“Reembodied sound” is a term coined by the composer David Coll, designed to differentiate a set of electroacoustic practices from loudspeaker-based music. Reembodied sound tends to use surface transducers, small cone-less speakers designed to attach to surfaces of resonant objects and essentially turn those objects into speakers themselves.
Matthew Goodheart’s techniques involving attaching transducers primarily to gongs and cymbals, though piano, strings, brass, and other instruments are used as well. Each instrument undergoes a rigorous acoustic analysis and recording. Using this sonic information as a basis for mixed synthesis, computer generated sound is ultimately sent back to the original instrument through the transducer (or “reembodied”), tailored to its unique acoustics. The instrument then resonates with unusual and unexpected sounds, bringing forth hidden details of their inherent sonic properties.
The transducers also allow the instruments to seem autonomous – “ghost” instruments, sounding of their own accord. This also allows for flexibility of placement, so that the instruments can be placed in unusual locations around the performance area to create spatialized and immersive works, adaptable to many different types of environments.
Goodheart’s techniques were developed in collaboration with Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT) at U.C. Berkeley, the Computer Music Center (CMC) at Columbia University, and Rensselaer Polytechnic University.