Sonic Choreosophia: a cross-disciplinary investigation on sound and movement practices

Perego, Tommaso. 2017. Sonic Choreosophia: a cross-disciplinary investigation on sound and movement practices. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis is the account of cross-disciplinary research that explores spatial audio experiences in multimodal contexts. The practice of arranging dynamical modifications of spatial attributes of sound to create impressions of movement through sound has been applied to dance choreography and theatre. Using wave field synthesis and ambisonics technologies for spatial audio sound playback, two projects have been created: Stranded (2013), a joint choreography for three dancers and sonic movement in collaboration with choreographer Jalianne Li, and I Hear You See Me (2014), an audiovisual installation featuring participatory theatre, sonic movement, and motion graphics, in collaboration with theatre artist Silvia Mercuriali and visual artist Simon Wilkinson.

These works are the outcome of a complex collaborative exchange between the author and the mentioned artists and a comparison at multiple levels (aesthetic, technical, cultural) between the different disciplines involved, and propose alternative reflections about spatial audio composition. For example, the choreographic ideas of Li, the aesthetics and movement studies of Rudolf Laban, the works and writing of choreographers Mary Wigman, Merce Cunningham and Pina Bausch have all been used to evaluate the kinetic power of sonic movement and its strengths measured against the clarity and immediacy of a dancing body. The participatory strategies of Mercuriali’s theatre, the composite works by Len Lye's, Oskar Fischinger's audiovisual experiments, and historical and contemporary examples from kinetic and installation art have all helped to bring forward a further reflection over a shift of function of sound, from essence of a composition to instrument for realising a kinetic idea.

Highlighting the necessity of a multimodal context when using spatial audio, but limiting the idea of a Sonic Choreosophia to a simple suggestion, this thesis thus documents a novel approach of using sound to create movement per se, and its potential for further development.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


Sonic Movement, Spatial Audio, Sound and movement practice, Dance, Choreography, Choreosophia, collaborative practice, cross-disciplinary research, multimodal perception, Ambisonics, Wave Field Synthesis, kinetic art, movement per se

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Music > Unit for Sound Practice Research


28 February 2017

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

24 Mar 2017 15:14

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:25


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