Try it for yourself this weekend in The Hague.
When is a sound system more than some speakers? When it can transport listeners to other states of consciousness. So goes the idea behind 4DSOUND, an experience that has already impressed experimental electronic musicians and their fans at various high-profile festivals across Europe, including ADE and Berlin Atonal. Simply explained, it's a platform with 16 pillars that emit sound from various heights—allowing audiences to walk through soundscapes—and artists like Biosphere, Vladislav Delay, and Pantha Du Prince have all performed unique compositions on this one-of-a-kind tool.
But souped-up surround sound is only the beginning for the technology, which has slowly been developing since 2008. This weekend, 4DSOUND: Circadian will offer a multi-day experience designed to investigate "how spatial listening influences conscious states throughout the day and night." Combining performances, workshops, and talks, the project aims to foster insight into existential issues of "environment, mind-body connection, personal insight, creative expression, empathic sensitivity and social interaction."
And once enlightenment has been attained, the system will be boxed up and moved to the Institute For Spatial Sound in Hungary, a permanent facility as part of the Art Quarter Budapest, where further explorations into the possibilities of controlled omni-directional sound can be explored. The institute opens on October 16-17 with an event that will feature performances by Murcof, Frank Bretschneider, and Max Cooper.
You really gotta experience 4DSOUND first-hand, but if you can't make it to the EU in the next month, check out this clip by Ableton that explains how it all works.