360° Sound Immersion at RNCM Lab Week

Our first ever RNCM Lab Week was a chance for our students to step out of the practise room, collaborate on new ideas and create something completely new.

RNCM composer Fenton Hutson’s project ‘Immersive Sound’ was one of several student projects created for RNCM Lab Week and brought to life this adventurous spirit. In a unique one-off concert, Fenton placed the audience at the centre of the RNCM’s Concert Hall stage and had musicians encircling concert-goers.

Interact with the video below captured during rehearsal to experience the 360° sound experience for yourself:

In Fenton’s own words:


The concept behind Immersive Sound was to create a listening experience that literally immersed the listener in sound. Though we have the ability to hear sound spherically, we have a tradition of presenting music in a stereo format and with this concert we wanted to break that tradition, making space an additional dimension to the music, along with pitch, rhythm and timbre.


‘After speaking with conductor Tjeerd Barkmeijer about his idea to create a spatialised performance of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s The Torn Fields, I suggested that we prepare a 360 degree setup taking advantage of the unique layout of the RNCM’s Concert Hall, with myself composing a new piece specifically for the concert.


‘The process of composing a new piece for this spatial layout, having not done so before, was one full of experimentation and uncertainty, not knowing exactly how it would translate to the listener as every audience member would have their own biased experience of the performance.


‘What we created during this week was an incredibly unique experience which has left us both a thirst for more similar experiences. It has showed us that the use of space can be applied effectively and practically, and that it can be applied to the repertoire of existing concert music and to new music. The use of space and surround sound is an exciting area of music full of potential and application, not just in the concert hall but across a wide range of mediums, and one definitely relevant and applicable within the realm of concert music.’


RNCM Lab Week is part of Sounds Original, our events season theme exploring the concept of originality.

15 February 2019