Call for proposals

The call for proposals is now closed. Please join us in Bozeman (9-12 August 2015) to hear the exciting presentations and live performances that were selected!

Picturing Sound | Sounding the Picture

Montana State University and Symbolic Sound invite you to reflect on what it means to picture sound (or to sound a picture). It may suggest a way of visualizing audio signals; it may bring to mind the visual cues a live performer gives the audience to help them parse the structure of the music; it may suggest creating sound for picture or creating moving images in response to sound; it may suggest generating both sound and image from the same data stream; it may suggest new ways of performing live cinema or creating sound art with a visual component.

Once you’re feeling inspired, we invite you to propose a live presentation of your work in the context of this theme for the 7th annual Kyma International Sound Symposium this summer in Bozeman, Montana.

In addition to the central theme, there are some site-specific sub-themes, an ensemble in residence, and a matching service to provide further inspiration:

  • First Contact: Bozeman is known as the fictional site of Earth’s first contact with an alien species (the Vulcans) in the film Star Trek: First Contact. Proposals drawing a connection with sound and/or music for science fiction are welcome!
  • Yellowstone: Bozeman is about an hour from Yellowstone National Park, a highly suggestive landscape of biological and geological extremes. Proposals referencing the acoustic ecology of Yellowstone, animal communication, scientific data sonification, vulcanism, field recordings, or other biologically or geologically-related sounds are welcome! For further inspiration, explore LifeOnTERRA, an award-winning sci­ence and nat­ural his­tory pod­cast overseen by graduate students in the MFA in Science and Natural History Filmmaking Program at Montana State University.
  • Ensemble in residence: As a further source of inspiration, we’re extremely fortunate to have an ensemble-in-residence this year: SoundProof, a performance trio consisting of Patricia Strange (violin), Stephen Ruppenthal (trumpet, flugelhorn, text-sound composer), and Brian Belet (viola, bass, & Kyma processing). Consider proposing a performance of live sound effects and music for a film or game; imagine composing for live performers with video, or live performers interacting with robotic instruments having a strong visual component.  The ensemble members are available to perform individually, as a duo or as a trio for improvisations or score-based performances.
  • Arranged Marriages:  You propose a general idea of the type of sound work you’d like to create and what you are looking for in your ideal filmmaker.  We will play matchmakers, hooking you up with the short film by a Montana State filmmaker that best matches your ideal mate.  We introduce you and you can begin your summer romance, consummated in a live sound-to-picture performance at KISS2015. Think of it as the eHarmony of sound-to-picture!


We encourage anyone who uses Kyma in their work to make a proposal for a presentation of and about their work. Filmmakers, sound designers for interactive games, performance artists, sound artists, Foley artists, composers, performers, sound designers for film, film composers, soundscape creators, radio producers, sound installation artists, speech and hearing science researchers, data sonification researchers — anyone who is passionate about sound and would like to share some of their results with similarly minded people, is encourage to make a proposal!

Remember, at this point, it is a proposal, not a finished work. Your proposal will be reviewed by a committee of composers, sound designers, filmmakers, and programmers. They may ask you for clarifications or they may have suggestions that will make it feasible to present your work given the venues and resources we have available this year. Once your proposal has been accepted and you confirm your attendance, then you will have until August 9 to complete the project and present it at KISS2015 in Bozeman.

What types of presentations?

Live performances
  • Arranged marriage of sound and picture
    • You propose; we play matchmaker; you collaborate with your betrothed over the summer & perform at KISS
  • Live Kyma sound track performed to a short film or scene
    • Experimental films
    • Natural science films
    • Sci fi (first contact) films
    • Films constructed from found (and copyright-free) footage
  • Game cinematic or play-through performed with live sound effects and music
  • Using a game engine with graphics as a musical score for live performers with Kyma processing
  • Live audio capture & live video capture with live manipulation
  • “Visualizers” algorithmically mapping audio to graphics
  • Using the same data to control both sound and visuals
  • Game engine to control graphics and send OSC to Kyma
  • Open Frameworks for video, sending OSC to Kyma
  • Avenue software for improvised video with live Kyma
  • Film or game with live voice-over through Kyma processing (along with other sounds and Kyma music)
  • Live performance presentations of “installations” (audience interaction, game-play, with sound and visual)
  • Multiverse sound tracks & films (performance is live choice of path through the possibilities, similar to game play)
15’ Lecture/Demos
  • Show an excerpt from a film, game or TV series & describe how you used Kyma to achieve that sound
  • Demonstrate a result you are proud of, describe the challenge, show how you solved it in Kyma
  • Dissect a musical composition/performance that you did in Kyma
  • Dissect an amazing sound effect that you constructed in Kyma
  • How to create creature voices in Kyma
  • How to use Kyma in a live set
  • How to use Kyma with a particular alternative controller
30’ Presentations or 60’ Keynotes on the theme(s)
  • Sound for picture
  • Picture for sound
  • Synesthesia
  • Multi-modal perception
  • Generative audio for sound design in Kyma
  • Analyzing and visualizing audio signals in time and frequency
  • Visual representations of audio signals
  • Graphical interfaces for modifying audio signals
  • 3-d audio and generative sound
  • Composing for games
  • Interactive music structures for interactive media
  • Physics-based sound synthesis (wood, metal, glass/ tubes, wind, rooms)
  • Creature voices (time, spectral and formant manipulation of voice actors)
  • Sound for advertising
  • How to compose for a television series
  • Your experience scoring film X, game Y, advertisement Z
  • Filmsound clichés
  • The “language” of film & sound
    • How to symbolize Flashbacks
    • Ways to indicate “time has passed”
    • Sound for documentaries
    • Storyboarding in sound and video
    • Visual and auditory symbolism
  • Sonic equivalents of establishing: the frame, depth/texture, a scene, point-of-view, foreground/background, medium/long shot, and other cinematic concepts
  • Data-driven: Generating or controlling sound and visuals from the same database

How do I propose an idea?

If you’d like to be a presenter at KISS2015, it’s simple! All you have to do is fill out an online form with your proposal for a:

Questions? Send email to the KISS2015 Organizing Committee.

Save the Dates

We recommend that you book your hotel & travel as soon as possible since, as the closest airport to Yellowstone National Park, Bozeman is a popular destination during the summer.

Date Key Event
April 5 Deadline for submitting your proposal
April 22 Notification of acceptance
May 1 Deadline for confirming your intention to attend and present your work
Registration Opens (early-bird discount)
June 15 Regular registration begins (end of early-bird discount)
August 9 Introduction to Kyma / Kyma Open Lab (afternoon)
Welcome reception & concert (evening)
August 10-12 Symposium