Note on Azimuth #3 Concert : a new piece for 32 channels

Rough view of Azimuth #3 setup

Few months ago, I was invited to present a piece for 32 channel system of Azimuth foundation. Azimuth foundation( is an organization of musicians/composers that organize concerts with their multichannel system that its configuration varies every edition. This time, they offered 32 channels: 8 circle outside, 4 quadra up and down at the corners of the hall, 8 circular center up, and down.

Then I thought I must write a new piece for it, although I didn’t have so much time left at the moment. I didn’t want to re-arrange an old piece that is written for a different system as this specific configuration can offer a number of interesting ideas to make a sound journey.

As I have been writing a lot for the WFS system (192 loudspeakers), my brain worked automatically the way I used to when writing for the WFS, which… could be described like : considering the whole space as an opened one, and creating my own ‘drawings.’

It wasn’t too long to realize that I was wrong in my approach, as this system is quite a different one. It is more like a ‘interwoven’ space that is made with a mixed up of different system(quad+multiple octa, and even stereos), accordingly different capacities. I couldn’t say that it is for a diffusion, nor for a spatialization. Rather a mixture of those two, especially with the setup in the center, speakers directing toward the audience, from up to down.

The speakers in the center, 8 up and 8 down toward the audience

The idea had to follow up of the ideal of the speaker setup. Then my composition should have to make sense as well. Then I thought it will be a good idea to have two specific ‘motions’ work together: 1. Some sound sources that are alive, moving, and having strong identities. 2. Clouds that are diffuse and support those main actors.

Previously, actually long time ago, I wrote a series of pieces for the WFS system, called ‘Enfolding Plane(I and II).’ Those are the pieces that I composed in order to study fully what the WFS could do with a variety of different spatial figures, of course with different sound materials. I thought it might be a good idea to add another piece into the series this time, so that I put ‘Enfolding Plane III’ title and gave a subtitle into it, which was ‘Punky Pulse Pool.’

I imagined a giant pool that several selfish pulse-character sounds are trying to occupy the space. It is rather a political fight than a violent one (as sometimes it could end up like that). I created a simple theme with pulse wave that has a small gesture, and started manipulate it into a variety of ways (I called it ‘variations’ in my program note). I had over 200 babies that came out from the theme. I was thinking of categorizing them first, then I thought, why not just trying to listen to them all together. Just out of curiosity.

I randomly placed (threw) all the sound files within 15 minutes time, listened to them, and then I hear a giant mass. (That was the moment that I made the title.) From there, without actually moving the sound files in time, I started cut them off. In other words, I started sculpting it, revealing what’s hidden, and sometimes hiding what’s representative. During this process, I also made decisions of where each sounds or parts of sounds should go and do. Are they staying? Moving? Diffuse? Heavy? Light? Slow? Fast? Overwhelming? Passing by? Supporting? Leading? Timid? And so on.

Localization of sounds is indicated with different colors

After that I moved the result into the WFS Collider, and then I gave them color marks based on my decisions in order to remember and to create the final tracks, and made note of it. This process took quite long. Longer than creating all the sounds.

The tricky part was the fact that I can’t test this in my studio. I wish I had 32 channels myself to try it out but well, I had to use fully my imagination.

Then I made a virtual setup that is similar to the original with the WFSCollider, the software for the WFS system, which, as I mentioned earlier, allows you to create your own space. Then I could have a bit of perspectives how it might sound.

Always very exciting to go for the first tryout with the actual system. This time wasn’t an exception. The most difficult part is to balance all the speakers as they are with different capacity/character. As it was the first time of listening, I spent most of the time making the balance.

Azimuth #3 Concert (22,Apr,2017)

The performance went well. A number of audience of course make the sound quite different, but it was alright. The difference between the WFS and this setup (or course there are many different aspects but if I mention as a biggest part of it) is how the chunk(mass) of sounds is heard; WFS is very good with a sound mass with vivid individuals, while this setup can’t give that amount of detail. However it forces you with much power. It moves you up and down, back and forth!

One of the interesting feedbacks from the audience: “I could feel that I am taking a shower at the giant water fall, but the water came from the bottom, not from the top!”

I feel grateful to have a wonderful experience, not only to compose but also to listen to the system. Multichannel exploration is never boring. There are still a lot to find, reveal. Discovering hidden spaces beyond our imagination.

Sonic Screens – Call For Multichannel Works

*Sonic Screens – environmental music listening sessions*

*Live mixing and spatialization by U.S.O. Project (Matteo Milani & Federico


*Call for multichannel works*

*U.S.O. Project* is pleased to invite submissions of fixed media sound works
for the second edition of “Sonic Screens”, a journey among different
electroacoustic Soundscape compositions.

*Sonic Screens* is an annual event that will take place during two
acousmatic evenings in Milan during Fall 2011.

*Sonic Screens* aims to render the endless possibilities of life and its
surroundings experienceable in our conscious activity, trying to deal with
the possible infinites of the listening experience, both in their objective
and manufactured dimensions.

*“Listening to the environment, contextualizing it objectively and
creatively has always been a priority of the work of U.S.O. Project.
Free from any pseudo-environmental or socio-political implication, the
continuous work on sampling, processing and transfiguration of found sound
and carefully preserved in memory of a digital recorder, has always played a
central role in our compositional practices.
U.S.O. defines Soundscape as the expressive and narrative richness that
comes from the reciprocal and continuous interaction of multiple sound
sources from the real world, and other phenomena which are perceptible and
measurable only through proper and adequate transduction (electromagnetic
signals, for example).
A Soundscape is also an opportunity for reflection and imagination that has
little to share with the real world.
A Soundscape can be a place of the mind, a reminiscence of a future
experienced in dreams, lands far away in space and time.” – Matteo Milani &
Federico Placidi<>


Composers and sound artists are invited to submit multichannel works, up to
8 channels. The assignment of channels to speakers must be clearly indicated
in the submission. Works of any duration will be considered although pieces
of under 16 minutes will be given preference.

The performance will take advantage of Ambisonics sound diffusion practice,
creating an immersive and uninterrupted sound flow between different works
from selected international artists.

The material will be transcoded in real time to *2nd Order B-Format* (via *
ICST* Ambisonics Externals for

The recordings of the concerts will be available for streaming and released
in binaural format for headphone use. The ownership of the tracks remains to
the authors.

*Submissions need to include:*

1. a stereo version of the piece
2. individual mono files for each channel
3. channel configuration
4. sample rate
5. program notes
6. brief biography

While the composers of the selected works are encouraged to attend the
event, attendance is not required for a work to be presented.

There is no registration fee.

The deadline for submission of works is October 31st, 2011.

*Material Submissions*

Please send download links to your work using one of the many file delivery
services (,,,, etc)
in .zip or .rar format. Please do not email file attachments.

Electronic submissions should be sent to:

*[submissions at synesthesiarecordings dot com]*

For more information, email contact:

*[info at usoproject dot com]*

*Terms and Conditions*

Each participant may submit up to two works.

[Date and Venue To Be Announced]


*“The essential difference between an electroacoustic composition that uses
pre-recorded environmental sound as its source material, and a work that can
be called a soundscape composition, is that in the former, the sound loses
all or most of its environmental context. In fact, even its original
identity is frequently lost through the extensive manipulation it has
undergone, and the listener may not recognise the source unless so informed
by the composer. In the soundscape composition, on the other hand, it is
precisely the environmental context that is preserved, enhanced and
exploited by the composer.” – Barry Truax*

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