In consideration of the many important contributions to research on the auditory dimension of timbre from different viewpoints over the past five years, including small workshops at Telecom ParisTech and Harvard University, a 2-day workshop was held at the Berlin Musical Instrument Museum on 12 & 13 January 2017.
Bringing together young researchers and established scholars from the fields of psychology, cognitive neuroscience, musicology, and engineering, the goal was to enable a multifaceted dialogue around timbre, assemble a comprehensive state of the art, and forge collaborations across the different disciplines to help address challenges in our understanding of timbre from empirical, theoretical, and computational perspectives.
The scientific program was structured around four themes: Cognitive Mechanisms of Timbre; Timbre Perception in Musical Contexts; Concepts, Semantics, and History of Timbre; and Acoustic Modeling of Timbre. Each theme was introduced by a keynote address, followed by a session with invited speakers. A panel discussion at the end of the second day considered challenging issues of great interest across the workshop participants.
Organized by Charalampos Saitis (Audio Communication Group, TU Berlin) and Kai Siedenburg (Department of Medical Physics and Acoustics, University of Oldenburg), in collaboration with Stefan Weinzierl (Audio Communication Group, TU Berlin) and Hans-Joachim Maempel (Federal Institute for Music Research). Funding was provided by the German Reseach Foundation and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation.
Michael Harenberg is Professor of Composition and Media Theory at the Bern University of the Arts in Switzerland, and currently the DAAD Edgard Varèse Guest Professor for Computer Music at the Technical University Berlin. He studied systematic musicology in Giessen and composition at Darmstadt, and his research and artistic output focuses on virtual instruments, their aesthetics, and new forms of musical expression.
Frank Fielder is a percussionist and sound artist, currently teaching at the Berlin Free School of Music.
Ernesto Molinari studied clarinet in Basel and bass clarinet in Amsterdam. He was a member of Klangforum Wien from 1994 to 2005. He presently lives in Bern and has a teaching appointment at the Conservatory there. He has been the clarinet tutor at Darmstadt since 2000. Along with the interpretation of classical, romantic, and contemporary repertoire, Molinari practices jazz and improvisation.
Harenberg's virtual instruments are modulated, expanded and jointly reconfigured with the percussive sound bodies of Frank Fiedler and the sounds of a newly developed double bass clarinet by Ernesto Molinari. Through the real as well as virtual instrumental interrelations, novel forms of interplay and collaborative improvisation of sounds, structures and forms are made possible.