November 2-6, 2022
Liminal Spaces is a 15-minute, fixed-media composition that uses the one-of-a-kind capabilities of the Cube to completely immerse participants in sound. This unique composition invites people to experience music in an unprecedented way.
Liminal Spaces had its first performance on November 2-6, 2022, selling out all the scheduled shows. Audiences explored the time that exists between morning and night, between near and far, between calm and storm. It was a plunge into the time between what was and what comes next.
With its 140-loudspeaker array, the Virginia Tech Cube creates unique, sonically-rich spatial experiences that transcend the capabilities of a home stereo or high-quality headphones. Artists have come to Blacksburg from around the world to create audio scenarios that can only be realized in one place in the world—the Cube.
Liminal Spaces presented the next stage in the evolution of the Cube: a layered spatial audio system using the Cube’s built-in sound system and the Tesseract - a newly installed spatial room within a room, a “starburst” array of loudspeakers distributed throughout the Cube, and a pair of bone-conduction headphones, delivering sound directly to the listener.
The theme and infrastructure of Liminal Spaces were conceived by Ben Knapp, Executive Director of the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology. Knapp was looking for a way to explore sound in a place between places to serve as a metaphor for the transitions of life. He approached Guggenheim Fellow Eric Lyon to compose a new piece that would explore these liminal spaces in a way only Lyon can. Lyon is redefining what is musically possible while Knapp, with the help of the incredible team from ICAT, is pushing the Cube’s technology to its limit.
- Production and Text - Ben Knapp
- Composition - Eric Lyon
- Reading - Natasha Staley
- Tesseract technology - Tanner Upthegrove
- Bone conduction headphone research - Brandon Hale
- Lighting - Gustavo Araoz