Music booms inside the cube like almost nowhere else, generating a euphoric experience for spectators and artists from around the world.

“It’s one of the crown jewels of Virginia Tech,” says Eric Lyon, an associate professor of music technology and composition.

The Cube is a blackbox theatre with 150 high-density speakers and a 24-camera motion-capture tracking system to support multisensory artistic performances and research. Housed in the Moss Arts Center, the space hosts audio and visual productions led by faculty, students, and guest artists.

Cube Fest, an annual celebration of spatial music, draws electronic music composers from Canada, China, Ireland, Italy, and Mexico, among other nations. Since the event’s launch in 2016, more than 500 people have attended each year.

“The festival has become an international forum, connecting people from around the world,” says Lyon, artistic director of the event.

Through the Cube, composers can experience their work in its purest form, Lyon adds. At least one artist has been moved to tears while hearing his music in the theatre for the first time.

“When it comes to multichannel music,” Lyon says, “the Cube has become a mecca.”

Cube Fest 2020, scheduled for August 20–23, will focus on Afro-futurism in immersive music.

Written by Andrew Adkins