Monday 4 November 2019 // 15:00-16:00 // The Portal, Fjordgata 1 (2nd floor), 7010 Trondheim // The Portal, Department of Musicology (ZEB building), Sem Sælands vei 2, 0371 Oslo

Sølvi Ystad
Sølvi Ystad.


Our environment constantly “talks” to us, and recognizing events from sounds that surround us is generally a trivial task for most people. However, explaining how and why we are able to interpret everyday sounds or musical messages is less trivial. In this presentation, I will describe how we work on such issues and why it is useful to be able to manipulate sounds based on perceptual criteria.   From signal and physical characteristics of sources, sounds can be modelled using computer programs through a process that is commonly called digital sound synthesis. Today’s computers enable to synthesize complex sounds in real-time, which makes this approach powerful for many uses.  Although such approaches are most commonly used for sound design, sonification and for musical applications, they can also be used as a tool to understand human perception and to identify perceptually salient signal structures. I will here describe how auditory perception can be investigated through so-called perceptual engineering by crossing different disciplines to link physical and signal knowledge with perceptual and cognitive knowledge. In addition to bringing fundamental understanding to auditory perception, such approaches make it possible to propose evocative synthesis that can be controlled in an intuitive manner through gestures or verbal labels that describe the sound source. Videos and sound examples will be presented to illustrate the approach. 


Sølvi Ystad received her degree as a civil engineer in electronics from NTH (Norges Tekniske Høgskole), Trondheim, Norway in 1992. In 1998 she received a joint Ph.D. degree labeled « European PhD Thesis » from NTNU, Trondheim and from the University of Aix-Marseille II, Marseille. After a post doctoral stay at the University of Stanford - CCRMA, California, she obtained a researcher position at the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) in Marseille, in 2002. She was the coordinator of the senSons project from 2005-2009. In 2017 she co-founded the interdisciplinary art-science laboratory PRISM - Perception, Representations, Image, Sound, Music – in Marseille. She also co-founded the Master program “Acoustics and Musicology”, created in 2018 at the Aix-Marseille University. In October 2019 she co-chaired the international art-science conference CMMR2019.

Live Stream Recording of the Event

Photo thumbnail by Robin Støckert.

A talk hosted at the Department of Music, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim and live streamed through the MCT Portal to the University of Oslo (UiO) and also through YouTube. The audience combines two physical sites (from Oslo and Trondheim) plus online viewers from all over the world.

Video Credits

Speaker: Sølvi Ystad

Presenter (Trondheim): Anna Xambó

Presenter (Oslo): Ane Bjerkan

Audio Mixer (Trondheim): Jørgen Varpe

Audio Production (Trondheim): Jørgen Varpe, Sepehr Haghighi

Audio Mixer (Oslo): Jarle Folkeson Steinhovden

Streaming (Trondheim): Ulrik Antoniussen Halmøy

Camera (Trondheim): Sepehr Haghighi, Shreejay Shrestha

Technical Supervision: Robin Støckert, Anders Tveit

Production (Trondheim): Karolina Jawad

Production (Oslo): Ane Bjerkan

Audio processing: Sepehr Haghighi

Intro Video: Karolina Jawad

Seminar Series Curation: Anna Xambó

Acknowledgments: Robin Støckert, Anders Tveit, Alexander Refsum Jensenius, Ellen Karlsen Holmås, Maj Vester Larsen

Supported by: Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), University of Oslo (UiO)

In collaboration with: Master in Music, Communication and Technology (MCT)