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Ecole nationale supérieure Louis-Lumière
La Cité du Cinéma - 20 rue Ampère
Saint-Denis (France) / Tel : 01 84 67 00 01
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Call for papers : Cahier Louis-Lumière n°15

1. Synopsis

Recent technological developments have placed the diffusion of sound in a perspective of realism, particularly in terms of spatialization. Whether it is Ambisonic, binaural or WFS (Wave-Field Synthesis) format, the goal is to reconstruct the shape of the sound wave reaching the ears of a listener, so as to give him the sensation of being facing to a natural sound object. As in virtual reality, the objective is to create the conditions for a sound immersion close to the physical reality of sound.

The history of these developments is accompanied by an explicit discourse, advocating the qualities of realism and fidelity to the laws of physics. But these notions mask an ambiguity between the listening situation and the very nature of the content that is offered to the perceiving subject. Several contemporary works offer to hear a material whose existence is intrinsically linked to the diffusion device, and which could not find a counterpart in a "natural" listening, outside this sound projection space. What then of these criteria of conformity to a supposed model, to which we could verify the quality of illusion?

This raises the question of the meaning conveyed by the sounds: is not the narrative diagram of a radio play sufficient to summon the listener to an illusion of a complete immersion in its dramaturgy? Doesn't the spatialization of sound in cinema go against our desire to project ourselves in front of us, amongst actors visually present on the screen? And yet, spatialized musical compositions, immersive and without a frontal image, can be astounding in authenticity, spatial precision and finesse in the sound timbres.

In this notebook, we are interested in the relationships between the spectator, the artistic and semantic proposal of a sound work and the acoustic proposal of technological evolutions in sound: what requirement of meaning for which technology of diffusion? A sound environment and a narrative discourse do not meet the same perceptual constraints in terms of ecological validity, of referential illusion: what level of perceptual requirement for what technology, for what format of creation? With each proposal, it is the meaning conveyed by the sound and its diffusion technology, it is our ability to project ourselves into the imagination and into our representations in memory, which must guide the appropriate technological choices, and not the other way around.

It will therefore be a question of realism, authenticity, illusion, coherence, immersion and spatialization, in an approach that is at the same time philosophical, perceptual and technological.



2. Themes and structure of Booklet n ° 15




Part 1: Perception and spatiality (historical and aesthetic approach)

- A history of the mediation of sound.

- Sound studies and the cultural origins of sound reproduction. Narration and immersion of sound through their social origins.

- Perception and immersion: a history of spatialized musical composition.


Part 2: Technology at the service of immersion

- Technological evolution for spatialization closer and closer to the physical reality of sound: Ambisonic, WFS and binaural techniques. Realistic illusion or illusory realism?

- Multichannel sound recording and perceptual coherence in location, immersion, and timbre.

- Multichannel mixing and perceptual coherence in location, immersion, and timbre. Object Oriented Mixing.

- Object Oriented Mixing for sound to image.


Part 3: Perceive the world (philosophical and semantic approach)

- Philosophical approach to sound: plausibility of sound or imitation of nature?

- To abstract the sound of the real world: the ecological validity of the sound in the image, of the sound object in question. Semantic and spatial (inconsistencies) of sound.

- The auditory experience both as a temporal event and as a spatial object, in its philosophical approach.


Research Notes


Reading Notes




Statement of intent (400-500 words), in French or English, must be submitted until June 5th, 2021 to Corsin Vogel ( and Sylvain Lambinet (

Original contribution (max. 10 pages - 3400 signs per page if no figure) must be submitted in French, or will be translated from English in French for publication, until September 30th, 2021.

Publication is planned in April 2022



Contributions must be sent to :

Corsin Vogel :

Sylvain Lambinet :