Associate Professor Darrin Verhagen
Darrin Verhagen is a senior lecturer in Design, and runs the Audiokinetic Experiments (AkE) Lab.
Darrin teaches into the Sound Design specialisation in the Digital Media Program. His work in the AkE Lab uses sound, motion simulators, 4D cinema seating, light and VR to create and audit works that explore the relationship between hearing, vision, movement and vibration.
Darrin's postgraduate research has focused on musical extremes – the delicate instability of lowercase sound for his Masters, and the brutality of Noise for his Doctorate. His soundtrack practice features music and sound designs for contemporary dance, theatre, installation, film, television and computer games. He has released over 20 albums of material internationally, traversing a range of styles, and performs his audiovisual live shows locally and internationally. He was the founder and curator of Dorobo records, which showcased Australian sound art for 15 years.
Darrin Verhagen studies the neurobiology of aesthetic experience, with particular interest in the multisensory. This research is realised through both creative practice and real world problem solving.
As a soundtrack composer his research has previously focused on the sonic codes of cinema as well as the relationship between musical and environmental sound in relation to vision and narrative in theatre, dance, film, computer games, installation, jingles and earcons.
His academic background is in the psychophysiology of aesthetic experience. His Masters explored the delicate instability of lowercase music, his PhD the brutal assault of Noise. He is currently a senior lecturer in the Sound Design stream of Digital Media, a member of the Bio-Inspired Digital Sensing (BIDS) Lab and the director of the Audiokientic Experiments (AkE) Lab.
AkE (pron. 'ache') is a multidisciplinary research laboratory using motion simulators and 4D cinema seating to explore the relationship between sound and movement, as well as sound, movement and vision.
AkE features a collaborations between composers, programmers, and designers, working to explore the perceptual and cognitive underpinnings of multisensory experience.
Collaborative installation projects from the lab, released as (((20hz))), have included "A series of Small Wire Objects (many of them uninteresting): Object One" (Globelight Festival, 2014), "A Series of Small Wire Objects (Many of them Uninteresting): Object 2" - Experimenta Recharge: 6th Biennial of Media Art, RMIT Gallery (2014), "Einsturzende Naubauten's Klangbewegungmaschine" (as part of Geniale Diletanten, RMIT Gallery, 2015), "blue|red: VIMS\SIMS" (Morbis Artis, RMIT Gallery/White Night 2016), and "line_array" (City of Melbourne, 2017). An audiokinetic opera is in development for the Australia Council and an audiokinetic jukebox featuring the history of Berlin for Goethe Institute.
Beyond an open-ended approach to artistic experimentation in multisensory experience, much of the new knowledge drawn from creative practice is then applied in real world contexts. Current projects include the activation of memory through of physically embodied musical experience for Alzheimers sufferers, and a collaboration with RMIT Engineering exploring the relationship between vibration, sound and drowsiness.
- PhD (Fine Art), RMIT University, 2015
- Master of Arts (Media Arts), RMIT University, Indeterminacy in 20th Century composition, 2002
- Bachelor of Arts, Monash University, 1987
Darrin Verhagen is an award-winning sound designer and composer, working across a range of media.
In theatre, he has worked with the Melbourne Theatre Company, Malthouse, Daniel Schlusser Ensemble, Chamber Made Opera, Bell Shakespeare, Sydney Theatre Company, Griffin and Finucane & Smith; in dance, with Chunky Move, Australian Dance Theatre, Expressions Dance Theatre, Lucy Guerin, Sue Healey and Antony Hamilton. As a founding member of the (((20hz))) collective, his recent installations have fused sound with light, felt vibration and motion simulators, and have been exhibited at White Night, the National Gallery of Victoria, Experimenta, Globelight and RMIT Gallery. His 6DOF MoSim collaboration with Antony Hamilton, Number of the Machine and his audiokinetic opera, reworking Tarkovsky's Stalker will both premiere in 2017. Later that year, his score for Sue Healey's dance film On View: Hong Kong will open the West Kowloon Cultural District, and he will represent Australia in performances for the opening of the Danang International Fireworks Festival and Nha Trang Sea Festivals in Vietnam.
- Australian Academy of Cinema & Television Arts award finalist: Best Soundtrack (Boys in the Trees, Mushroom Pictures), 2016
- APRA Art Music awards finalist for excellence in experimental music, 2015
- Green Room Best Sound Design/Soundtrack, Independent Theatre (M+M, Daniel Schlusser Ensemble) 2013
- Green Room Best Sound Design/Soundtrack, Independent Theatre (Poet #7, Daniel Schlusser Ensemble) 2010
- Green Room Best Sound Design/Soundtrack, Theatre (Memory of Water, MTC) 2005
- RMIT (DSC) Research award 2013
For technical innovation
- RMIT Teaching award 2012
For excellence in ten years of teaching practice aligned with industry engagement in the field of Sound Design and composition
- 'Best Collateral Material' (silver) prize in the ANZ media awards (for Showtime Station idents) 2008
- Green Room nominations:
- Best Soundtrack/Sound Design Theatre (Meat Party, Malthouse) 2003
- Best Soundtrack/Sound Design Independent Theatre (Antidote, Melb Fringe) 2008
- Best Soundtrack/Sound Design Independent Theatre (Life is a Dream, Daniel Schlusser) 2010
- Best Soundtrack/Sound Design Theatre (The Birthday Party, MTC) 2010
- Soundtrack to 'Fine Line Terrain' (dir Sue Healey) 2003
Winner Napolidanza Italy, Reeldance Australia/New Zealand, Best Dance Film Ausdance
- Byrne, B.,Verhagen, D. (2022). Embodied audiovisual experience: the role of sound in contemporary screen and digital media In: Materializing Digital Futures : Touch, Movement, Sound and Vision, Bloomsbury Publishing, New York, United States
- Verhagen, D. (2022). Alumni In: Alumni Canberra Australia
- Verhagen, D.,Wilson, S.,Byrne, B. (2022). MESS Through the Roof In: Melbourne Music Week Melbourne, Australia
- Verhagen, D.,Keene, B. (2022). Standing Strong In: Ray Dimakarri Dixon - Standing Strong (album) Darwin, Australia
- Verhagen, D. (2022). The Human Voice In: The Human Voice St Kildas, Australia
- McFarlane, S.,Garcia Mendoza, J.,Verhagen, D.,Dyer, A. (2020). Auditory Countermeasures for Sleep Inertia: Exploring the Effect of Melody and Rhythm in an Ecological Context In: Clocks & Sleep, 2, 208 - 224
- McFarlane, S.,Garcia Mendoza, J.,Verhagen, D.,Dyer, A. (2020). Alarm Tones, Voice Warnings, and Musical Treatments: A Systematic Review of Auditory Countermeasures for Sleep Inertia in Abrupt and Casual Awakenings In: Clocks & Sleep, 2, 416 - 433
- Verhagen, D.,Wilson, S. (2020). Winter Orbit In: Winter orbit Melbourne, Australia
- Verhagen, D.,Li, Z.,Hunt, A. (2020). Shinjuku Thief Collection Remix (portfolio of 4 works for the ACMI playlist) In: ACMI channel (online) Melbourne, Australia
- Jarvis, R.,Verhagen, D. (2020). Composing in spacetime with rainbows: Spatial metacomposition in the real world In: Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Audio Mostly, Graz, Austria, 15/09/2020-17/09/2020
4 PhD Current Supervisions8 PhD Completions and 5 Masters by Research Completions
- Salsa Catastrophe (Activate the Collection!). Funded by: City Of Melbourne - Competitive from (2020 to 2020)
- Audiokinetic Jukebox (AkJ). Funded by: Dementia & Alzheimer's Australia Limited - Competitive from (2020 to 2021)
- Borderlands. Funded by: City of Melbourne Arts Grant from (2019 to 2019)
- Antarctic Suite. Funded by: Auspicious Arts - contract research from (2019 to 2019)
- Stalker. Funded by: VicArts Grants 2016 Round 2 from (2017 to 2017)