International Seminar on Sonic Design

The seminar explored sonic design from multiple angles and celebrated the achievements of Professor Rolf Inge Godøy.


Image may contain: Collar, Wrinkle, Throat, Official.
Professor Rolf Inge Godøy

The seminar is set up to celebrate the achievements of Professor Rolf Inge Godøy and continue discussing some of the topics he has contributed to throughout his career. After studying musicology, philosophy, and the history of ideas at the University of Oslo, Professor Godøy moved on to obtain diplomas in music theory and composition from the Norwegian Academy of Music. He then worked as a freelance composer for several years before returning to academia to undertake a PhD in musicology. As a professor of music theory at the University of Oslo for almost 30 years he has taught and supervised several generations of students in a broad range of musicological sub-disciplines.

During most of his academic career, Professor Godøy has developed Pierre Schaeffer's concept of the sonic object into his own embodied sound and music theory. During the last decades, he has also been central in establishing the fourMs Lab as a world-leading infrastructure for research into music-related body motion. He is a principal investigator at RITMO Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Rhythm, Time, and Motion, a Norwegian Centre of Excellence, until his retirement.

Sonic Design

Professor Godøy has over the years proposed the concept of sonic design as an amalgam between artistic and scientific approaches to the creation and study of (musical) sound. On one side, sonic design includes the practices of synthesising entirely new sounds or recording, editing and mixing acoustic sounds. Over the years, these practices have merged with composition and orchestration techniques and various music production methods to allow for previously unheard of sonic results. In addition to such creative applications, sonic design can also encompass different sonification strategies aiming to create “objective” representations of data through sound.

Underlying all the practical approaches to the creation of sounds for various purposes are several basic research perspectives, including music theory, music perception, embodied cognition, phenomenology, acoustics, cognitive neuroscience, and digital signal processing, to mention just a few. As such, sonic design can be seen as a meeting point between basic and applied research, "soft" and "hard" approaches, and creative and analytic perspectives.

As a longtime practitioner, researcher, teacher, and supervisor, Professor Godøy has been central in developing a holistic approach to sonic design, from theory to practice. While much of his early work focused on sound as sound, he has extended his approach to considering the embodied aspects of both the performance and perception of music over the last decades. He is particularly known for his work on Musical Imagery (2001) and Musical Gestures (2010) and has over the last decade focused his attention on sonic and bodily (co)articulations.




Thursday 5 May 2022
9:30 Coffee and registration    
10:00 Welcome Zafer Özgen University of Oslo
10:05 Introducing the program Alexander Refsum Jensenius University of Oslo
10:10 Sonic design and the power-theory of music Marc Leman Ghent University
10:30 Connecting theories of music performance and expression for sonic design Dahl, Sofia Aalborg University
10:50 A Grammar of Conducting Expressive Gestures Gibet, Sylvie University of South Brittany
11:10 Break    
11:25 Empirical Analysis of Gestural Sonic Objects Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Methods Visi, Federico Luleå University of Technology
11:45 Cecil Taylor's Gestural Designs Stover, Chris Griffith University
12:05 Excitations and resonances: Misinterpreted actions in Neon Meditations Holopainen, Risto  
12:25 Introducing the Self-playing guitars installation Erdem, Cagri University of Oslo
12:27 Introducing the Dr Squiggles installation Krzyzaniak, Michael University of Oslo
12:30 Lunch    
13:15 Sonic Objects and Motor-mimetic Cognition: Promises, Limitations, and Emotive Affordances Aksnes, Hallgjerd University of Oslo
13:35 Music and Enactive Time Design: Glitches, (Dis-)Orientations, and the Ethics of Hesitation Kozak, Mariusz Columbia University
13:55 The Gestural Sonorous Other Kelkar, Tejaswinee University of Oslo
14:15 Break    
14:30 Analyzing kinematics of complex embodied music interaction Toiviainen, Petri University of Jyväskylä
14:50 Embodied pitch while walking to music Migotti, Léo Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris
15:10 Sonic design and spatial morphology Ulf A. S. Holbrook  
15:30 Break    
15:45 A Motion Capture Story from Facebook to the New York Times Kobb, Christina  
16:05 Different attitudes of expressive movements awareness in professional musicians through a phenomenological approach Minafra, Annamaria Conservatorio di Musica "N. Piccinni"-Bari
16:25 Gestures and instrument design Wanderley, Marcelo McGill University
16:45 Break    
17:00 Sounding Belfast During Covid-19: Lockdowns Georgios Varoutsos Queen's University Belfast
17:20 The Listening Body: Sound and the Sensory Apprehension of Movement Gemma Crowe Emily Carr University of Art + Design
17:40 Modifying audio parameters as we move: a site-specific approach to sonic design Thomas, Denez University of Rennes 2
18:00 Bubbles and tapas    
Friday 6 May 2022
9:30 Coffee    
10:00 Interactive Music Performance Erdem, Cagri and Lan, Qichao University of Oslo
10:15 Acoustic Metamaterials for Sonically Designing Musical Instruments and Room Acoustics Bader, Rolf University of Hamburg
10:35 From a squeak to something general Halmrast, Tor University of Oslo / Cowi
10:55 Wearable musical instrument in rehabilitation Louhivuori, Jukka University of Jyväskylä
11:15 Break    
11:30 Sonic Design in Augmented Reality Wang Yichen Australian National University
11:50 Rendering Collected Ephemera Audible: Sonic Design as Attending to Multiplicity Sagesser, Marcel Zaes Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen
12:10 Broadcast Signals that Enable Sustained Concurrent Action Upham, Finn University of Oslo
12:30 Lunch    
13:15 Metrical Shapes Haugen, Mari Romarheim University of Oslo
13:35 My 50-year stroll through Sonic Design and Embodiment Van Noorden, Leon Ghent University
13:55 Embodied sound design of robots to reflect desired personality traits Coca, Andres Edinburgh Napier University
14:15 Break    
14:30 The evolution of electroacoustic music in a live SuperCollider composition Christodoulou, Anna-Maria National and Kapodistrian University of Athens / University of Oslo
14:50 Computational detection and characterisation of sonic shapes: Towards a Toolbox des objets sonores Olivier Lartillot, Rolf Inge Godøy, Anna-Maria Christodoulou University of Oslo
15:10 Break    
15:20 Sonic design Rolf Inge Godøy University of Oslo
15:50 Reflections on sound and structure Anne Danielsen University of Oslo
16:00 Closing of seminar Alexander Refsum Jensenius University of Oslo
16:15 End of program    

Abstracts and bios

Please refer to the abstracts of presentations and bios of presenters.

Artistic program

There will be one performance and two installations during the seminar.


If you have any questions, please get in touch with:

Tags: music, sound, sonic design
Published Dec. 10, 2021 10:43 AM - Last modified Aug. 15, 2022 9:03 AM