Performing With Sound: An International Symposium


PERFORMING WITH SOUND - An International Symposium
March 4 - 6, 2013

(Program updated 1.3.2013)

No registration required for Monday events & Tuesday Norsound seminar.

The workshops on Tuesday & Wednesday: students have priority, but some space should be available for symposium visitors. Please direct your inquiries to Mikael Seppälä, vas.opintopalvelut at teak dot fi.

Monday 4.3.2013
(Auditorium 1, Theatre Academy, Kookos Campus, Haapaniemenkatu 6, Helsinki)
9:30 - 10:00
Welcome, coffee
Opening words:
Paula Tuovinen, Dean, Theatre Academy Helsinki
Juhani Liimatainen, professor of Sound Design
Pessi Parviainen, doctoral student

10:00 - 11:00
Keynote: Philip Auslander (Georgia Institute of Technology)
"Sound and Vision: The Audio/Visual Economy of Musical Performance"
11:15 - 11:45
Marcel Cobussen (University of Leiden)
12:00 - 12:30
Juha Torvinen (University of Turku)
"Sound of the ”In-between”: atmospheres, environment, and musical meaning"

LUNCH 12:45 - 14:00

14:00 - 14:45
Panel Discussion: soundscapes <-> sound in the performing arts
Heikki Uimonen (Sibelius Academy), Meri Kytö (University of Eastern Finland), Petri Kuljuntausta (sound artist, writer, researcher)
15:00 - 15:30
Artist talk: Simo Alitalo (Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts, Helsinki)
15:45 - 16:15
Artist talk: Nicolas Collins (School of the Art Institute of Chicago, SAIC)

Tuesday 5.3.2013
9:00 - 17:00 @ Valostudio, VÄS (The Dept. of Lighting & Sound Design, Lintulahdenkatu 3, Helsinki)
The Norsound Network's PhD Seminar

10:00 - 10:30
Morten Michelsen

10:30 - 11:15
Kaj Ahlsved: Functional Music in Sports

11:15 - 12:00
Tiina Männistö-Funk: Sounds, remembered and carrying memories

12:00 - 13:30  LUNCH

13:30 - 14:15
Marie Koldkjær Højlund: Sounding Architecture - Designing dynamic atmospheres

14:15 - 15:00
Merja Puustinen & Andy Best

15:00 - 16:30
This time slot reserved for additional discussion, listening experiments, and/or visits to the premises (and possibly a visit to the ongoing Hardware Hacking workshop)

9:00 - 17:00 @ various spaces, VÄS (The Dept. of Lighting & Sound Design, Lintulahdenkatu 3, Helsinki)
Hardware Hacking Workshop by Nicolas Collins
(space is limited & students have priority)

18:00 ->   SYMPOSIUM PARTY: KokoTeatteri, Hämeentie 3, Helsinki
Performances by:
- Nicolas Collins
- Situations: Petri Kuljuntausta, Juhani Liimatainen
- The League of  Ghentlemen: James Andean, Andrew Bentley & Alejandro Olarte
- Les tables résonnants: Alejandro Olarte, Pessi Parviainen

General merriment and inspiring discussion!

Wednesday 6.3.2013
9:00 - 17:00 @ various spaces, VÄS (The Dept. of Lighting & Sound Design, Lintulahdenkatu 3, Helsinki)
Hardware Hacking Workshop by Nicolas Collins
(space is limited & students have priority)

13:30 - 17:30 @ various spaces, VÄS
Paper-based instruments Workshop by Till Bovermann
(space is limited & students have priority)

16:00 -> @ various spaces, VÄS (The Dept. of Lighting & Sound Design, Lintulahdenkatu 3, Helsinki)
The Workshops present their work in action!


Philip Auslander
Sound and Vision: The Audio/Visual Economy of Musical Performance

To characterize the relationship between the visual and audible dimensions of music performance as an “economy” is to suggest that these two dimensions do not necessarily simply work hand-in-hand. Rather, there can be competition between them as they vie for the audience’s attention and seek to influence the audience’s understanding of the performance. Musicians shape differential relationships between sight and sound some of which can be characterized as normative or traditional, while others can be characterized as challenging the norms.

The “traditionalist” view of music performance emphasizes visible causality in music performance: what the audience sees should provide information about how the sound is being produced and, perhaps, about the musician’s affective state. Visual information that does not contribute to this understanding is perceived as interference. The relative value of sound and visual information in music performance varies by genre. But even performers operating within genre contexts in which traditionalist values hold sway sometimes challenge those values by manipulating the relationship between the auditory and visual aspects of musical performance in ways that go against the grain. One such performance practice was the use of light shows in concerts of both psychedelic rock and classical music in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Philip Auslander is a Professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He teaches in the areas of performance studies, media studies, and music. He is the author of Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture and Performing Glam Rock: Gender and Theatricality in Popular Music. He is also a freelance art writer.

Marcel Cobussen
Immersion: from the Visual to the Sonic (and back again)

Without aiming at an hierarchical opposition between the visual and the sonic, some ontological and experiential differences can be discerned. How do these differences affect the production, presentation, and reception of certain specific art works? And how can we, cautiously and exploratory, come to think of a sonic paradigm without falling back into a 'strategy of exclusion'?

Marcel Cobussen enjoys fitness, traveling and sleeping. Besides his wife and two daughters, he is fond of rabbits, penguins, and camels. Cobussen wanted to become a professional soccer player but did not succeed. Too bad. Now he is both a musician and a philosopher. He currently teaches Music Philosophy and Auditory Culture at Leiden University (the Netherlands) and the Orpheus Institute in Ghent (Belgium).

Cobussen thinks around sound and music. He is author of the book Thresholds. Rethinking Spirituality Through Music (Ashgate, 2008), editor of Resonanties. Verkenningen tussen kunsten en wetenschappen (LUP, 2011) and co-author of Music and Ethics (Ashgate, 2012) and Dionysos danst weer. Essays over hedendaagse muziekbeleving (Kok Agora, 1996). He is editor-in-chief of the open access online Journal of Sonic Studies ( His Ph.D. dissertation Deconstruction in Music (2002) was presented as an online website located at

Nicolas Collins

Collins will discuss his music and installations, illustrated with audio and video examples.

Nicolas Collins studied composition with Alvin Lucier, worked with David Tudor, and has collaborated with musicians internationally. He has been Artistic Director of STEIM (Amsterdam) and a guest of the DAAD Künstlerprogramm in Berlin. He is a Professor in the Department of Sound at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Editor-in-Chief of the Leonardo Music Journal and author of Handmade Electronic Music – The Art of Hardware Hacking (Routledge).

Simo Alitalo

Simo Alitalo is a Finnish sound artist who works with sound installations and radio.
Alitalo´s projects often begin with basic question of acoustemology: what do we know about the world through sense of hearing, and how what we hear affects the way we understand world.

Simo Alitalo’s sound projects have been shown and broadcast in U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and in several European countries.
His sound installations have been exhibited in New York, Phoenix, Berlin, Cologne, Gothenburg, Quebec, Auckland, Perth, as well as in Finland at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma and other galleries and museums.

Till Bovermann

Since 2010, Till Bovermann is a post-doctoral researcher on >tangible and auditory interfaces at the >Media Lab Helsinki. Previously, from 2006 until 2010, he worked as a research assistant at various institutes of Bielefeld University, Germany, most recently in the >Ambient Intelligence Group of the >CITEC Cognitive Interaction Technology, Center of Excellence. His professional background is in Computer Science in the Natural Science, majoring in Robotics, which he studied from 1999 to 2006 at Bielefeld University. In 2010, he received a PhD for his work on Tangible Auditory Interfaces. Till Bovermann's artistic works are mostly concerned with the relationship between digital and physical space. He is co-founder of >TooManyGadgets, a media art group that tries to reveal this interconnecton. Their latest project ...between... was shown at the Nacht der Klänge 2008 at Bielefeld University. Additionally, he has done several installations and some work at the >Animax, Bonn. Alongside his academic and artistic work, he also develops software (mostly in >SuperCollider, increasingly >Ruby). Since 2010, Till Bovermann has been teaching at the >Institute For Music And Media of the University of Music Düsseldorf and the >Generative Art class at UdK Berlin.

Petri Kuljuntausta
Petri Kuljuntausta is a sound artist, composer, and musician. In close collaboration with natural scientists, he has composed underwater installations and made music out of whale calls, bird songs, and the sounds of the northern lights. He has made recordings for various labels in Australia, Europe, and the USA, and he is the author of three books about electronic music and sound art. In 2005 he won an award, The Finnish State Prize for Art, from the Finnish government as a distinguished national artist.

Meri Kytö

In my PhD research I study articulations of sonic privacy and acoustic communities in urban environments. The work is part of the project "Soundscapes and Cultural Sustainability" funded by the Academy of Finland (2009-2012). My latest articles have dealt with apartment house acoustemology in Finland, acoustic and electro-acoustic communities of a football fan group Carsi in Istanbul, a sonic ethnography of "site" life in Cengelköy, and sonic representations of the city of Istanbul in Turkish films.
Currently I'm teaching sound art and research at Tampere University of Applied Sciences. My artistic activities during spring 2013 will be performing with sound in Marjo Selin's solo dance piece "Piilouta" and sound design for Agit-Cirk's new production "Nouse luontoni lovesta".
I'm also a member of the National Doctoral Programme for Music Research ( and the Nordic Research Network for Sound Studies (, the secretary and treasurer of the Finnish Society for Acoustic Ecology ( and co-vice president of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (

Juha Torvinen
Mr. Juha Torvinen, PhD. is working as an Adjunct Professor and music researcher at the musicology department in University of Turku, Finland. He is also the Vice-Chair of the Finnish Musicological Society. Torvinen's study interests include philosophy and phenomenology of music, ecocritical music research (ecomusicology), affectivity of music, the topic of the North in contemporary classical and popular music.

Heikki Uimonen
PhD Heikki Uimonen is an ethnomusicologist and docent in acoustic communication. He is currently a professor of popular music research at Sibelius Academy, University of Arts Helsinki. He has published several articles and monographs on his research interests on soundscapes, ubiquitous music, radio music, compact cassette culture and change of live music. Uimonen is a chair of Finnish Society for Acoustic Ecology.


Questions? Please contact Pessi Parviainen (pessi.parviainen ( a t ) or Juhani Liimatainen (juhani.liimatainen ( a t )

Suggested hotels:


The Performing With Sound Conference has a course attached to it worth 1 ects credit. Information about the course and application:


If you like the sound of this symposium, you'll love this one too: just before Performing with Sound, there'll be the third Colloquium on Artistic Research in Performing Arts (at Theatre Academy Helsinki):