a... l ...t ...z... e ...r... o


a project by squidsoup


a c t i v e... l i s t e n i n g... /... n a v i g a b l e... s p a t i a l ...m u s i c




In an age when we are abstracting and deconstructing sound in every conceivable way, few people seem to be thinking beyond the stationary listening point of current digital audio technology. We are comfortable deconstructing everything about the sounds we listen to, but we can also question the way we listen. Is it still acceptable to sit statically in space and be spoonfed sound through what is effectively a 1-dimensional medium?

altzero makes a link between games technologies, where navigable soundscapes are now the norm - but not the focus - and musical composition. In a sense, it envisages a gaming environment where everything is stripped out except the sound and the ability to move. The visuals then become a reference for the sounds, another means of deconstructing and understanding the structure of what is being listened to.

altzero was awarded a BAFTA nomination (Interactive Art, 2002) and an International EMMA (Online Art, 2000). Incarnations of the project have been shown at numerous events and festivals including Lab3D (Cornerhouse Manchester 2003) , ISEA (Nagoya Japan 2002), SONAR (Barcelona 2001) and SIGGRAPH (LA 2001).




1. p l a y

A selection of navigable soundscapes made with altzerocompose (see below). Listeners navigate the sonic space and explore the relationships between sound and a 3D virtual environment in which each sound is visually represented. If the mouse is left alone, the player will trace a unique circular route - each different, revealing new subtleties and nuances to the music.

Shockwave required. Click on a title to launch a piece in your browser.


manchester LIVE
[with icarus 2003]
140k initial download

highlights from soundscapes made from sound objects sampled live at the Cornerhouse,
Manchester UK on 16/17 May 2003.

peel [with icarus 2003] 1.1MB
nutt [with icarus 2003] 1.4MB
X [with icarus 2003] 4MB
1700 [with icarus 2003] 1.1MB
altzero4 [with icarus 2002] 262k initial download
altzero3 [with scott arford 2001] 1.0MB
altzero1 [with cyan 2000] 776k


2. d o w n l o a d

altzero-compose is a downloadable tool that makes altzero spatial compositions and navigable soundscapes. It imports sounds and positions them within virtual 3D space - there is significant control over positioning, playback and visual representation, with full preview and export functions. No additional software is needed to create self contained navigable 3 dimensional compositions that can be played on the web.

Technical requirements
.....30MB hard disk space
.....PC: Minimum P3 700MHz, 32MB VRAM, DirectX or OpenGL installed.
.....P4 or equivalent recommended.
altzeroCOMPOSE is currently PC ONLY

Good stereo sound - speakers recommended.

Download altzero-compose now

Note that free use of this software is allowed for non commercial use only.

contact mail <at> squidsoup.org

(cc) squidsoup.org