et stort antall tverrfaglige prosjekter, særlig lydinstallasjoner og arbeid for scene, og hans verk har blitt presentert i Norge og utlandet. Med Verdensteatret vant han New York Dance and Performance Awards a.k.a. The Bessies 2005-2006 i kategorien Installation & New Media. Han ble uteksaminert med en mastergrad i geofysikk, han har studert musikk og komposisjon ved Griegakademiet, og var stipendiat i kunst ved Kunsthøgskolen i Bergen 2003-07. Trond Lossius er forskning- og utviklingskoordinator ved BEK, bidrar til utvikling av programvaren Jamoma og er gjesteforsker ved Universitetet i Oslo. Mer informasjon:

Anna Wignell er en svensk billedkunstner, basert i Stockholm/Gøteborg/Berlin. Hun arbeider med installasjon og arbeidet omfavner en rekke medier som video, tekst, lys, osv. Spørsmål om refleksivitet resonerer i hennes arbeid som utforskning av de iboende maktstrukturer og tekniske prosesser i media som er presentert i hennes verk. Anna Wignell har stilt ut på Bonniers Konsthall i Stockholm (2009), InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Center i Toronto (2010), Skånes Konstförening i Malmö (2011), Infernoesque i Berlin (2011). Konstnärshuset i Stockholm (2012, blant annet). Wignell har mastergrad i Fine Arts fra The Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm (2006). Utstillingen på IKEA Åsane er hennes første utstilling i Norge. Mer informasjon:

Roar Sletteland er aktivist i den samtidsmusikalske undergrunnen i Bergen. ”Eske med platespiller” ble laget for å generere musikalsk materiale til Torstein Aagaard-Nilsens musikkstykke «Random Grumble» som Ny Musikk Bergen bestilte i 2010. Den består av en modifisert platespiller som spiller brokker av musikk i skiftende – men alltid feil – tempo. Hver gjennomspilling varer i ti minutter, men det vi hører er forskjellig fra gang til gang ettersom stiften flytter seg vilkårlig rundt på platen. Noen ganger gjenkjenner vi den opprinnelige musikken, andre ganger er den redusert til abstrakte klanger og støy.

Fluxus flash performance. Fluxus stammer fra et internasjonalt nettverk av kunstnere, komponister og designere, kjent for sin blanding av medier og disipliner på 1960-tallet, hvor stykkene er enkle og humoristiske – som her med bruk av kremkaker, bobler og gummihansker. Flash performance indikerer at dette er korte hendelser.

”Choice 1” av Robert Bozzi slik den ble fremført på Borealis i 2009.

Fluxus performancene finner sted på følgende tidspunkt:

15.00: Ivar Vogt, ”Choice 1” av Robert Bozzi

Andreas Misund Berntsen, ”Piece for Winds” av Joe Jones
Andreas Misund Berntsen & Alwynne Pritchard, “Rainbow No. 1 for Orchestra” av Ay-O

16.00: Luise Langenhan, ”In Memorium George Maciunas #1” av Robert Bozzi

Andreas Misund Berntsen, ”Piece for Winds” av Joe Jones
Andreas Misund Berntsen & Alwynne Pritchard, “Rainbow No. 1 for Orchestra” av Ay-O

17.00: Ivar Vogt, ”Choice 1” av Robert Bozzi

17.30: Roar Sletteland, ”White Tooth Workshop” av Ken Friedman

Andreas Misund Berntsen, ”Piece for Winds” av Joe Jones
Andreas Misund Berntsen & Alwynne Pritchard, “Rainbow No. 1 for Orchestra” av Ay-O

18.30: Luise Langenhan, ”Choice 1” av Robert Bozzi

19.00: Thorolf Thuestad & Alwynne Pritchard, ”Dressing” av Willem de Ridder

Dette arrangementet er i samarbeid med IKEA Åsane og er støttet av Norden Kulturkontakt Nord, Bergen kommune, Norsk kulturråd og BEK.

Pieces of bits while disassembling (for IKEA)

April 28, 2012

This was a temporary and site-specific installation of sound, light, video and objects by Trond Lossius and Anna Wignell. The project was installed at the old IKEA store in Åsane, Bergen, as part of a one-day five-hours happening produced by the Borealis festival the last day before IKEA moved to new premises.