Low-level topology of spatial texture

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Colleges, School and Institutes


Low-level topology of spatial texture is here introduced as the basis of an aesthetic principle of sonic texture and spatial structure in electroacoustic music. The term spatial texture is used to describe aggregate sound structures which have a perceived three-dimensional spatial presence, specifically meaning that they occupy several areas or a stretch of horizontal perspectival space1 whilst also having a dynamic behaviour in spectral space2. The word topology refers to properties, qualities and structural features which remain distinct to a texture despite continuous change or recurrent incarnations in different specific shapes throughout a work.3 Ultimately, topology of spatial texture may be thought of as the core principle behind an attitude to music which considers all elements of structure to be part of an elastic spatiotemporal sound fabric. Rather than conceiving a work as built from time-finite morphological ‘objects’, this view emphasises processes of deformation, where any singular shapes may be seen as instances of textural topologies. The terminology presented here is intended as a contribution to discourse on spatiality in music, with special relevance to multichannel compositions.4 This article focuses on the low-level, internal, structure of a spatial texture.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICMC 2015 – Sept. 25 - Oct. 1, 2015 – CEMI, University of North Texas
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sep 2015

Publication series

NameInternational Computer Music Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Electronic)2223-3881