Boundary is an interactive augmented reality sound sculpture created as part of Screen Dive for the Gaudeamus Festival 2020. The app is built and designed by guitarist and composer Amy Brandon.
The app generates the musical composition through "touching" the sculptures. This musical result is performed by flautist Sara Constant.
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Hi – my name is Amy Brandon and I’m a composer and guitarist who works with augmented reality.
Much of my work with augmented reality is connected to themes of boundaries, examining the place where the real world ends, and the digital world begins. Part of that boundary is the physical connection between these two spheres, and the exact moment where the physical body begins to merge with digital space. Augmented reality technology, in particular AR controlled by hand gestures, gives the physical body control over digital space, allowing the individual to explore and sense the boundary between the real and the digital realm, and to manipulate it – in the context of my piece for Screen dive – titled Boundary, the programming of the app allows the performer to interact with the digital space physically.
Boundary is an interactive augmented reality app where members of the public can interact with a composition that is rendered as 3D augmented reality sculptures. ‘Walking’ through the sculpture and examining it using the ‘lens’ of a smart phone, or ‘touching’ the sculptural elements, triggers sonic events, which creates a building and receding electroacoustic soundscape that is dependant on the movement patterns of the individual users. The sound is heard via their smart phone or tablet, preferably through headphones.
My work in augmented reality is very much related to my acoustic compositions. When I write for instruments, I also explore the capacity of acoustic sound to inhabit a space as three-dimensional sculpture, with acoustic sound being composed as if it was a physical material with distinct delineations, textures and shapes in space. I have experienced music and sound in this quasi-visual/synaesthetic way for a long time, and one of the advantages to composing in augmented reality is that I am able to marry the visual and the sonic in a much more direct way.