Call for Proposals: KISS 2018 — Altered States

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Feb 132018

The Arts Division at the University of California Santa Cruz and Symbolic Sound invite proposals for talks, live performances and workshops for the 6-9 September 2018 Kyma International Sound Symposium — KISS2018: Altered States (and Ecosystems).

Altered States

State spaces, state of mind, state of the art, deep state, state machines, state of the nation, state variable filters, topological state, head of state, solid state physics, state of grace, state transitions, spin states, state of the union — whatever your definition of state, one thing is for certain: Sound and music can alter states.

Join us in the state of California as we explore the multifaceted concept of Altered States through talks, workshops, and live musical performances at KISS2018, 6-9 September 2018 on the campus of the University of California at Santa Cruz.


Atop a forested hill overlooking the Pacific ocean and Monterey Bay, on the tectonic boundary between the Pacific and North American plates (aka the San Andreas Fault), accessible from the San Jose or San Francisco Airports, Santa Cruz is shaped by the economic/technology ecosystems of Silicon Valley, the biological ecosystems of the Pacific ocean and the Santa Cruz mountains, and a continuation of the counterculture lifestyle and political protest movements of the 1960s — hence the sub-theme of the conference: Ecosystems. Whether “Ecosystems” inspires ideas for environmental music & field recording, ecosystemic feedback control systems, the human microbiota, or more abstract political/economic/social ecosystems, we welcome proposals involving “complex networks or interconnected systems” of sound and music.

Important Dates

26 March: Deadline for submissions
15 April: Notification of acceptance & start of early registration

For more information and to make a proposal, visit:

Oct 022017

Gilles Jobin’s VR_I — an immersive virtual reality contemporary dance experience with a 3D sound track created entirely in Kyma.7 — has its world premiere from 6 to 10 October 2017 at the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma in Montreal. Unfolding on multiple, parallel space and time scales, VR_I immerses you in a wordless experience of the continuum from infinite to infinitesimal, leaving you with a new sense of perspective on your place in the universe.

In partnership with Artanim Foundation and utilizing their motion-capture and VR technology, VR_I is a pioneering work in social, free-roaming virtual reality. As many as five people can enter the experience together and see their own and each other’s bodies as avatars sharing the same virtual world as the characters (the dancers).

In VR_I, music emerges from the environment: wind in the desert transitions to a humming chorus sung by giants; wind chimes in the art-filled loft organize themselves into 5/8 rhythms as columns rise up from the floor, only to dissolve back into wind chimes again as the columns recede; in the city park, bird songs are echoed in flute melodies, and cicadas transform themselves into rhythmic patterns over tambura-like drones.

Each spectator hears an individualized soundscape, and there is no way to really know what everyone else is experiencing (just like in real life). Sounds and musical elements are positioned in space and attached to objects, giving each spectator a unique mix as they move through the space, culminating in upwardly spiraling Shepard-tones that swirl around and lift up the listeners as they contemplate their own place in the continuum from infinite to infinitesimal.

In beauty I walk
With beauty before me I walk
With beauty behind me I walk
With beauty above me I walk
With beauty around me I walk

— from the Native American Diné Blessing Way

Choreography: Gilles Jobin
Dancers: Susana Panadés Díaz, Victoria Chiu, Tidiani N’Diaye, Diya Naidu, Gilles Jobin
3D Music & Sound Design: Carla Scaletti
Costumes: Jean-Paul Lespagnard
3d modeling: Tristan Siodlak
Animation: Camilo de Martino
3D Scans & Motion Capture: Artanim
VR Platform: Artanim

For tour dates and booking information, visit:

Sound & Music for Augmenting Reality

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Aug 292017

KISS2017 in Oslo Norway 12-15 October 2017 — a symposium on new opportunities for sound designers & musicians in virtual, augmented and mixed reality creation

Sound and music are the original augmented reality technology. Throughout human history, sound and music have played an essential role in transforming the mundane into the sublime, turning everyday events into memorable milestones, and enhancing the flow of experience.

Sound designers, musicians, museum curators, game developers, researchers and others interested in the power of sound to create and augment reality are invited to participate in the Kyma International Sound Symposium, KISS2017 in Oslo Norway 12-15 October 2017. Join fellow participants exploring the uses of sound in Augmenting Reality through talks, live performances, hands-on sessions, and informal conversations over meals (which are included with your conference registration).

The full KISS2017 technical and creative program is available here:

Here are a few highlights from the international lineup:

• Tour and reception at the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology, including a special lecture on computer music pioneer Knut Wiggen’s musical innovation during the early years of the EMS Electronic Music Studio in Stockholm (presented by NOTAM’s founding director, Jøran Rudi), followed by a science/art-themed concert at the museum.

• An evening at Norway’s premiere jazz venue Victoria Nasjonal Jazzscene featuring Deathprod/Supersilent members Helge Sten & Arve Henriksen (Norway) performing live Kyma electronics on a program that also includes sets by SØS Gunver Rydberg (Denmark) and Michael Wittgraf (USA)

• Presentations on designing sound for planetarium-presentation; listening to the past in museum exhibitions; learning how to listen with cochlear implants; sound and music for calming dysregulated children; cooperation between musicians and machines

• Technology talks including pitch-tracking of live audio signals to control game avatars in real time, multidimensional audio, ambisonics, head-tracking, sonifying geo-spatial data, Open Sound Control, connections between Kyma 7 and the Unity3d game engine, live performance of electroacoustic music for an audience wearing VR headgear, using physical objects to interact with digital sound synthesis and processing, using wireless sensors to control and manipulate sound, and integrating live dance with generative sound and video for mixed reality performances.

• Desktop Demo Sessions where you can speak to the presenters one-on-one and ask them questions about their work

• An Open Lab where you can ask questions and consult on your Kyma projects with fellow practitioners and the creators of Kyma 7

• Live mixed reality performances including:

• A performer running through the streets of Oslo & transmitting a live video feed to the audience as his geospatial data generates and controls quadraphonic processing of a live ensemble
• A live musical performance of a computer game where acoustic audio controls real-time decisions leading to a distinctive outcome on each play-through
• Mixed reality performances where physical objects, like Tibetan bells or balloons, control digital sound and image generation
• Performances utilizing new musical inventions like the Electronic Bull Roarer and a new input device inspired by Ssireum Korean wrestling
• Citizen journalism and crowd-sourced news as an augmented reality performance
• A performance that looks at how organizations can use language to alter reality and neutralize our position as workers
• A mixed reality performance where long-distance communications augment time and space and magnify our stories
• The sounds of writing create sound fantasies in the minds of the audience & then mutate into other sounds that augment and clash with those imagined by the audience

KISS2017 is an opportunity for anyone interested in creating sound for augmenting reality to immerse themselves in new ideas and experiences and to meet and learn from like-minded colleagues.

Registration includes talks, concerts, reception, lunches & dinners (Student discounts are available):

For travel and lodging information:

Official KISS web site:

To follow the latest KISS news and developments:


Organizers and Sponsors

The Norwegian Academy of Music
University of Oslo Department of Musicology
Symbolic Sound Corporation
The Research Council of Norway

Contact the organizers

See you in Oslo!

2017 SEAMUS Award Goes to Kyma Creator

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Mar 012017

On April 21 2017, the 2017 SEAMUS Award for “important contributions to the field of electroacoustic music” will be presented to Carla Scaletti at the SEAMUS National Conference banquet, following a concert of her music.

Carla is an experimental composer, designer of the Kyma sound design language and co-founder of Symbolic Sound Corporation.

SEAMUS Conference registration is now open: April 20–22, 2017 at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

How technology & music mutually influence each other

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Aug 232016

What would happen if you sat the designers of Reaktor, the LinnStrument, Ableton Live, and Kyma down together on a couch and asked them to talk about how music influences technology, how technology influences music, and what exactly is a musical instrument anyway? That’s what happened at the 2015 Loop Summit. Dennis DeSantis (author of Making Music and moderator of the discussion) wrote this summary with video clips.

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 9.09.18 PM

One man’s junk is another man’s musical instrument

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Aug 232016

Since childhood, composer/performer Franz Danksagmüller has been fascinated with the rich, interesting sound palette one can create from broken, discarded and so-called unplayable instruments. In 2013, on a visit to a local junkyard, he noticed a strange metal object that immediately captured his attention.

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 8.31.39 PM

Read the story of how he added contact mics and sensors and developed a bowing technique to transform this strange object (which he later discovered was part of a device for food preservation) into a new musical instrument that sends both audio and MIDI control data to Kyma.

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 8.35.28 PM
You can hear this mysterious and beautiful instrument performed live at KISS2016, when Danksagmüller and composer/performer/computer scientist John Mantegna perform their new piece — The Artificial Brain!
Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 8.35.55 PM

Silvia Matheus at CMMR in Brazil

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Jun 282016

Composer/sound designer Silvia Matheus is one of the presenters on the scientific program of the 12th International Symposium on Computer Music Multidisciplinary Research (CMMR2016) in São Paulo, Brazil on 05-08 July 2016. Matheus’ talk, State of Art in Sound Design, Production and Synthesis will include an opportunity for conference attendees to learn more about how Silvia uses Kyma in her sound design and composition work and to interact directly with her Kyma 7/Pacarana system.

KISS2016: Emergence

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Jun 272016

Emergence — it’s what a complex system of interconnected agents can do collectively that they could not do in isolation. Emergence goes beyond the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts — emergence arises from the relationships among those parts. Emergence is that seemingly magical moment when an unanticipated novel behavior or dynamic pattern arises from a complex network of simple components and rules.

Symbolic Sound, in partnership with De Montfort University’s Faculty of Art, Design and Humanities; the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre, and the Performance Research Group, invite you to participate in the eighth annual Kyma International Sound Symposium and to explore emergence with an international gathering of Kyma practitioners ranging from experts to aspiring experts and including many who have never used Kyma before and are simply curious.

Get the inspiration, support and professional connections to motivate and energize you for the rest of the year. Join us at the Kyma International Sound Symposium (KISS2016) — 7-10 September 2016 in Leicester, UK — as we explore the concept of “Emergence” through 4 days and nights of words, live musical performances, open labs, and interactive discussions.

Unique features of this year’s program include an improvised conduction performance by the Emergent Ensemble; a 3-D sound immersion lecture/concert in De Montfort University’s 20+ speaker DOME; a 3-D film with a live sound track; workshops on ecosystemic composition; collaborations across international and disciplinary borders; and a celebratory club concert featuring live Kyma with acoustic instruments, vocals and analog synthesis.

Live performances featuring some of the most cutting edge music composed with Kyma this year, lectures where Kyma practitioners share their insights and reveal a few of their secrets, master classes and labs led by the creators of Kyma; and the unparalleled camaraderie and inspiration from your fellow sound and music explorers — these are some of the regular features of KISS that inspire people to return to KISS year after year.

Explore the full program here:

Register now to immerse yourself in the fun, hands-on creative technology environment that will inspire you for years to come!

Based on current registration levels, we are anticipating a record turn-out this year. So please be sure to reserve your spot by registering as soon as possible. Do it today so it doesn’t get forgotten on your to-do list. (Please be advised that there is a strict upper limit on attendance based on the venue sizes). Thanks!

Photos by Belinda B Carr.


Kyma had a strong presence at the 2015 International Computer Music Conference in Denton Texas, September 25 — October 1, including live performances by

Jeffrey Stolet,

Wang Chi,

Jon Bellona,
JP Bellona ICMC2015.jpg

Jon Bellona angst2

and Sun Hua,
Sun Hua ICMC2015.jpg
a keynote lecture by Symbolic Sound president Carla Scaletti,
ICMC2015 keynote Title Slide

ICMC2015 keynote social brain crowd

ICMC2015 keynote IMS to Platypus

ICMC2015 keynote platypus meets capybara Wang photo

ICMC2015 keynote close2

ICMC2015 keynote SSC in 1989

ICMC2015 keynote smiling at laptop2

ICMC2015 keynote output from the brain

ICMC2015 keynote computer musicians predict the future

ICMC2015 keynote making imaginary real

a one-hour Kyma workshop also presented by Scaletti (new music pioneer Larry Austin is seen in the audience at the lower left)
Kyma workshop ICMC2015 photo by Chi Wang

and fixed media pieces by Fred Szymanski and Jinshuo Feng. (If we’ve left anyone out, please let us know!)

Thanks to the ICMC 2015 organizers, presenters, and composers!

Special thanks to the ICMC organizers, Wang Chi, Sun Hua, and Jon Bellona for the photos and Iacopo Sinigaglia for the video excerpt.

Kyma 7 at SEAMUS

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Mar 232015

If you’ll be participating in the SEAMUS electronic music festival at Virginia Tech at the end of the week, you’ll have an opportunity to hear several performances in which Kyma 7 played a part, among them:

  • Every Problem is a Nail, Scott Miller
  • Imagined Destinies, Jeffrey Stolet
  • Violin Power, Mark Phillips
  • Youngman/Overholt, Jon Bellona
  • Number Vortex, Olga Oseth
  • Shin no Shin, Simon Hutchinson
  • Magic Fingers, Chi Wang

If you’re at the conference, you can cheer on your fellow Kyma practitioners and be sure to introduce yourself to them after the concert.

© 2012 the eighth nerve Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha