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This paper discusses ongoing research into the development of an original composition portfolio themed on the concept of palimpsests of time and place. The research involves the application of an iterative development methodology to refine creative computer-based techniques for the exploration and navigation of multi-dimensional aural and visual content operating within three-dimensional Cartesian space. Various computational functions for utilising a web browser-based system, oriented around a conceptual n-tier layer model, are being developed and refined. Visualisation computational processes related to images (still and moving) of the same place (such as a building) or other artefact (such as a map) over time utilise both authentic and synthetic content. Auralisation computational processes include authentic and synthetic impulse responses (the acquisition of the acoustic characteristics of particular spatial environments) and convolution reverb (recreating the acoustic reverberation characteristics of a physical or synthetic space based on an associated impulse response). The research is applying an iterative theory-composition-testing cycle to optimise intuitive computer-based processes for enabling users to navigate multiple layers of content, as well as in finding methods that evoke an increased emotional awareness of, and connection with, the past of place over time. Consequently an integral component of the research methodology involves the emergent computational techniques being subjected to formalised usability testing both to assist with their further refinement and to assess their value in evoking an increased awareness of time and place.
Date of Conference: 18-22 July 2011