Acoustic Heritage and Audio Creativity: the Creative Application of Sound in the Representation, Understanding and Experience of Past Environments

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Murphy, Damian Thomas ; Shelley, Simon Benedict ; Foteinou, Aglaia ; Brereton, Judith Sara ; Daffern, Helena (2017)

Acoustic Heritage is one aspect of archaeoacoustics, and refers more specifically to the quantifiable acoustic properties of buildings, sites and landscapes from our architectural and archaeological past, forming an important aspect of our intangible cultural heritage. Auralisation, the audio equivalent of 3D visualization, enables these acoustic properties, captured via the process of measurement and survey, or computer based modelling, to form the basis of an audio reconstruction and presentation of the studied space. This paper examines the application of auralisation and audio creativity as a means to explore our acoustic heritage, thereby diversifying and enhancing the toolset available to the digital heritage or humanities researcher. The Open Acoustic Impulse Response (OpenAIR) library is an online repository for acoustic impulse response and auralisation data, with a significant part having been gathered from a broad range of heritage sites. The methodology used to gather this acoustic data is discussed, together with the processes used in generating and calibrating a comparable computer model, and how the data generated might be analysed and presented. The creative use of this acoustic data is also considered, in the context of music production, mixed media artwork and audio for gaming. More specifically to digital heritage is how these data can be used to create new experiences of past environments, as information, interpretation, guide or artwork and ultimately help to articulate new research questions and explorations of our acoustic heritage.
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