Ecstasy / Light / Inertia: Interactive Gamification for New Electroacoustic Music and Sound Art

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Vasquez Gomez, Juan Carlos, Music - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Burtner, Matthew, Arts & Sciences Graduate, University of Virginia

"Ecstasy / Light / Inertia" represents an innovative exploration into the realm of gamified music experiences. Created within a 3D virtual environment, this project incorporates elements of postmodern philosophy, Nordic nature, modernist architecture, and high-fidelity spatial audio technology. It offers a unique mode of engagement with new music through narrative-based interaction and navigation, intending to replace traditional concert settings or sound art galleries with an immersive digital experience. The project features a series of original music compositions, intricately woven into beautifully crafted virtual spaces, presenting an innovative attempt to democratize the accessibility to transformative sound-focused art forms.

The core of this dissertation revolves around the detailed analysis of the conception, evolution, and realization of "Ecstasy / Light / Inertia". It delves deep into the exploration of the artistic choices, methodologies, narrative threads, and philosophical facets that contribute to this distinctive gamified experience. Integral to this study are the music compositions that serve not merely as a backdrop, but as a crucial part of the overall project, underpinning the journey and narrative progression within the gamified environment.

This dissertation also contemplates the potential of game engine environments in disseminating new music, particularly after a global pandemic that necessitated a reconsideration of physical presence for enjoying various sound-focused art forms. It further investigates the potential of gamification in music and the integration of philosophical elements into the narrative fabric of the project. Finally, it outlines future directions and concludes with reflections on the lessons learned and the potential impact of "Ecstasy / Light / Inertia" on the evolution of sound art in the digital era.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
gamification, electroacoustic music, sound art, new media art, music composition
Sponsoring Agency:
University of VirginiaJefferson Scholars FoundationArts Promotion Center FinlandGenelec
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  • Ecstasy / Light / Inertia - Final Build
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