Doug Van Nort

Canada Research Chair; Associate Professor, Computational Arts/Music

Headshot image of Associate Professor Doug Van Nort.

Doug Van Nort’s creative and scholarly work operates in the domains of electroacoustic, experimental and computer music, improvised and interactive performance, and the sonic arts more broadly. Spanning from professional music to public installation and workshop contexts, he creates compositions and frameworks for improvisation that integrate machine agents, immersive environments, interactive systems and experiences of telepresence as boundary conditions to explore the myriad ways that performers negotiate emergent, collective meaning outside of spoken language.This includes an interest in intersubjectivity, distributed agency and sensorial immersion in performance contexts that involve collective improvisation, are mediated by affective and visceral experiences of the sonic and haptic senses in particular, and which are guided by the the complex and embodied nature of listening. Van Nort regularly presents this work internationally, and recent projects have spanned telematic music compositions involving virtual acoustics, a solar-powered and evolving environmental sound art piece for a remote pond (Fieldwork), the Doug Van Nort Electro-Acoustic Orchestra, autonomous machine composition/improvisation systems, interactive music composition for large-scale dance pieces (National Ballet School, EMPAC, York Dance Ensemble), soundscape composition for 2,500 year old Chinese bells (Smithsonian’s Freer-Sackler Gallery), and performative sonification of data streams (NASA’s Kepler mission). This work is informed by his background in mathematics, media arts, Deep Listening practice, music composition and performance, and draws upon diverse areas ranging from perceptual and cognitive science, electroacoustic music, systems theory, sound studies, AI/machine learning, signal processing and various forms of ritual.
Recordings of Van Nort’s music can be found on Pogus, Attenuation Circuit, Zeromoon, Deep Listening, and MIT Press among other experimental music labels.  Van Nort’s writing has appeared in various outlets including Organised Sound, the Computer Music Journal, Digital Creativity, the Leonardo Music Journal, the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.

At YorkU Van Nort has founded the DisPerSion (DIStributed PERformance and Sensorial immerSION) Lab, dedicated to amplifying this research with a team of students and collaborators.