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Cube Fest

August 9, 2018 - August 12, 2018


CUBE FEST 2018Cube Fest, August 9-12, is a spatial music festival with performances for the public and a VIP package of hands-on, behind-the-scenes, and creative opportunities for fellow revolutionists. Cube Fest will bring together a group of 20 international audio technology experts, computer engineers, music technology experts, musicians, and composers who will present performances of original compositions created for the Cube and preexisting works, including music by the late David Bowie.

Virginia Tech’s Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) is on the front line leading a revolution in sound with a unique resource at their fingertips—the Cube in the Moss Arts Center. A four-story, high-tech venue and laboratory, the Cube is outfitted with 149 multichannel audio speakers, a robust motion capture system, and a two-story- tall, 360-degree immersive projection screen called the Cyclorama, making it the only facility of its kind in the world. Artists, musicians, scientists, and researchers from around the globe visit the Cube to be part of this revolution.


Thursday, August 9, 2018

  • 7 PM: Spatial Music Workshop: Research ReSounds

Friday, August, 10, 2018

  • 3 PM: Paul Koonce Performance/Lecture: The Theory and Practice of Wave Field Synthesis
  • 5 PM: Sounds in Focus
  • 7 PM: Anna & Elizabeth: The Moon in Her Fan: Imagining Texas Gladden
    9 PM: Anna & Elizabeth: The Moon in Her Fan: Imagining Texas Gladden

Saturday, August 11, 2018

  • 11 AM: Ableton Live Workshop with Ben Casey
  • 3 PM: Sounds in Focus
  • 7 PM: Christopher Willits
  • 9 PM: Sounds in Space

Sunday, August 12, 2018

  • 1 PM: Sounds in Focus
  • 3 PM: Sounds in Motion
  • 7 PM: Dustin Wong & Takako Minekawa
  • 9 PM: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
  • 10:30 PM: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

VIP Package

The Cube Fest VIP package grants you exclusive access to Cube Fest artists, engineers, and creators, as well as behind-the- scenes and hands-on opportunities and special events.

  • Cost $275
  • Reserved seating at all events (6 ticketed performances, 2 workshops), Thursday, August 9 through Sunday, August 12
  • Private meet-and- greet opportunities with guest artists Anna & Elizabeth, Christopher Willits, and Dustin Wong & Takako Minekawa
  • Exclusive behind the scenes, hands-on “play in the Cube” experience, Friday, August 10
  • Welcome reception, Friday, August 10
  • Destination dinner with festival leadership, Saturday, August 11

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Anna & Elizabeth


Imagining Texas Gladden

Anna & Elizabeth, in collaboration with Irish composer Linda Buckley, present a new series of explorations inspired by the legacy and music of Texas Gladden, crafted especially for the immersive Cube Space.

Gladden was recorded singing ballads in her living room in Salem by folklorist Alan Lomax and folksinger Shirley Collins in 1941; these recordings went on to have a lasting impact, making the singer reknowned amongst folk musicians, worldwide.

The mother of 9, an occasional poet, and a gifted homemaker, Gladden’s log home is still inhabited by her family — her memory and spirit still vibrates there, if you are lucky enough to visit and sit on the porch with her granddaughter.

Anna and Elizabeth have been e-imagining and illustrating ballads — Texas’ amongst them, for the last 7 years, to great acclaim — the New Yorker calls their most recent record “A radical expansion of what folk songs are supposed to do.” They’ve enlisted Irish electro/acoustic composer Linda Buckley to join them in their exploration, for CubeFest; Buckley is an esteemed Irish composer whose work is “engaging with an area of experience that new music is generally shy of, which, simplified and reduced to a single word, I’d call ecstasy.” (Bob Gilmore, Journal of Music)

The three create an immersive and multi-media language, to supplement the songs and stories told by Anna & Elizabeth ; re-working recent field recordings and videos of the Gladden home and woods surrounding, interviews with the descendants of the singer; texts built from stories Texas and her family told, Texas’ own poetry, and immersive sound collages built from the sounds of her singing; and a deep dive into an ancient ballad she sung through dance, film, and sound — It’s a piece exploring the possibilities of memory in a place, the legacy of a song (and the singer) in a space, and the possibilities of finding magic in the domestic home — and in the nature surrounding.

The show will feature a guest appearance by Vicki Miller, Texas' granddaughter.

August 10, 2018
& 9pm—10pm

Christopher Willits

Grammy-nominated guitarist and producer Christopher Willits occupies a unique corner of the music universe—hovering above the intersection of electronic production's nuts and bolts and awide-open creative mind. He has produced more than 25 albums in the last 15 years and is the co-founder of spatial audio/3D sound platform Envelop as well as the creative collective Overlap.

August 11, 2018

Dustin Wong
& Takako Minekawa

Based in Tokyo, Japan, fusion musicians Dustin Wong and Takako Minekawa “use their considerable technical skill to create the psychedelic, surreal, and conceptual” (ThrillJockey).

August 12, 2018

Research Resounds

Thursday, August 9, 2018
The Cube

The Research Resounds concert will present work freshly created during the 2018 Spatial Music Workshop. During the workshop, participants will explore the spatial capabilities of the Cube, and create work specifically for this world-leading spatial music performance venue. Each work will be introduced by its creator. The participants of the 2018 Spatial Music Workshop are: Yvette Janine Jackson, Lee Gilboa, Ted Moore and Kyle Hutchins, Kai Oliver and Francine Dulong, Anna Xambó, and William Ryan Baker.

Paul Koonce Performance/Lecture
The Theory and Practice of Wave Field Synthesis

Friday, August 10, 2018
Perform Studio

The Theory and Practice of Wave Field Synthesis Wave field synthesis is a technique of audio production for producing audio sound wave fields with a perceptual realism surpassing that of conventional sound diffusion approaches. The technique works to use large multi-channel speaker systems, arrayed in front of listeners, and precisely calculated signals to transduce virtually conceived sound wave fields into the space of closely seated listeners. Using the author’s 24-channel wave field array, this presentation will demonstrate the allure and power of composing with wave field sound. Two of the author’s works (Rotorelief and Sisyphus in Situ) will be performed along with a 20-minute video lecture addressing the principle of wave field synthesis and the author’s software for its production. All sound for the video lecture (i.e. voice and examples) is synthesized and presented from within the wave field space, making the lecture itself, in effect, a demonstration of its subject.

Sounds in Focus

Friday, August 10, 2018
Perform Studio

Saturday, August 11, 2018
Perform Studio

Sunday, August 12, 2018 1pm—2pm
Perform Studio

Sounds in Focus presents a selection of works from artists around the world, played on the 24.4 channel Genelec system in the Perform Studio of the Moss Arts Center. The Perform Studio is a smaller, more intimate performance space that is ideal for precise and detailed listening to multichannel music. Guests who attend concerts in both Perform Studio and the Cube will develop a deeper appreciation for the range of artistic expression possible in different multichannel formats. Participants of Sounds in Focus include: Judith Shatin, Pinda Ho, Eric Simonson, Qi Mengjie, Michael Rhoades, Kotoka Suzuki, and Robert McClure.

Ableton Live Workshop

Saturday, August 11, 2018
Perform Studio

Ben Casey of Ableton, Inc. will present an introductory workshop on Ableton Live, introducing the new multichannel features of Live 10.

Christopher Willits will discuss Envelop for Live, a collection of free, open-source spatial audio production tools that work with Ableton Live Suite and how he uses them.

Sounds in Space

Saturday, August 11, 2018
The Cube

Sounds in Space will feature massively multichannel music compositions from 7 artists from Russia, Iran, Canada, and the United States who will utilize the Cube’s 149 speakers. The composed pieces will bring each artist’s perspective through visual and auditory experiences. Guests will experience these works in the world-leading immersive audio environment known as the Cube. The participants of Sounds in Space are: Dmitri Mazurov, Christopher Coleman, Niloufar Iravani, David Ledoux, Elizabeth Hoffman, Eric Stewart, and Jacob Elkin.

Sounds in Motion

Sunday, August 12, 2018
The Cube

Sounds in Motion offers an experience in multichannel audio where artists from Canada, China, Argentina, and the United States will perform their composed pieces and explore the spatial capabilities of the Cube. The combination of live performance and immersive audio will provide a compelling experience of the artistic possibilities of the Cube. Participants of Sounds in Motion include: Human Shaped Objects, Jane/Kin, Eric Lyon, Steve Ellison, Eric Dahlman, Chenyu Sun, and Fede Camara Halac.

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

Sunday, August 12, 2018
9pm—10pm & 10:30pm—11:30pm
The Cube

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was released in 1972 and is about David Bowie’s alter ego, Ziggy Stardust. The album addresses themes of exploration and social taboos. In 2017, the Library of Congress selected the album for preservation in the National Recording Registry. Tanner Upthegrove, media engineer for ICAT, will diffuse the 5.1 channel Super Audio CD master of the album over 140 loudspeakers in the Cube.



August 9, 2018
August 12, 2018


Moss Arts Center, Virginia Tech, 190 Alumni Mall, Blacksburg, VA 24060
190 Alumni Mall
Blacksburg, VA 24061 United States
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