In the early stages of the NESS project, the Edinburgh College of Art kindly allowed us to make use of a large art studio in the basement of the Lauriston Place campus. It was a wonderfully spare room, spacious, and with a fair amount of rude graffiti on the walls (and at times, when the going was slow, we added a little ourselves). The acoustics were not great—it was concrete-walled—but as a place to work, it was superb. With the help of Kevin Hay and Matthew Collings in the Reid School of Music, we set up an eight-channel working configuration (Genelec 8050s), as well as two large sub-woofers. Composers were able to produce sound remotely through web access to the NESSGPU server, housed several miles away in the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre. The eight-channel configuration was expanded to 16 in 2013.
The new NESS Multichannel Research Space
In 2015, we relocated to the Nursery Space, a newly-acquired building in the University of Edinburgh; the space is smaller, but the acoustics are far better! And it’s pretty spooky, which is maybe a plus; depends who you ask. Roderick Buchanan-Dunlop, our studio manager from the Reid School of Music, and Geoff Lee from Information Services did a superb job of streamlining workflow. At the time of writing, in October 2016, and we’re looking forward to our final few composer visits, which will be return appearances from Gordon Delap, Trevor Wishart and Gadi Sassoon.