Musica Mobilis: New Relationships between Sound and Space


Session Title:

  • Public Spaces (Papers)

Presentation Title:

  • Musica Mobilis: New Relationships between Sound and Space




  • The aim of this paper is to present some strategies for creating works in Mobile Music that diminish, undermine or eliminate the barriers between artist and audience. Inspired by the text ‘Notes on the Elimination of the Audience’ by Allan Kaprow. We will discuss this subject considering a public of music and sound art, illustrating it through some work examples and detailing the compositional process by the author. The definiton of Mobile Music might be as wide as as the concept of Musica Mobilis by Shuhei Hosokawa: “I define Musica Mobilis as music whose source voluntarily or involuntarily moves from one point to another, coordinated by the corporal transportation of source owner(s).” (HOSOKAWA p.166). Although, in practical terms it could be considered a music which any part of its compositional process is mediated by mobile devices and takes advantage of its portability. What could include stage performances with mobile apps, standalone mobile applications, algorithmic music that makes use of GPS data, portable interfaces, etc. Differently from creating works to be played inside the concert room, the outside world makes obvious that space and place are a crucial part of the piece, and that our perception is clearly affected by what surrounds us. The art work is exposed to aesthetic, sociological and political aspects in a much more crude and almost inevitable way, and the participant placed in a more complex situation. Georg Klein applies the german word Ortsklang (Ort =address and Klang = sound, meaning the place or address of sound) to his works, that the author translates as SiteSounds, which express a stronger concept of site specificity.Creating a stronger relation with place the artists is able to compose relations with the participants in a much more intimate sphere, working with the deconstruction of our routine and everyday soundscape.