Curtis Litchfield and Calvin Shiu are the inaugural winners of the Joyce and Ron Sakamoto Award for Research and Development. Open to continuing students in the Bachelor of Music program with a declared major in Digital Audio Arts, the awards amount to a $5,000 scholarship for each recipient.
"Considering the outstanding quality of the 12 submitted proposals, it was the unanimous decision of the committee to select two Sakamoto Award recipients this year," says Dr. Rolf Boon, Chair of the Music Department.
The selection committee consisted of Boon, Dr. Arlan Schultz, Thilo Schaller and Ian Burleigh.
The eight-month long proposal projects start in September and feature a public presentation component upon completion.
"The Sakamoto research grant gives me the great opportunity of collaborating with The Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble to present ethnic music in a new surround sound listening experience," says Shiu.
The Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble is an internationally recognized ensemble that performs traditional Chinese and contemporary compositions with a wide repertoire of fine Eastern instruments.
"My project will be carried out in three stages: research into traditional Chinese instruments and their recording techniques, organizing a public performance by the ensemble in Lethbridge and the production of a 5.1 surround sound album in the Digital Audio Arts Studio 1 facility," says Shiu. "I would like to express my gratitude towards the DAA faculty and Dr. and Mrs. Sakamoto for providing me with the resources and support to make my dream of working with this ensemble come true."
Litchfield intends to create a set of audio filters for use when wearing headphones.
"These filters will create the illusion that the sound a person is listening to is coming from outside of their head, in the space around them, rather than from inside their head somewhere between their ears," explains Litchfield. "This concept is similar to wearing glasses to watch 3D movies, but with more variables to account for. In the end I hope to create a program that will allow people to create their own 3D sonic space to listen to, using headphones."
These two projects are just the start of many creative opportunities for students in the future thanks to the generous support of Joyce and Ron Sakamoto.
This story first appeared in the Legend. For a look at the Legend in a flipbook format, follow this link.