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Carla Scaletti - United States
The Sound Award
Carla Scaletti
Inventor of the Kyma Sound Design Language
& Co-Founder of Symbolic Sound
Carla Scaletti is the recipient of the TheWIFTS Sound Award 2017. Her invention of the Kyma Sound design language and environment has brought a language and the capabilities of sound to a whole new dimension. It’s inspiring that a woman is behind this amazing tool for various artists in the field of sound engineers and music composers. Sound within the framework of the film is a key element that enhances or subtracts mood and meaning within the total structure of the film.

Carla Scaletti is the designer of the Kyma sound design language, and co-founder of Symbolic Sound Corporation, and an active performer of her own music for live electronics. Her most recent project, creating the 3D sound design and music for Gilles Jobin’s immersive virtual experience VR_I, recently won the innovation and people’s choice awards at the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma Montréal in October 2017, VR_I is selected in the Sundance Official Competition 2018.

VR_I is selected for the Sundance Official Competition 2018

In 1990, we started Symbolic Sound in a student apartment, building the first Capybaras at the kitchen table and working at desks made out of rejected doors from a lumber yard. Like most artists/engineers/scientists and others who are passionate about their vocation, we’re driven by ideas and the desire to continuously (some might say obsessively) develop and refine our creations. Kyma 7 represents three years of continuous development, creation, refinement, and close interaction with our alpha testers; this was followed by a grueling test period with our beta testers and preceded by 30 years of passion for sound (guided by graduate degrees in computer science, electrical engineering and music composition). For us, it’s all about the sound, it’s about the ideas, and it’s about learning and developing our product and ourselves. Some companies sell whatever it takes to make money and please shareholders; we sell the results of our life’s work in order to make it possible for us to continue to refine and improve on that work and to share our results with others, so that they, in turn, can use it in their own creative or scientific work. Our biggest satisfaction comes from hearing how you’ve used Kyma in your own life’s work and learning even more from all of your experiences.

Carla Scaletti sound design software, Kyma, is used by sound designers for film, television, games, live music performance and other forms of 21st century immersive art and entertainment. The use of Kyma sound language in films:

In WALL•E, sound designers Ben Burtt & Matthew Wood used Kyma to create the voices of the robot protagonists, WALL•E and EVA. “I found ways of using it to specifically do WALL-E and EVE’S voice.” Ben Burtt, Sound Designer on the Star Wars films says “the principle synthesizer I use is called the Kyma. Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (Ben Burtt & Matthew Wood) also used Kyma for alien vocal effects & TIE fighter sounds: In Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Ben & Matthew used Kyma to emulate an ARP 2600 for the droid voices and to generate alien background ambiences.

The sound designer of Finding Nemo used Kyma to vocode the sounds of the ocean with the voice of Nemo’s father calling, “Nemo!” Gary Rydstrom, Sound Designer, says: “Kyma allowed me to modulate and morph my own voice into other sounds… It was in the ambience of the film itself, almost as if only the idea of Nemo was out there, tormenting his father.”
In Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, sound designer Hamilton Sterling used Kyma to synthesize the eerie effects of the wind blowing through the rigging of a sailing ship. Hamilton Sterling, sound editor, Master and Commander, says: “The wonderful thing about working with Kyma is that, like any good art form, the more you do it, the more ideas it generates. Rich Costey is an American record producer, mixer and engineer, whose work ranges from hip-hop, rock, pop, indie, and electronica: ”It’s unbelievably deep… and it sounds incredible.”

Carla Scaletti is the 2017 winner of the SEAMUS award from the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States which presents the award “for important contributions to the field of electroacoustic music.”

Scaletti is a renowned speaker and expert in the field of sound and its application in electroacoustic music; as time allows from her own composing she sought after at various international conferences. Carla was the keynote speaker for the International Conference on Auditory Displays (ICAD 2017). ICAD is a forum for presenting research on the use of sound to display data, monitor systems, and provide enhanced user interfaces for computers and virtual reality systems. It is unique in its singular focus on auditory displays and the array of perception, technology, and application areas that this encompasses.

Carla Scaletti was also a speaker at the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC 2015), an international affiliation of individuals and institutions involved in the technical, creative, and performance aspects of computer music. It serves composers, computer software and hardware developers, researchers, and musicians who are interested in the integration of music and technology. She was also invited to participate in GVA Sessions 2015 — a workshop involving choreographers, filmmakers, and particle physicists from CERN.

Each year, Carla Scaletti co-organizes the Kyma International Sound Symposium (KISS) where sound designers and composers gather to share inside tips and techniques and to discuss all things related to sound and music.


M. Micallef Black Card Fleuriste Sylvie Nissen Gallery


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