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http://www.reuters.com/video/2017/04/11/virtual-tour-reveals-lost-sounds-of-ston?videoId=371470849&videoChannel=6

Soundgate cover

A NEWLY-launched app from a researcher and a team of technicians at the University of Huddersfield called the EMAP Soundgate, will turn smartphones, tablets and computers into time travel devices, enabling users to see and to hear ancient and mysterious sites such as Stonehenge as they were in the distant past, before they fell into ruin.

The University’s Reader in Music, Dr Rupert Till, has a global reputation for “sound archaeology”, including investigations into the acoustics of ancient spaces, and for recreating the music and instruments of early civilisations. Now his research into the sound properties of sites that include Stonehenge and prehistoric cave dwellings in Europe has led to a free app that can be downloaded for PC, Mac, Android and iOS operating systems.

The sonic dimension of the new app is the most significant innovation, said Dr Till.

“There are a number of computer game-like walkarounds for different historic sites, but what is new with our app is the ability not only to see what a site like Stonehenge used to look like, but also to be able to hear what it used to sound like, by integrating acoustic modelling. Also, the use of recordings of relevant ancient musical instruments is very new”.

In addition to Stonehenge, where Dr Till has conducted extensive research on the original acoustics, the first release of the app enables users to make visual and sonic virtual tours of two other World Heritage sites – Palaeolithic Age decorated caves near Altamira in Northern Spain, and the ancient Roman theatre at Paphos in Cyprus. New sites could be added to future releases, and there are also plans to adapt it for virtual reality headsets.

Full physical access to the sites included on the first version of Dr Till’s app can be restricted. It is rare to be allowed to enter the centre of Stonehenge, for example. Therefore the app, installed on a portable device, can enrich an actual visit.

3Stonehenge

“What you see today at Stonehenge is a remnant of what used to be there, so it will be very interesting for visitors to have this app showing what it used to look like at different periods, from the beginning of its development through to its completion about 4,000 years ago,” said Dr Till.

App users will also have the choice of visualising the site at in daylight, dusk or after dark, with appropriate natural sounds.

Ancient musical instruments will also form part of the app’s sound bank. Dr Till’s recent activities have included the production of recordings for the European Musical Archaeology Project. They have included an acclaimed disc of Viking age music and the sounds made by ancient bone flutes.

The app has been conceived, developed and produced in-house at the University of Huddersfield, with the expertise of its Computer Games department being crucial to the digital modelling, based on the acoustic data provided by Dr Till.

The app is the culmination of some six years’ research by Dr Till, who has been in receipt of major funding from EU sources and from the UK’s Arts and Humanities and Engineering and Physical Science Research Councils.

More information can be found on the project website at: https://songsofthecaves.wordpress.com/multimedia/soundgate-app/

EMAP CDs can be found at http://delphianrecords.co.uk/product-group/the-edge-of-time-palaeolithic-bone-flutes-from-france-germany-emap-vol-4/

You can download the free app at:

PC & Mac: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/31721/

Mac via App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/emap-soundgate/id1207880655?mt=12

Android App: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.UoH.EMAPMusicProject&hl=en

iPhone and iPad (iOS) apps on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/emap-soundgate/id1207687938?mt=8

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The University of Huddersfield is part of a consortium currently advertising 12 funded PhD places for subjects related to Heritage Studies. This will pay tuition fees plus about £14,000 per year in living expenses (stipend). Applicants should have been living in the UK for the last 3 years, and should be UK or EU citizens. Eligibility is complex, and addressed on the application pages. Applicants should have an MA or have a good undergraduate degree along with relevant professional experience. These are competitive opportunities, and the awards will go to the best quality candidates and research applications, across a range of fields.

I am interested in particular in encouraging applications related to sound archaeology and multimedia archaeology. For example you may be interested in the following projects:

Sound/Music Archaeology PhD:

PhD project proposals are invited in the areas of sound archaeology, music archaeology, archaeoacoustics or related fields. This might involve an examination of the acoustics or acoustic ecology of an archaeological site or sites. It could involve study of musical instruments, composition for ancient musical instruments, the study of ancient music or any related subject. Another area of interest is the integration of audio into multimedia modelling of heritage sites. Research can integrate practice-based or practice-led elements as well as theoretical and contextual study. Students may wish to have co-supervision from a member of archaeological staff as well as an expert in sound archaeology. Students may have a background in acoustics, music technology, audio, composition or archaeology, although other fields are not excluded.

Multimedia Archaeology PhD:

PhD project proposals are invited to explore the use of multimedia tools to explore archaeological sites, particularly including exploration and modelling of sound as well as image. This could be a creative arts project, creating multimedia artworks, installations, or interactive environments that explore archaeological or heritage contexts. Models of world heritage sites, including Stonehenge, Palaeolithic decorated caves, and Cyprus’ Paphos theatre, as well as of other significant archaeological sites, are available as a starting point for the project. This may explore development of these models into edutainment/serious games. It may involve exploring the use of such modelling in heritage contexts. It could explore the modelling of specific spaces, or the use of online or interactive environments, including apps. Unreal or Unity game engines can be used. A focus could be specifically on audio elements of such research. Students with backgrounds in game design, programming, multimedia art, archaeology, music technology or related subjects are welcome. Support for multimedia, sound or archaeological elements is available, and a range of supervision support in different departments is available.

There may well be opportunities to be involved in the European Music Archaeology Project, a 5 year EU funded research project (www.emaproject.eu). The University of Huddersfield is a co-organizing partner in this project.

The advert is here:

http://www.heritageconsortium.ac.uk/2015/12/09/2016-ahrc-studentship-competition-up-to-12-phd-studentships-in-heritage-studies/

There is a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page here:

http://www.heritageconsortium.ac.uk/apply/frequently-asked-questions-faqs/

Details of how to apply are here:

http://www.heritageconsortium.ac.uk/apply/

I am happy to help with developing applications, please contact me at r.till@hud.ac.uk. Please mention my name in your application, and let me know if you are applying.

2 papers on the acoustics of Stonehenge are available on this website:

https://hud.academia.edu/RupertTill

Also further papers on Sound Archaeology and Archaeoacoustics are available.

We are advertising 6 fully funded PhDs in our University (fees + living expenses). Stipend should be at least the RCUK rate (£14,057 – uk pounds – per year) or more, and tuition fees will be paid.

There are a number of possible areas of supervision, but I would be particularly interested to supervise students interested in archaeoacoustics and music archaeology.

All subjects may involve creative work or practice based research. Final submissions could range from a portfolio of original creations to a written thesis, or a combination of the two. There would be the opportunity to be involved in European Music Archaeology Project (http://www.emaproject.eu) activities.

Current activities in this area in our department include recordings of ancient instruments (bone flutes, carnyx, aulos etc.); digital modelling of archaeological environments; and acoustic modelling, analysis and testing of archaeological sites.

Please feel free to email me if you want to discuss details of applications. Please mention my name in your application. Please circulate this and post it to any sites or individuals you think may be interested.

The application deadline is 10 September 2015.

email Rupert Till at R.Till@hud.ac.uk for more information

 

Apply at: http://www.necah.ac.uk/2015/08/07/north-of-england-consortium-for-arts-and-humanities-3-fully-funded-phd-studentships/

VISTA

Visual Interactive and Sound Technology in Archaeology

One Day Symposium

Sir George Buckley Lecture Theatre, CSLG01, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, UK, HD1 3DH.

Tuesday 16th June 2015, 10am – 5pm

This symposium collects together researchers working in digital modelling and reconstruction, app development, acoustic modelling, interactive design, audio-visual applications, and multimedia, and their relationships to archaeology, heritage science, cultural industries and museums.

European Music Archaeology Project and British Audio-Visual Research Network

Free tickets at http://tinyurl.com/ovcc7db

Cover image VISTA 2

https://www.facebook.com/pages/EMAProject/236176096591669

https://twitter.com/RupertTill/status/598416708655788033

Programme:

The increasing impact of digital survey across Historic England & English Heritage

Paul Bryan, Geospatial Imaging Manager, Historic England; Joe Savage, Interpretation Officer, English Heritage 

This presentation will highlight the increasing impact of digital survey technologies and methodologies across the work of Historic England and English Heritage. Alongside a summary of the technologies employed their variety of application will be highlighted through a number of case studies including the use of laser scan data at Stonehenge, Harmondsworth Barn and West Kennet Long Barrow and current work at Tintagel Castle using drone-acquired imagery and Structure-from-Motion (SfM) photogrammetry. As will be shown such digital survey work has multiple archaeological, conservation and presentational applications including interpretation and analysis, interactive app development and within exhibition displays.

Professional Commercial Archaeological Digital Visualization

Marcus Abbott, York Archaeological Trust

Marcus Abbott presents an insider’s view of the world of professional commercial archaeological modelling. He discusses and illustrates recent work by York Archaeological Trust.

Acoustic and Interactive Modelling in the European Music Archaeology Project

Rupert Till, Casto Vocal, University of Huddersfield

This presentation discusses the Soundgate, a 180 degree projection screen using 4 widescreen HD projectors to create an immersive visitor experience for the EMAP travelling exhibition. Footage will be filmed live at archaeological sites with digital cameras, as well further live film using anamorphic and fisheye lenses and a 4k Red camera to generate a form of digital cinerama. Digital modelling will also be used to generate cinematic reconstructions in the same format. Acoustic modelling, sound archaeology, archaeoacoustics and music archaeology will be used to create a soundtrack focused on reconstructions of ancient musical instruments being played in their original historic acoustic contexts. Digital film with soundtrack, interactive online, PC, tablet and smartphone versions will all be created.

Visualisation and Auralization: exploring digital lived experience in late medieval buildings.

Catriona Cooper
, Archaeological Computing Research Group, University of Southampton

Digital techniques in archaeological computing can offer new routes to approaching human experience. Catriona Cooper presents two case studies that demonstrate alternative and complementary techniques to explore the notion and implementation of a digital “lived experience” of late medieval buildings. A study based at Bodiam Castle uses digital visualisation to explore the lived experience of the private apartments. A second case study presents an assessment of a series of auralizations of Ightham Mote comparing recorded and modelled acoustical parameters with reference to both human responses and numerical parameters, concluding in combining the two approaches.

Intersensorality, Indeterminacy, Experimental Sound Design and Archaeological interpretation

Claire Marshall, Plateau Imprints

A focus on the VR reconstruction of the Ribchester Roman Fort in Lancashire. This will be amongst the first full 4D and multi-sensorial interpretations of a site in the UK, which foregrounds the intersensoriality and indeterminacy of ‘material culture,’ in general, and public heritage interpretation and experience, in particular.

Use of Oculus Rift for VR-Auralisation

Alex Southern, Royal Society Industry Research Fellow, University of York 

This is part of an ongoing project that makes use of Oculus Rift virtual reality technology to deliver immersive, interactive, 3D audio-visual experiences of a theatrical performance venue. Software has been developed to integrate the Oculus Rift (for 3D visualisation) and MAX/MSP (for 3D headphone auralisation) to view recorded performances, and users are able to interactively select their preferred seating location. The user is also able to freely move their head and look around the venue adding to the sense of immersion and resulting in a multi-modal experience.

Lost and Found Sound in the Vale of Pickering: Exploring the sonic properties of a Early Holocene landscape through sound art

Ben Elliott, Department of Archaeology, Jon Hughes, Department of Music, University of York 

The Sonic Horizons of the Mesolithic sought to apply new developments in contemporary landscape-based sound art composition to the palaeoenvironmental and archaeological data available for the landscape around Star Carr. Resulting in a series of ambisonic sound installation events across Yorkshire during the summer of 2013, this project explicitly explored the sonic environment within a context that defies traditional archaeocoustic approaches through its lack of archaeologically definable internal spaces. A landscape approach here was key, and this paper will reflect on the implications that this may hold for future considerations of sound in the deep past.

VIsta logos

EMAP logo

Rupert Till’s research on the acoustics of Stonehenge continues to be used by other researchers and media channels. Most recently Dr. Till was interviewed by the BBC television programme the sky at night as they presented the show from Stonehenge on the summer solstice. As well as discussing sound at the sight, the programme made extensive use of digital models of Stonehenge generated as a byproduct of his research. Working with staff from art and design, computing and engineering, and most recently with researcher John Fillwalk at Ball University in the US he has created increasingly accurate digital models of the site in order to do more accurate acoustic modelling. Dr. Fillwalk’s model aims to allow the sun and moon positions to be accurately modelled.

As well as being used by the sky at night, This research has been used by the History Channel, BBC radio 4, the New Scientist, the iPad/iPhone app ‘Stonehenge Experience’, and it has featured on Apple’s recent worldwide advertising campaign.

The sky at night can be seen at 7.30pm on bbc 4 on Thursday 11 July.

Clips featuring dr. Till and his work can be seen at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01ccpsp

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01ccn5f

Dr. Till is currently planning a research trip to northern Spain to explore the relationships between cave paintings and acoustics, with paintings that are up to 40,000 years old. He as also just started work on the European music archaeology project, an EU culture programme funded 5 year project.

Rupert Till is part of the European Music Archaeology Project (EMAP) – a project that has just been funded through the EU Culture Programme. It is a five-year project with an €2m budget, involving 8 partners from different EU countries. EMAP will develop a multimedia touring exhibition and accompanying programme of workshops and performances which will visit ten venues in eight countries between May 2015 and November 2016.

The exhibition covers the origins and evolution of European music from Prehistory to exisiting music traditions. The programme will create reconstructions and working models of ancient instruments, computer models of selected archaeological sites, their acoustics and soundscapes, outreach media such as books, CDs and videos, workshops and performances and a multimedia exhibition.

Rupert will set up a music archaeology record label and record either Greek instruments in a temple, Roman instruments at Pompeii’s Theatre or prehistoric instruments in chamber tombs. He will organise concerts featuring musicians from across Europe who are leading experts in the construction and playing of these instruments.

The project will finish in 2018; however, a Trust will be set up to continue the work of the project in the future.

CALL FOR PAPERS

Conference 19-22 February 2014 in MALTA

ARCHAEOACOUSTICS: The Archaeology of Sound
a multidisciplinary look at early sonic/aural awareness and lithic sound behavior, toward a better understanding of human and music development.

Archaeology has often been focused on the visual and on physical objects, although the past was of course not silent. Since many cultures explored through archaeology were focused on the oral and therefore the aural, it is becoming increasingly recognized that studying the sonic nature of parts of archaeology can enhance our understanding.

The intent of this conference is to explore the importance of sound in antiquity, sharing focused expertise from a variety of backgrounds in order to provide a forum for expanding previous conceptions and introducing new methodologies. We are particularly interested in the role acoustic behavior may have had in the development and design of important architecture and ritual spaces throughout the ancient world.

All presentations will be in English. Performance proposals will also be considered.

Submission of abstracts for a 20-minute presentation and proposals for posters/demos on any topic related to the theme will be open until 01 September 2013. Abstracts should be 300 words or less plus title and author details. Authors of papers accepted for presentation by the academic committee will be notified by 15 September 2013. Final papers are required by 15 January 2014.

Submissions should be made to: Conference2014@OTSF.org

Organized by The University of Malta and The OTS Foundation
Conference website: http://www.OTSF.org/Conference2014.htm

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