Can sound define a space? In sound, is there a Point-of-View or culturally-influenced focus of attention? Sound designers, musicians, audio engineers, composers, acousticians and others interested in “sound space” are invited to discuss these and other questions during the third annual Kyma International Sound Symposium (KISS2011), scheduled for 15-18 September 2011 in Porto, Portugal. Inspired by Portugal’s proud history of navigators who set out to explore beyond the known and visible horizon, the theme of this year’s symposium is “Explorando o espaço do som” (“Exploring Sound Space”) and will celebrate the sound designers, composers, and researchers who are exploring beyond the familiar horizons in sound and music.


Set in the nautically-inspired Casa Da Musica, architect Rem Koolhaas’ dramatic new music venue in Porto, the symposium promises four intensive days of workshops, keynotes, technical talks, films and live performances.

To cite just a few highlights:

  • A mathematician and co-editor of a new book on the Sonic Spaces of Music (Spazi sonori della musica) will discuss the public space defining and defined by the sounds of the Trevi Fountain in Rome;
  • Kyma practitioners will have opportunities to attend master classes, participate in interactive workshops and consulting sessions, and most importantly, to make connections with and to learn from fellow Kyma practitioners;
  • The author of a new text for teaching and learning Kyma (published in both English and Chinese) will describe his search for the SumOfSines disco club;
  • Plus there will be an abundance of technical talks on a wide range of topics including how to use the spectrum of a sound as a sequencer; techniques for data sonification; using sound to help people confront pain; how to create a dynamic sonic ecology; using context-free-grammars to simultaneously generate dance movements and trajectories through abstract timbre space; techniques for spectral modification & morphing; and more.

Evening performances are to include a screening of the very first science fiction film accompanied by a live-improvised electronic sound track generated by Kyma reconstructions of Luigi Russolo’s intonorumori instruments; a portion of an audio documentary on Holocaust survivor Ksenija Drobac; and a live-generated audio/video film about Galileo that uses Kyma to control VJ software via Open Sound Control (OSC). Other live musical performances will create sound spaces controlled by (among other things) dancers, RFID cards held by the audience, iPads, Wacom tablets, video position trackers, Continuum fingerboards, SoftStep pedal-boards, OSC, acoustic instruments, the acoustics of the room itself, and even a sensor-enhanced Teddy Bear!

For more details on the program, please see the preliminary program and join the mailing list to be kept up to date on future enhancements and additions.


Registration is open to all. You can register at any time, but there is a discount for those who register prior to 1 August: you can participate in all 4 days (with lunch included) for €120 (€40 for students). Casa da Musica has strictly enforced occupancy limits, so please register as soon as possible in order to reserve your spot:

Online discussion

You are cordially invited to join in the pre-symposium discussion on the theme of Exploring Sound Space:


Known as A Cidade Invicta (the unvanquished city), in honor of its citizens’ successful resistance of Napoleon’s attempted invasion, Porto’s history can be traced back at least as far as Roman times, with evidence of even earlier habitation by the Celts, Proto-Celts and even Phoenicians.

The ukulele has its origins in Portugal; Portuguese immigrants brought the cavaquinho, braguinha and the rajão, small guitar-like instruments with them to Hawaii where they were re-invented as the ukulele. Portuguese luthiers Cordoba Guitars and Antonio Pinto Carvalho (in Braga about an hour north of Porto) continue the tradition today. In Porto, you can audition a Portuguese 12-string guitar or a cavaquinho at Toni Das Violas, a music shop in the historic center.

Porto is also the official source of Port wine, a special red wine in which the fermentation process is interrupted by the addition of distilled grape spirits known as aguardente (roughly translated as fire water with teeth), leaving a higher sugar and a higher alcohol content. The resulting fortified wine is then aged in wood barrels prior to bottling.

Visiting Conímbriga, a well-preserved ancient Roman city and attached museum about an hour south of Porto, is practically like traveling to ancient Rome in the Tardis.

There are several historic cathedrals and monasteries in Porto which is also home to a vibrant Marranos community, the so-called crypto- or Sephardic Jews who continued to practice their religion even in the face of the forced-conversions during the Inquisition (

Something about Porto seems to inspire artists who work with space. Not only is it the home of Casa da Musica, it’s also the birthplace of two Pritzker-prize-winning architects: Álvaro Siza who designed the central square in Porto, the Faculty of Architecture campus, and the contemporary art museum; and Eduardo Souto Moura whose award-winning work includes Estádio Municipal de Braga, the Burgo Tower in Porto and the Paula Rego Museum in Cascais among others.


What: The Kyma International Sound Symposium (KISS 2011), an annual conclave of current and potential Kyma practitioners who come together to learn, to share, to meet, to discuss, and to enjoy a lively exchange of ideas, sounds, and music! This year’s theme is “Exploring Sound Space”

Presenters: Experts from the fields of music, sound art, sound design, mathematics, philosophy & audio engineering who use Kyma in their work.

Participants: Sound designers, musicians, audio engineers, composers, acousticians and others interested in “sound space” and the Kyma sound design language

When: 15-18 September 2011

Where: Porto, Portugal

Venue: Casa da Musica / Avenida da Boavista, 604-610 / 4149-071 Porto / Portugal

Cost: € 120, students € 40

Organizers: Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto & Symbolic Sound Corporation with support from Casa da Musica & UT Austin|Portugal International Collaboratory for Emerging Technologies

Deadline: 1 August 2011 for early registration discount; registration open through 15 September 2011

More info:

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