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SIGGRAPH 2009 Adds New Focus on Music & Audio

At SIGGRAPH this year, an added focus will highlight music and audio in their significant relationship with computer graphics and interactive techniques.

"Just as important as the graphics themselves are the musical elements and how they enhance the visuals and storyline in order to complete the audience experience. The creation and manipulation of sound and music provide an open challenge and creative opportunity in interactive techniques," stated Peter Braccio, SIGGRAPH 2009 Conference Industry Relations Director. "This new focus on Music & Audio aims to highlight not just the close relationship music and graphic arts have to one another, but also how the integration of music and audio enhances the overall impact of visual pieces."

The SIGGRAPH 2009 Music & Audio programming will include a Keynote presentation by the pioneer of sound and two-time Academy Award(R) winning Sound Designer, Randy Thom, as well as a series of panels discussions, featuring musicians and composers from around the globe. In addition to music performances, courses on topics such as "Creating New Interfaces for Musical Expression", and "Interactive Sound Rendering" will also take place.Highlights from the SIGGRAPH 2009 Music & Audio program include:

Keynote Presentation: Designing a Movie for Sound: How to Make Sound a Full Collaborator in the Storytelling ProcessSpeaker: Randy ThomRandy Thom has worked in a wide variety of creative capacities in more than 75 films including some of Hollywood's biggest blockbusters such as BOLT, FORREST GUMP, HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS, HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE, RATATOUILLE, WAR OF THE WORLDS, and WILD AT HEART. Thom began working for Lucasfilm in 1979 as a sound designer and re-recording mixer and is currently the Director of Sound Design at Skywalker Sound. He received two Academy Awards for Best Sound in THE RIGHT STUFF and Best Achievement in Sound Editing for THE INCREDIBLES. In all, Thom has shared 14 Academy Award nominations, and has worked with some of today's leading directors and producers.

Sound and StoryModerator: Paul Lipson, Game Audio Network Guild, Pyramind, Inc.Panelists: Lorne Lanning, Oddworld Inhabitants; Brian Schmidt, Brian Schmidt Studios, LLC, GameSoundCon; Tommy Tallarico, Tommy Tallarico Studios, Inc., Video Games Live, Game Audio Network Guild

What we hear greatly influences what we see and feel. This panel celebrates the role of sound and music in the aesthetic experience of storytelling. Experts in film and videogame sound design and composition discuss the art of combining audio with visual narrative, present highlights and favorites, and debate emerging directions for sound and story.

DIY Music & DistributionModerator: Scott Draves, Google Inc., Panelists: Eddie Codel, Geek Entertainment TV; Aaron Koblin, Google Creative Lab; Tiffiniy Cheng, Participatory Culture FoundationA discussion of how low-cost or open-source development and distribution tools are affecting creative production. It features creative pioneers and programmers who have irretrievably altered musical composition, computer graphics, the future of journalism, and the definition of art. Like every advancement since the Stone Age, their work enlists the help of machines to improve upon what humans once made by themselves -- fundamentally modern, but also timeless.

The Visual in New Interfaces for Musical ExpressionModerator: Georg Essl, University of MichiganPanelists: Joseph Paradiso, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Sergi Jorda, Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Reactable SystemsWe are constantly creating new ways to generate and organize sound. Sometimes the result is plain fun, and sometimes it's just really nice to listen to. This panel brings together experts who have tried to create new interfaces for musical expression through very different technical means. Using tabletop interfaces, visual-sound installations, mobile music making, and circuit bending, the panelists explore what the visual means in these different approaches to musical art.

Creating New Interfaces for Musical ExpressionInstructors: Sid Fels, University of British Columbia; Michael Lyons, Ritsumeikan University Advances in digital audio technologies have led to computers playing a role in most music production and performance. Digital technologies offer unprecedented opportunities for creation and manipulation of sound, but the flexibility of these new technologies imply an often-confusing array of choices for instrument designers, composers, and performers. This course covers the theory and practice of new musical-interface design and explores principles that are useful for designing good musical interfaces.

For complete details on all of the Music & Audio programming offered at SIGGRAPH 2009 visit

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