RITMO Seminar Series: Music in Augmented Reality

Nicola Dibben, Professor at the Department of Music, University of Sheffield, will speak at RITMO's Seminar Series

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This seminar is held in Forsamlingssalen in Harald Schjelderups Hus, and on YouTube.

Watch the live stream


Augmented reality (AR) is usually experienced as a visual augmentation in which a computer generated image is overlaid onto a visual scene viewed through a screen/glasses, creating a composite visual percept, e.g. Snapchat Lenses, Pokéman GO mobile game. But, as an increasing range of commercial applications indicate, AR can also take aural form, in which (spatialised) headphone sound is integrated with/overlays, audio from the listener’s physical environment. I discuss the ways in which this audio augmented reality (audio AR) is an emerging form of ‘new’ musical multimedia. Audio AR could be regarded as ‘nothing new’, since the history of sound recording, production and spatialisation can be viewed as a history of musical virtuality. However, my interviews with creators, and my analyses of case studies in relation to forms and theories of locative and new media suggest audio AR offers unique potential for musical experiences which exploit temporal and spatial form in music/sonic art, and enriched theories of music and virtuality. From the larger perspective of music in extended reality, audio AR highlights the question of how music might be experienced in a metaverse of AI assistants whispering in our ears.


Nicola Dibben is Professor in Music at the University of Sheffield. She has over 60 publications in psychology of music and popular music studies, and is former editor of the academic journals Empirical Musicology Review and Popular Music. Her publications include the co-authored Music and Mind in Everyday Life (2010), Sounds Icelandic (2019), and monograph Björk (2009), the latter of which lead to a collaboration on the artist’s multi-media app album, Biophilia (2011). Current projects include an investigation into social and environmental action through music, and research into the implications of extended reality technologies and AI for music makers and listeners.

Published Feb. 28, 2022 9:12 AM - Last modified Mar. 22, 2022 1:08 PM