Looking back over 2014, it has been an eventful and exciting year for 4DSOUND, and, we would like to think, for spatial sound as a medium. We’ve hosted a diverse range of groundbreaking performances with the Artist Residency programme at our former studio in Amsterdam, 4DSOUND debuted internationally with showcases at the highly respected Berlin Atonal festival, and 4DSOUND was subject of three documentary features – including the recent feature by Ableton with German artist Stimming.
Our showcase at the Compagnietheater during Amsterdam Dance Event in October was the last big presentation of this year. As the core of the ADE Sound Academy  - ADE’s forum for exploring new settings in music and art – the 4DSOUND programme represented two things.
Firstly, it was the culmination of our artist showcases over the past year, spanning from high-concept spatial sound art from the likes of legendary experimentalist Vladislav Delay and the definitive minimalist aesthetic of Berlin-based Raster-Noton imprint, through to hugely popular performances from long-term 4DSOUND collaborators like Max Cooper, with his complex and emotively charged sonic sculptures, and the dynamic, intuitive and spatially expansive club performances from Stimming.
Secondly, it was the beginning for us exploring some of the exciting new areas around space and sound in a more interactive way- such as evolved listening culture, audience participation, and new musical interfaces to name but a few. These explorations emerged in the artist performances, were presented and discussed in our masterclass series, and ended up hacked, mashed-up, tinkered-with and finally demonstrated at the frantic – but fun – Spatial Sound Hack Lab .

We hosted the Spatial Sound Hack Lab with our partners Create Digital Music, FIBER, Ableton and Liine, and we brought together a host of talented multi-discipline artists and coders to find new ways to use the 4DSOUND system and explore spatial sound as a medium. It was really inspiring to see such an eclectic group of music fans, artists and technologists come together with so much energy, and there are already many new ideas and collaborations brewing for 2015.
If you missed the shows at ADE, here is a photo recap and just a few snippets of what the press had to say about the events.
The experience of listening to performances in 4DSOUND:
‘The way the audience listened, with such pure focus, is rarely seen these days and got me thinking about what 4DSOUND does to the listening experience. The freedom to walk around, feel the resonating pillars, sit on the ground, etc. doesn’t distract one from the listening experience, but rather keeps the audience focused in some way… could this be the future of active listening in a concert setting?’
Everyday Listening

‘It’s difficult to explain the effect in words, but when used properly, it allows artists to create a rich, constantly moving and evolving piece that not only sounds amazing, but also comes much closer to what sounds are like in the real world.’
Shawn Reynolds, XLR8R

“The power of the [4DSOUND] system is that it transform the perception of sound into a physical experience: you feel the sound around you and you literally walk right through it. instead of a listening ‘flat’, sound embraces you from all directions …sound is not only full or thin but you can localize it and almost touch it …The way you experience sound becomes more personal and individual, dependent on where you are in the space.”
DJ Mag

‘the [4DSOUND] soundsystem is going to change music as much as the birth of amplification.’
Vladislav Delay performing on the 4DSOUND system:

‘apocalyptically mind-blowing’

“The only thing one wanted, was to crawl into the sounds.”

Max Cooper’s 4DSOUND performance:
Dutch music culture platform 3voor12 voted Max Cooper’s 4DSOUND show in their top 10 best performances at ADE and called the experience a unique, dizzying sonic trip.

“The music danced around us instead of us dancing on it …many people sat down on the ground with their eyes closed, the performance became almost meditation …when Max Cooper announced that the performance was finally finished, the crowd shook awake as from a dream, not fully believing of what they had just experienced.”
“The system, a Dutch invention, has true potential to bring our awareness of sound and music to a much higher level”
DJ Mag

Max was able to perform a show I have never experienced in my life before. Imagine standing in the middle of the plateau and hearing a sound flying around you from the left corner in the back to the right corner in the front and back and forth and so on, it’s incredible! It’s like you’re in another dimension, somewhere far away from earth!
Raster-Noton meets 4DSOUND:
 with Robert Lippok & Peter Kirn:

“Lippok’s and Kirn’s set, which nicely combined pensive washes of noise and distortion with light, floating melodies, was a completely immersive experience, one that sounded different depending on exactly where the listener sat in the room. Walking around during the performance further added to the novelty, as the sounds being presented would change and evolve with each step.”
Frank Bretschneider:

Grischa Lichtenberger:


All photos courtesy of Georg Schroll.