The main professional focus of David Wessel’s final 30 years was the development and nurturing of UC Berkeley’s Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT). Jean-Baptiste Barrière succinctly described David Wessel as bringing a scientific consciousness to music and a musical consciousness to science. This was manifest in CNMAT practice by building apparatus/instruments that served musical production AND research-apparatus that was concurrently validated as novel and significant in three communities: music, science and engineering. I present the major achievements of CNMAT and the special transdisciplinary practices that made the center so productive for its modest size in its 3 concurrent spheres: research, music creation, and education. This will include a brief case study of CNMAT’s unique acoustics research apparatus, a 141-driver spherical speaker array. Larger institutions attempted unsuccessfully to create such a high resolution array. David Wessel led CNMAT’s success by attracting strong researchers and support engineers over an extended period, creatively finding funding from a diverse combination of extra-mural, government and industry sources, bringing together experts from multiple institutions internationally and tapping the intellectual capital of the UC Berkeley academic community. I conclude by pointing out recent initiatives of David’s mentees who carry CNMAT practices in their work.
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May 01 2017
David Wessel's Inventive Directorship of UC Berkeley's Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT)
J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 141, 3560 (2017)
Adrian Freed; David Wessel's Inventive Directorship of UC Berkeley's Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 1 May 2017; 141 (5_Supplement): 3560. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.4987551
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