Call for Proposals

Sound designers, musicians, engineers, researchers, and educators are invited to submit proposals for talks, workshops or live performances on the theme Organic Sound for the Kyma International Sound Symposium (KISS2014), scheduled for 25-28 September 2014 at the Musikhochschule Lübeck (MHL) in Lübeck Germany.

In addition to the traditional KISS tutorials, workshops, morning lectures, and afternoons in the Kyma OpenLab, the conference organizers have planned several exciting site-specific events and activities for KISS2014 including:

  • Evening concerts in the historic St. Jakobi church & the MHL Concert Hall
  • A club night of live Kyma DJ sets (with an acoustic twist!) at Parkhaus Lübeck
  • And the live creative team event for KISS2014: The Collaboratory

What is “Organic Sound”?

The phrase “Organic Sound” can mean different things to different people.  To a sound designer it might be that elusive, totally believable creature voice  or the Holy Grail of completely natural-sounding procedural audio.  To a DJ, it might be a timbre that has the raw complexity and liveliness of analog.  To a composer it might suggest the seamless integration of acoustic and computer-generated sound.   To an acoustic ecologist, it might be the sounds of nature re-introduced into the urban soundscape. And if you do sound for picture, “organic sound” may be about the blurring of distinctions between sound design and music in sound tracks for film and games.

Organic comes from the same root as organ, bringing to mind the historically significant pipe organs of Lübeck, the city where Buxtehude was Kapellmeister, where J.S. Bach came to take lessons, and where Händel was invited to succeed Buxtehude as Kapellmeister but left when he discovered that one of the job requirements was that he marry Buxtehude’s eldest daughter.  Lübeck is also the birthplace of novelist Thomas Mann, whose Doktor Faustus was inspired by Schönberg’s twelve tone theory, itself an organic outgrowth of late 19th century chromaticism.

According to Wikipedia:

Organic may refer to:

  • Of or relating to an organism, a living entity
  • Of or relating to an organ

The English word “organ” derives from the Latin organum, meaning instrument, itself from the Greek word organon, implement, musical instrument, or organ of the body. The Greek word is related to ergon, work… The English word “organism” is … formed from the verb to organize. At first the word referred to an organization or social system.

Looking for inspiration?

Looking for inspiration on how to link your own work to the theme of “Organic Sound” and the city of Lübeck?  Click on any of the categories below to begin brainstorming on possible topics for your proposal:

[showhide type=”sounddesign” more_text=”▶  Sound design for film, games, advertising, television” less_text=”▼  Sound design for film, games, advertising, television”]

  • Tips and techniques for making procedural audio more convincing &”organic”
  • Organic sound design for picture: the blurring of sound effects and music in sound tracks for film and games
  • Organic sound design: synthesizing sound effects from physical models
  • Morphing in an organic way from one voice to another
  • Breeding sonic hybrids: imposing the formants of one organism onto another


[showhide type=”controllers” more_text=”▶  Controllers, interfaces, musical instruments” less_text=”▼  Controllers, interfaces, musical instruments”]

  • New musical instruments and controllers
  • Human organs as sources of musical control (brainwave, heart rate, galvanic skin response, and other bio-sensors used as Kyma controllers)
  • Autonomous musical devices with sensors and actuators that can adapt to the internal and external environment (musical robots, sensor networks, distributed computing)
  • Organic interfaces: feature extraction of biologically produced acoustic signals used to control synthesized sound and/or image (tracking the signal from an acoustic instrument or voice and using it as a Kyma control signal)
  • Design of a musical instrument (hardware and software) that is: self-organizing, self-configuring, self-optimizing, self-healing, self-protecting, self-explaining, and self-aware.


[showhide type=”composition” more_text=”▶  Composition, improvisation, interactive performance” less_text=”▼  Composition, improvisation, interactive performance”]

  • Computer, human performer, and audience as an organism or super-organism
  • Organic models, forms, methods, processes, or patterns found in living systems applied to algorithmic composition and live interactive music
  • Biologically-inspired algorithms (e.g. L-systems, genetic algorithms, cellular automata, reaction-diffusion, etc.) applied to music composition and live performance environments
  • Concepts from organic computing applied to music composition, improvisation & live performance
  • Growth, decay, and other processes associated with organic matter
  • A computer instrument as an adaptive and reactive partner in live musical improvisation
  • Networked biological entities forming a super organism
  • A musical improvisation ensemble as an organism: a networked system of autonomous agents that communicate with one another (through audio signals and visual gestures) and adapt in real time to achieve a common goal of making music.
  • Algorithmic composition, interactive work, ecosystemic feedback system that incorporates aspects of self-organization and emergent behavior arising from simple rules in combination.
  • Embodied philosophy and its implications for sound and music
  • Organum or polyphony in Western music and its relevance in computer & electronic music
  • Organicism: emphasis on the organization or process of composing/improvising, rather than the end result


[showhide type=”audio” more_text=”▶  Audio signal processing” less_text=”▼  Audio signal processing”]

  • Audio signal processing that models human hearing
  • Hierarchical or adaptive audio signal detection or identification, especially as it relates to human hearing and auditory scene analysis
  • Adaptive signal processing or artificial neural networks in audio signal analysis and processing
  • Organic sound through physical modelling


[showhide type=”acoustic” more_text=”▶  Acoustic instruments or voices & Kyma” less_text=”▼  Acoustic instruments or voices & Kyma”]

  • Composing for pipe organ and electronics (issues with microphone placement, feedback, reverberation, interaction, etc)
  • Techniques for the seamless integration of acoustic instruments or analog electronics and computer-generated sound  
  • The development of the organ from ancient Greece to the present day with emphasis on its influence on and interaction with electronic and digital instruments
  • Acoustical analysis of the pipe organ


[showhide type=”data” more_text=”▶  Data sonification” less_text=”▼  Data sonification”]

  • Sonification of biological data or models (cells, organs, organisms, super organisms)
  • Sonification in organic chemistry
  • Making numerical data perceivable by living organisms as sound


[showhide type=”social” more_text=”▶  Sound in society” less_text=”▼  Sound in society”]

  • Viral audio: what makes a snippet of sound or music spread like an epidemic?
  • Sound & acoustics are often ignored in the design of public spaces; how can we improve the acoustic ecology of the urban landscape?
  • What, if any, are the differences between an organic soundscape and an urban soundscape?  Does sound affect the way people behave in an environment?


[showhide type=”neuroscience” more_text=”▶  Neuroscience, hearing science, cyborgs” less_text=”▼  Neuroscience, hearing science, cyborgs”]

  • Sound and its effect on the human body and other organisms
  • Sound, music, and the brain: How does sound affect sleep, learning, arousal, memory, speech, motor coordination, and other brain functions?
  • Neural plasticity and the auditory system
  • Auditory hallucinations, ear worms, and other “pathologies”
  • Synaesthesia, pharmacology, and the brain’s connectome
  • Dyslexia and auditory perception
  • The perfect ear worm: how to compose a tune that takes over everyone’s consciousness
  • The human auditory system (the organ of hearing)
  • Auditory perception (sonic illusions, limits of time and frequency resolution)
  • Adaptive technology to enhance auditory perception (signal processing algorithms for bionic ears, hearing aids that conquer the problem of signal in noise, echolocation devices for low-light environments)


[showhide type=”history” more_text=”▶  The city of Lübeck” less_text=”▼  The city of Lübeck”]

  • Buxtehude, Bach, and Kyma: are there signal processing transformations we can apply to timbral music that are analogous to the transformations and other compositional techniques that Bach applied to pitches and durations?
  • A sound map of Lübeck
  • A live performance in Kyma inspired by one of the literary works of Thomas Mann


How do I propose an idea?

If you’d like to be a presenter at KISS2014, it’s simple!  All you have to do is fill out an online form with your proposal for a:

Questions?  Send email to the KISS2014 Organizing Committee.


1 April 2014 is the last day to submit a proposal for talk, workshop, or live performance.

The committee will begin reviewing the proposals starting on 1 April and you will receive notification of acceptance by the end April in order to leave you enough time to complete your proposed work and arrange for travel.