The 122nd AES Convention has been experiencing strong attendance and packed aisles from the very start of the four-day pro-audio event, currently in progress at the Austria Center Vienna. _We are extremely busy and delighted with the way things are going,_ AES executive director Roger Furness tells PSN-e.
Highlights of Day One (Saturday 5th) included an opening ceremony and awards presentation session that found Furness reflecting on the passage of time since the AES Convention last took place in Vienna. Noting that the last time the AES had been in town was the year (1992) that MiniDisc and DCC were launched, he pointed out that _ by striking contrast _ we are now in an era of DVD-Audio and ACC encoding, with many events at the Convention _celebrating surround_.
The opening ceremony also saw AES president Wieslaw Woszczyk drawing striking parallels between the music, art and architecture of Vienna, and the qualities necessary to achieve progress and innovation in audio technology. Documentary and feature film director Helmut Voitl also joined the gathering to deliver a keynote address on the subject of _Sound and Emotion: The Power of Audio in Storytelling_.
_With the moment of our birth our sense of hearing recedes into the second row, into the unconsciousness,_ he told the audience. _Nevertheless, it cannot be switched off and is a vital means for our understanding of the world around us, as well as a powerful transport medium for emotional content.
"Filmakers have long used these powers for translating their storytelling to the audience in sometimes sublime, sometimes drastic ways. In documentary filmmaking, the situation is no different._
Earlier in the day, Furness held a press conference to explain the new Spotlight initiative, designed to make it easier for attendees to identify sessions of particular interest among a multitude of such events. Otherwise, it could be like _looking at a forest and being unable to see individual trees_. Brochures on the subjects of archiving, live sound and broadcasting are complemented by a printed calendar, while it has also been possible for attendees to plan ahead by downloading the information in PDF format from the AES website.
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