Creating spatial depth using distortion product optoacoustic emissions in music composition
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Distortion product otoacoustic emissions (also known as combination tones) are sounds generated within the listener’s ears upon physical and physiological interactions between spectral components in a given auditory input. The relationship between sounds generated by loudspeakers and sounds generated in the listener's ears offers fertile ground for the exploration of spatial depth in music. The author’s On the Sensations of Tone is a series of compositions that provoke ear tones to create an additional spatial dimension in each piece. Following a brief overview of the history and mechanisms behind otoacoustic emissions, this paper discusses techniques for composing with the phenomenon as used in On the Sensations of Tone VII (2015).