Immersive Music Experience – a discussion

The current developments in virtual reality are focused on the use of headsets such as the Oculus Rift but the ‘Immersive Music Experience’ project, by researchers at University of West London, aims to create a simpler but more share-able immersive experience that would be more suitable for the museum environment.

Could this form of presentation of musical performance have far reaching application as an educational tool?

We would like to invite you to be part of the conversation as Sara McGuinness and Simon Zagorski Thomas present and discuss the outcomes of their first pilot recordings for the ‘Immersive Music Experience’ project.

More about the pilot recording…
As a pilot, Sara and Simon recorded a performance by the seven piece Congolese-Cuban fusion band, Grupo Lokito. The performance was video recorded with a 360° camera so that it could be projected on a hexagonal arrangement of screens with different members of the band seen on different walls. There was a separate speaker used for each of the musicians, placed next to their video image with only the sound of their own instrument (or voice) coming out of that speaker. Visitors walked around the space ‘mixing’ the track for themselves by adjusting their position amongst the speakers. They could thus focus on a single instrument or listen to the ways that they interact with each other. The platform was aimed at both the presentation of anthropological documentation of musical practice in museum spaces and music education.

The discussion panel will include:

Sara McGuinness
Sara McGuinness specializes in practiced-based research, performance, and recording, with a focus on Congolese and Cuban music. She combines a career as a musician with her academic work primarily at the London College of Music and the School of Oriental and African Studies. Through her extensive work with musicians around the world, Sara actively explores the inextricable links between music, culture and identity.

Simon Zagorski Thomas
Simon Zagorski Thomas is a Professor at the London College of Music, University of West London. He is a director of the Art of Record Production Conference and co-chairman of the Association for the Study of the Art of Record Production. His publications include The Art of Record Production (co-edited with Simon Frith) and The Musicology of Record Production. He has also worked for 25 years as a composer, sound engineer and producer with artists such as Phil Collins, London Community Gospel Choir, The Courtney Pine and the Balanescu Quartet.

Jimmy Martinez-Hernandez
Jimmy Martinez-Hernandez; is a Cuban bass player, working extensively on the UK and international scene. He teaches performance and ensemble skills both in the field of Cuban and Popular music.


Image by Simon Zagorski Thomas