Invited Speakers

CSIRAC - The World's First Computer to Play Music.

Paul Doornbusch, RMIT University
Wednesday Keynote, ICAD at Manly Beach

The first computer to play music was CSIRAC, circa 1950 in Sydney, Australia. This presentation will discuss the technology used in CSIRAC, the programming of the original music and its reconstruction to a very high level of accuracy. The music consisted of popular melodies programmed by Geoff Hill, a mathematician who assisted with the logical design of the computer. CSIRAC was moved to Melbourne in June 1955 where it performed useful service at the University of Melbourne until 1964. During CSIRAC's time in Melbourne the mathematics professor Thomas Cherry developed a system and program so that anyone who understood standard musical notation could create a punched paper data tape for CSIRAC to perform that music. Whilst the music may seem crude and unremarkable compared to the most advanced musical developments of the time and what is possible with computers now, it is amongst the first computer music in the world and the means of production was at the leading edge of technological sophistication at the time

Paul Doornbusch is a composer, sonologist, and occasional performer who works largely with algorithmic composition systems for traditional instruments, computers and electronics. Doornbusch studied and worked in Europe for eight years with major composers, mostly in the Dutch music scene and at the Royal Conservatory of Holland where his research included work on multidimensional mapping in computer music systems. On returning to Australia, Doornbusch completed a major project at the Computer Science department of the University of Melbourne, to reconstruct and document the music played by Australia's first computer - CSIRAC, now regarded as the first computer music in the world. Currently working at RMIT University's Interactive Information Institute, Doornbusch is involved with sound and music, interaction, composition and technology in Virtual Reality contexts.

Auditory Display as an Aid to Understanding and Empowering Human Function

Dr. Gregory Kramer, President, Clarity; Chair Emeritos, ICAD
CSIRO ICT Centre Keynote, Thursday Morning, ICAD Open Day at the Opera House

In this talk, ICAD founder Gregory Kramer shares a personal vision of sonification that has it deepest roots not in computer science or psychology, but in music. We will explore several elements central to a musically guided vision of sonification. Along the way, we will hear how ICAD was founded, what the guiding vision was, and how a vibrant, multi-disciplinary research community has been growing amidst the rigid segmentation of traditional scientific disciplines. To orient ourselves, we will take a brief look at the advantages and difficulties with auditory displays, alone and in conjunction with visual displays, highlighting the advantages offered by audition of temporal acuity, temporal pattern matching, and simultaneous perception of multiple elements. Several sonification applications will be presented, all involving multi-dimensional data. As we will see, the demands on sonification to fulfil an instrumental function take us in different directions from the primarily aesthetic considerations associated with music, even as aesthetics remain essential to good auditory display design. Other links to auditory display design include the role of emotion in both music and decision making, wide and focused listening in both music and sonification, and the sense of unknowing and emergence that are essential to discovery in both fields.

Gregory Kramer  founded ICAD in 1992, edited "Auditory Display," the first book in this emerging field. and contributed several seminal papers to the literature. He convened and Chaired the National Science Foundation workshop on sonification. Kramer also founded Harvestworks/Studio PASS in New York,  the Electronic Art Ensemble, and Clarity. He first introduced signal processor automation to the professional recording industry, created a new product category with the design of the first MIDI fader box, the Lexicon MRC, and has licensed his signal processing and sonification patents. Gregory has scored numerous films, dance works, and was a National Endowment for the Arts Composition Fellow. Current musical work includes a multi-dimensional controller designed with Dr. Robert Moog. He resides in Portland, OR, USA and spends most of his time writing and teaching dialogic meditation.

Sounding Public Space, Sound Artists in the Public Domain

Dr Ros Bandt
Sound artist and researcher
Director of the Australian Sound Design Project & Senior Research Fellow The Australian Centre The University of Melbourne
Thursday Keynote, Afternoon, ICAD Open Day at the Opera House

The right to quiet has been defined as a public commons. Public space in Australia is becoming increasingly sound designed. This presentation investigates the variety of approaches by sound artists who have installed public space drawing on the three year ARC Australian Sound Design Project's research, website, and public outreach Hearing Place. Current trends and practices will be compared and contrasted and conclusions drawn about the implications for Australia's soundscape in the future.

Dr Ros Bandt is an internationally acclaimed sound artist, composer, researcher and scholar. Since 1977 she has pioneered interactive sound installations, sound sculptures, invented Australia's first double storey sound playground, designed spatial music systems and some forty five sound installations worldwide. She has curated many sound performances, exhibitions and events. She has published over twenty CDs on the Wergo, EMI,New Albion and Move labels. Her most recent book, Sound sculpture Intersections in sound and sculpture in Australian Artworks, is published by Fine Art Press and her numerous writings on sound can be found in encyclopaedia and scholarly journals.She is honorary senior research fellow at the Australian Centre at the University of Melbourne where she directs the Australian Sound Design Project. She lives from her art practice, including exhibitions, residencies, commissions and performances. She has been the recipient of many prestigious awards including the Don Banks Composers award for her lifelong contribution to soundart and was the inaugural Benjamin Cohen Peace Fellow at Ball State University USA. Her commissions include the WDR Studio of Acoustic Art, Cologne, the Paris Autumn Festival and ORF Austrian Radio.

The Ultimate Symphony....The Human Brain
Dr. Evian Gordon, CEO The Brain Resource Company
Concert Opening Keynote, Listening to the Mind Listening Concert at the Opera House

In this presentation Dr Gordon will summarise how the brain works as a dynamical system and explores the specialised networks underpinning listening, seeing and feeling. He will assess how these specialised networks integrate into the brain's overall adaptive sensory-motor-decision making-emotional processes.

Dr Evian Gordon is the founding director of The Brain Dynamics Centre at Westmead Hospital. He is currently the CEO of the Brain Resource Company, which has set up the first standarised international database on the human brain.


Editors: Stephen Barrass & Paul Vickers
Published by the International Community for Auditory Display (ICAD).
CD-ROM I.S.B.N: 1-74108-048-7     Website I.S.B.N: 1-74108-062-2

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Copyright © 2004 by the ICAD contributors.
All rights reserved. Copyright remains with the individual authors. No part of this publication can be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without prior written permission of the individual authors.

Created: 19-Aug-2003     Last modified: 30 June 2004