News 2006

N E W S : R E P O R T S : 2 0 0 6

Geneva – trees begin 'breathing'
posted 04/12/2006

Illustrious are pleased to confirm that their collaboration with Laurent Louyer, Breathing Trees, is now active at the Festival Arbres et Lumieres in Geneva. Using LED colour changing technology coupled with Illustrious' three-dimensional sonic imaging technology, the team have created an image of trees that look and sound like giant lungs breathing in and out.

Illustrious at Battle exhibition
posted 04/12/2006

Illustrious has completed a 5.1 surround sound mix for New Angle/English Heritage for a new exhibition space at Battle on the south coast of England. The soundscape portrays the battle of Hastings in 1066, the Normans conquering the Anglo-Saxons led by King Harold.

Seoul Biennale installation active
posted 04/12/2006

'I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU' - the live three-dimensional responsive soundscape which is part of an installation called Remote, can now be seen and heard at the Triad Media Gallery in Seoul. The work is the fruition of a collaboration between Illustrious and Fabrica. Remote is an interactive/generative installation which uses real time input from webcams all around the world to create constantly evolving audio loops and patterns

Illustrious assist in MIT research
posted 14/11/2006

Illustrious is about to install a Sonic imaging system – sponsored by B&W and PGAD – at MIT to enable further collaborative research into convergent art, music and multimedia projects

Sound Oasis Confirmed For Long Beach
posted 14/11/2006

Following its success in Mexico City earlier this year, Illustrious will be installing Sound Oasis at California State University Long Beach from November 6-13 2007. The week long installation in the University quad is part of Project Lab, an event curated by University Museum curator Chris Scoates which will also include a special Future Of Sound night.

NFT event
posted 14/11/2006

Illustrious has been commissioned to create a collaborative, outdoor, multimedia work in 3D sound to celebrate the opening of the new NFT building at the South Bank in London

New Gamelan piece
posted 14/11/2006

Together with the Gamelan ensemble Lila Cita, Illustrious are developing and composing a new immersive 3D sound piece combining the acoustic world with electronic sound modulation for performance in autumn 2007

Future Of Sound Lab
posted 14/11/2006

Martyn will be creating and delivering a series of lectures covering soundscape composition through to creation of 3D ‘sonic architecture’ at the new Roundhouse studios

Simulacrum of Restoration
posted 14/11/2006

In collaboration with Julian Weaver and Angus Carlyle, The Simulacrum of Restoration aims to recreate the lost histories of Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye, one of the cornerstones of modernist architecture, in an interactive 3D surround sound and 2D visual environment. Utilising Illustrious’ Sonic Imaging auralisation technology, the project will present the building’s extraordinary history and cultural impact. This project converges the traditional practice of the architectural blueprint with the dynamic and experiential techniques offered by auralisation and aims to develop new approaches towards the immersive experience.

Virtual Rome
posted 14/11/2006

Illustrious is about to install a Sonic imaging system – sponsored by B&W – at UVA to enable further collaborative research into providing immersive Sonic Imaging to enhance their amazing seven year project to recreate in virtual the whole of Rome 400AD

Future Of Sound tour dates confirmed
posted 10/10/2006

Exciting plans for the tour are rapidly gaining momentum... We finally have confirmed dates as follows...
6th December 2006 – FACT, Liverpool
18th January 2007 – Millennium Galleries, Sheffield
25th January 2007 (2 shows) – The Sage, Gateshead
7th February 2007 – Norwich Arts Centre
1st March 2007 – Goldsmiths, London
15th March 2007 – Lecture Theatre 1, RCA, London
12th April 2007 –The Octagon, Queen Mary, University of London

Ticket details will be announced shortly – generally they will be avaiable from the venue ticket office – some of the venues have limited capacity, so book early!

Martyn lectures at RCA, London 3rd October 2006
posted 03/10/2006

Martyn has been invited to lecture at the Royal College of Art on sound art for events and exhibitions, in particular using Illustrious' own 3D Sonic Imaging system

Echo/city at Venice Architectural Biennale
posted 10/09/2006

The press launch of Echo/city at the British Pavilion, Sheffield in Venice has been a phenomenal success. Several thousand press attaended the three-day vernissage, and the party on Friday featuring a performance by The Long Blondes, the latest in a long line of exciting bands from Sheffield. Below is a description of the project from the British Council website – Sheffield in Venice Echo City, developed under the leadership of Jeremy Till, Director of Architecture at the University of Sheffield, is an "urban register" describing Sheffield at a variety of scales from 1:1 to 1:10 million.

The 1:1 room is an installation of found objects from a project in the inner-city neighbourhood of Sharrow initiated by the art collective Encounters; 1:100 features architectural projects by Sauerbruch Hutton, Studio Egret West and Hawkins Brown, and Mecanoo; 1:10,000 is a literary and photographic journey written in the streets of Sheffield by writer Tim Etchells and photographer Hugo Glendinning; and 1:10,000,000 is Martyn Ware’s soundscape projecting Sheffield's relationship with the world at large.

The central exhibit is an interactive model developed by Jim Prevett which invites visitors to reconfigure urban elements at a variety of scales from the surrounding rooms. Till comments: “Architects tend to focus on the 1:100 and in this eschew the dynamics of the other scales and the rich interplay between them. Their main loss is an understanding of the settings for social and political life”.

The British Council’s panel of advisors: Tom Dyckhoff, Farshid Moussavi, Alice Rawsthorn and Deyan Sudjic recommended an exhibition that examined the issues facing Britain's regional cities, rather than London. In response to the indignation roused by this decision amongst certain London architects, the British Council's Head of Design & Architecture, Emily Campbell, who is Commissioner of the Pavilion said: "They were hasty in their scorn. The phenomenon of cities once great on account of reasons that no longer exist is a tragic condition to which we must find convincing answers".

Sheffield, meanwhile, has been getting a lot of attention from other quarters. Sheffield musicians Richard Hawley and the Arctic Monkeys are on the shortlist for the Mercury Prize, Britain's most prestigious music award; Sheffield's iconic cooling towers are the most popular contenders for Channel 4's Big Art Project; and Stirling Prize-shortlisted architects O'Donnell & Tuomey are working on a new John Lewis for Sheffield.

The director of this 2006 Venice Biennale of Architecture is Ricky Burdett, Centennial Professor of Architecture and Urbanism and LSE, and its theme is the interaction of architecture and social dynamics in the world’s major cities. Other British work featured in his international exhibition and in the Italian Pavilion which he curates, includes: Dixon Jones’ Exhibition Road Scheme for London; the Victoria Embankment improvement by MJP Architects; Dongtan Island Eco-City in Shanghai by Arup Associates; the Kartal Masterplan for Istanbul by Zaha Hadid Architects; the East River Masterplan for New York City by Richard Rogers Partnership with SHoP Architects, NYC; and a series of film installations by Neutral.

The Architecture Foundation will be streaming a blog from the Padiglione Italia and the Royal College of Art architecture students will be presenting a major research project in the Arsenale. A significant amount of the urban research for the Arsenale initiates in the Cities Programme/Urban Age Project at the London School of Economics.

For further information about the British pavilion, British participation at the Biennale and official UK press accreditation, please contact:

Ellen Miller, British Council Press Office, +44 20 73894939,

or Catherine Ince, Curator and Project manager, British Council

or visit

For information about the Venice Biennale please contact the Biennale Press Office at / tel.+39 041 5218846 – 5218716

Preparations for Venice Architectural Biennale
posted 28/08/2006

The Illustrious team are currently setting up three different SonicImaging soundfields at the British Pavilion at the X Venice Architectural Biennale. In a collaborative effort with the British Council, Jeremy Till's team, Ian Anderson from Designers Republic and Malcolm Garrett from AIG London, various aspects of Sheffield's impact on the world are being constructed in sound and vision. The show opens to the public on September 9th and promises to be the most extraordinary exhibition ever staged at the British Pavilion during VAB.

Future Of Sound tour
posted 01/08/2006

Details of the finalised dates for the Future Of Sound Tour 2006-7 will be published shortly.

Martyn visits Fabrica
posted 01/08/2006

Martyn visits Fabrica, Benetton's research establishment in Treviso, Italy at the invitation of Andy Cameron, head Creative in Interactive. Illustrious hopes to collaborate with Fabrica on future immersive and interactive sound related projects.

New Sound Oasis website
posted 20/06/2006

Details of the amazing Sound Oasis project featuring the Illustrious sonic Imaging 3D surround sound system can be found at

Martyn gives keynote speech at TCAD in Paris
posted 20/06/2006

Martyn has just given a keynote speech at the Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue conference, advocating artists' rights in IP matters.

Illustrious at the London Architectural Biennale
posted 16/06/2006

Illustrious has created a bespoke 3D soundfieldf eaturing the musings of Clerkenwell residents rand archirtects to an ambient, immersive soundtrack. In association with David Morley Associates, the architectural installation is located in the gardens of St. James Church, Clerkenwell as part of the London Architectural Biennale. The launch event is today (16/06/06)

Grand opening of Sound Oasis, Mexico City
posted 16/06/2006

The inauguration of Sound Oasis was attended by 2,000 people in the Playa de las Belles Artes last night. It was an enormous success. Over the next 10 days, over 100,000 people are expected to experience the world largest 3D outdoor soundfield featuring 12 sound artists, each contributing a 2 hour site and time specific piece which will loop every 24 hours day and night. Participating artists - Maryanne Amarcher, Chris Watson, Guillermo Galindo, Merzbow,Manuel Rocha, Slavek Kwi, Radio Qualia, UltraRed, Luz Maria Sanchez, Rogelio Soza, Mario De Vega and, of course Illustrious. It is hoped that the show will tour the world in the near future.

Sound Oasis – launch and Raj Patel/Arup Acoustics
posted 13/06/2006

Martyn is now in Mexico City make the final preparartion for Sound Oasis to launch on Thursday 15th June. In the recent Illustrious Summer newsletter, we forgot to include a credit for Raj Patel of Arup Acoustics, who, early in the project, helped specify and design the tecnnical aspect of the exhibition. Many apologies - we hope to be working woth Raj on many future international projects.

London Archtictural Biennale – DMA/Illustrious
posted 13/06/2006

he Ante-Pavilion will take place at St James Church which is just off Clerkenwell Green. It is part of the London Architecture Biennale, and will be open from 16-25 June from 10am to 6pm This will feature a bespoke three dimensional sound composition by Illustrious in the church garden.

Sound Oasis - at last!
posted 05/06/2006

After a 2 and a half year gestation period, Sound Oasis will take place at the Esplanade de Belles Artes in Mexico City opening on June 15th, featuring the world's largest ever outdoor 3D soundfield produced by Illustrious.

Martyn gives keynote speech at Cybersonica '06
posted 14/05/2006

Martyn will be giving a keynote speech entitled 'Modifying Reality Using Sound' at the Cybersonica conference at the DANA Centre on Saturday 20th May 2006. See

Illustrious curating show at San Servolo, Venice
posted 07/04/2006

In collaboration with Venezia News (Venice's equivalent of Time Out) Martyn has been asked to curate a group show at the island of San Servolo in the Venetian lagoon. The provisional theme of the show will be 'Perceptual Transformation' – partcularly appropriate as the island was a mental hospital until 1978, and is now seeking to shake off any negative connotations and stand proudly as a seat of learning and art in one of the most prominent positions in the lagoon, directly opposite the Biennale gardens. Several world-famous sound and visual artists have been approached to take part in the show, which will run from July to September this year.

Illustrious at the London Archtectural Biennale
posted 07/04/2006

Illustrious will be collaborating with the architictural practice David Morley Associates to create an immersive 3D sounfield in the garden of the 1100 year old site of St. James Church, Clerkenwell Green, London during June. The piece will bring to life the history of the church, together with voices from the most densely populated area in the world for architects. DMA are creating an architectural sculpture to house the soundscape, and will form an important part of the LAB walk from Tate Modern to King's Cross during June 2006

Heaven 17 hit the US Billboard charts!
posted 07/04/2006

HEAVEN 17 MUST HAVE SENT YOU: It was exactly 25 years ago this week that electronic-pop-dance trio Heaven 17 made its debut on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play chart, with the controversial single "(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thing."

Just in time to celebrate their silver anniversary, the three original members of Heaven 17 return to the Club Play list this week, debuting at No. 42 with "Hands Up to Heaven" (Ninthwave), from the new album "Before After." Heaven 17, composed of Glenn Gregory, Ian Craig Marsh and Martyn Ware, had a healthy run on the Club Play chart, with nine entries between 1981 and 1987.

Then the band, a spin-off of the British Electric Foundation, which was spun off from the Human League, didn't chart again until 1993, when a remix of "Penthouse and Pavement" went to No. 26. "Hands Up to Heaven" is the trio's first appearance on the Club Play tally since the "Penthouse" remix charted 13 years ago. Heaven 17's highest-ranked title to date is "Let Me Go," No. 4 in 1983, followed by "Contenders," No. 6 in 1987.

Martyn and the BAFTA New Media Producer Award
posted 31/03/2006

Martyn has been judging the BAFTA New Media Producer Award this week.

Latest Winter 06 Newsletter in text format
posted 12/03/2006

Hello! Here’s the latest news from the Illustrious Company...

Echo City, British Pavilion, X Venice Architectural Biennale September 2006
Illustrious is extremely honoured to have been chosen to participate in the creation of content for the British Pavilion at the tenth Venice Architectural Biennale. Jeremy Till, Professor of Architecture at the University of Sheffield, has drawn together a team from Sheffield including Martyn Ware from Illustrious, Ian Anderson of The Designers’ Republic, Encounters and Forced Entertainment. Their proposal, entitled Echo City, presents Sheffield as a base from which to speculate about the future of cities and takes the form of a dynamic, mutating “urban catalogue”.

Visitors are invited to choose from this catalogue: images, stories, sounds, ephemera and other materials (which are collected and virtually recomposed as their own “echo” version of the Sheffield we know).

Trip the Light Fantastic 10 February - 30 April 2006
The National Glass Centre, Sunderland, Admission Free As part of the ‘Trip The Light Fantastic’ exhibition concerning artistic installations featuring light and glass, Illustrious, in collaboration with artist and lighting designer Pip Rhodes, has created a three-dimensional synaesthetic soundscape to accompany a room immersed in pure monochromatic colour sweeping through the spectrum over a looping, one hour period. Multiple digital projectors will cast light upon a glass sculpture specially designed by Illustrious and created by the glass artists from the museum itself.

Immersive Soundscape for DTS at CES January 2006
Las Vegas In January, Illustrious visited Las Vegas to present their 7.1 surround sound composition on the DTS stand at CES (The World’s largest consumer electronic’s show). Over 200,000 conventioneers attended of which many were able to experience the soundfield during the course of the show. At the press launch Martyn took part in a panel discussion about the future of sound, and surround sound in particular, together with Ice-T, Nathaniel Finkel and Omar Hakim.

Sonic ID website launched The new Sonic-ID website is now live, complete with sonic wayfinding! Dan and Martyn have also been spreading the word, recently speaking at London’s New Media Knowledge seminar about sonic branding. You can hear Martyn talking about Sonic-ID on the Radio 4 programme, ‘You and Yours’, on the BBC website

And finally ... Martyn has just been made Visiting Professor at the Centre for Digital Music at Queen Mary College, University of London!

Martyn at Sounds Expo 2006 "DTS Session"
posted 09/03/2006

Martyn will be appearing at the Sounds Expo 2006, at 3pm on Friday 10th march at Olympia 2 London. He will be giving a seminar on multi-channel surround sound along with Rodney Orpheus and Simon Hayworth of DTS.

Illustrious at MIT and University of Virginia
posted 08/03/2006

In April/May, Illustrious will present their work, in particular the Sonic Imaging system, to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at the invitation of Tod Machover. In addition, Illustrious have received an invitation to present at the University of Virginia this spring. These presentations constitute a continuing commitment to reseach and collaboration in the field of immersive sound and convergent artforms.

Martyn judges BAFTA TV Awards Interactive
posted 08/03/2006

Martyn will be judging the Interactive award as part of the BAFTA TV awards later this month.

Sonic-ID website goes live
posted 27/02/2006

Check it out... Sonic Branding for the 21st Century An alliance between DKPM and Illustrious.

Dates for the XX Venice Architectural Biennale
posted 18/02/2006

Here are the confirmed dates for Echo Cities at the British Pavilion, a multimedia collaboration about the future of Sheffield and cities in general, featuring the creative and curatorial participation of Illustrious Preview: 6th September (will be exclusively reserved for press and to those who have played a leading role in the realization of the Exhibition), 7th, 8th and 9th September 2006 – opening days for other invited visitors

The Inauguration (official biennale day) will be held on September 9th. The Exhibition will be opened to the public from September 10th to November 19th 2006 from 10.00am to 6.00pm, all days.

Martyn speaking at Goldsmiths sound event
posted 03/02/2006

Sound Practice 2006 Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th February Organised by the Music Department, Goldsmiths College and the UK and Ireland Soundscape Community 3.00pm [Recital Hall] Julian Henriques (Goldsmiths College), Paul Gillieron (Paul Gillieron Acoustics), Martyn Ware (Illustrious) 3D SonicImaging installation and description of forthcoming project The Sonic Space Ship (SSS) Full programme details - visit

Martyn accepts Visiting Professor role at C4DMUL
posted 21/01/2006

Martyn has enthusiastically accepted a kind invitation to become a Visiting Professor in the Centre For Digital Music (C4DM) at Queen Mary College, University of London. He will be assisting with their research and giving the benefit of his experience in this field to the department, whilst assisting possible commercial developments based on their body of work.

ABC news reports on DTS/Illustrious at CES
posted 17/01/2006

'....We were then treated to an audiovisual feast of movie and music clips using the new technology—including the first-ever public demo of HD video with 7.1-channel high-definition audio, which brought the point home more than descriptions and specs could. Then came the highlight: Human League founder and producer Martyn Ware, former Weather Report percussionist Omar Hakim, legendary engineer Nathaniel Kunkel, and rapper/actor Ice-T made an appearance to discuss the technology in a wonderfully informal, low-pressure panel.

Ice-T spoke of the advantages of working in surround, noting in particular that in his music, people often have a tough time distinguishing the words, whereas with surround sound, "now you've got my voice right up in your f---in' face."

Ware mentioned that he's been doing a lot of composing over the last several years and sees 7.1-channel audio as a compositional tool rather than a simple enhancement. He also addressed the interesting issue of the importance of maintaining artist intention when remixing existing stereo content to multi-channel surround. This technology is a significant addition to the high-definition landscape, as more home-theater systems are now capable of reproducing 7.1-channel audio.

The HD format wars notwithstanding, DTS made it crystal clear that audio is a critical part of the home entertainment experience, and the spoils of the increased capacity of optical media won't be exclusively given over to the visual domain.'

Illustrious at CES with DTS and Ice-T!
posted 14/01/200

Martyn appeared at CES Las Vegas with rapper Ice-T to publicise DTS' 7.1 HD master surround sound. Illustrious composed and produced the content for the demonstration at the world's largest consumer electronics convention.