Thursday, October 8, 2015

Damian Murphy Helps Create Lost Spaces in Live Performance

Damian Murphy, a member of the Virtual Cathedral Project's Advisory Committee and Reader in Audio and Music Technology at the University of York, has recently been involved in a project to model the acoustics of York's St Mary's Abbey.

This project led to a live performance by members of the Ebor Singers this past September 25th, 2015 of a new composition for voice entitled Architexture II, by composer Ambrose Field.
Dating from 1088, St Mary’s Abbey was one of the largest Benedictine establishments in the north of England. Yet since ​its dissolution in ​1540, it has declined into ruin. 
A cross-disciplinary team from the University of York is ​bringing the space back to life, ​by re-constructing the acoustics and sounds of the building. 
Dr Jude Brereton, Dr Helena Daffern, and Amelia Gully from the Department of Electronics at the University of York led the real-time application of the reconstructed acoustic, originally modeled by Stephen Oxnard and Dr Damian Murphy. 
Through use of augmented reality acoustics, the audience gathered in the Abbey's ruins heard the composition as though it were being performed in the Abbey before it was abandoned in 1540, during the Dissolution of the Monasteries under Henry VIII. 
This project reflects recent developments in the technology of recording because it means that recordings of sounds for playback through acoustic models of lost spaces no longer have to be made in anechoic chambers to eliminate ambient noise from the recording.
Field’s work was composed to take full advantage of the 11-second reverberation time of the original building. 
You can hear part of Field's composition and get a feeling for the reverberation time of the reconstructed space by going here:!news/cwpd
You can read more about the composition here:
You can learn more about the event on S3ptember 25th here: 

The Virtual Cathedral Project will incorporate, in future manifestations, both this new recording technique, as well as new modes of display for the visual model, such as 3-D visual modeling technology. 

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