Orchestra Hall is home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and regularly visited by the world’s great orchestras. Chicago audiences (and acousticians) thus can experience how different the orchestras, repertoire and performance practices can sound in the same very fine acoustic environment.
The TSO performs at Federation Hall, Hobart, with their new orchestra shell/enclosure and custom riser system (2009). These provided vastly improved hearing and performance conditions for the musicians, and much better sound quality for the audience. Pamela was senior acoustician for this project.
Architect Stanley Tigerman’s vision for the Holocaust Museum was to convey the experience and legacy of the Holocaust through the building itself, as well as through its exhibits. Pamela and Stanley worked together to develop an acoustic environment that is integral to the visitor’s experience.
Clements Acoustics Design Associates is an acoustics design consultancy based in Australia and collaborating with acoustics consultants internationally. CADA specializes in client advice, feasibility studies, planning, and acoustics design for music, theatre, performing arts, museum, cultural and arts education facilities. We work on projects large and small, new construction and renovations – all kinds of spaces where acoustical excellence for music and the arts is key to the success of the project.
I hope we can work together again.”
ACOUSTIC EXCELLENCE FOR PERFORMING ARTS FACILITIES
The goal of acoustics design for performing arts spaces is to create spaces of such acoustic excellence that performers can realize superb performances at the highest level of their artistic ability. And audiences can hear and be utterly engaged in appreciating the quality and meaning of their performances.
For musicians, this means effortless shaping of their tone colour, dynamics and subtlety of interpretation. Actors and singers can project their voices in full throat or sotto voce with clarity and nuance to every seat. All performers can easily sense and respond to the acoustics of the room.
Museums and galleries also have specific artistic acoustic requirements. The exhibits are effectively “actors” communicating in spaces with an audience. A well-designed museum acoustic environment thus has a profound influence the visitor’s museum experience.
It is a given that performing arts buildings should have excellent acoustics, but what does “excellent acoustics” mean? How does one design and build a concert hall, theatre, or any performing arts or cultural building so that it has excellent acoustics?
The aim of this paper is to shed some light on this process for clients, architects, musicians, arts managers and others for whom acoustic excellence for their facilities is the highest priority, but for whom the work of acoustics consultants is often a mystery.
Acoustics for what?
There is no single “acoustic excellence”. The acoustic character of a concert hall is different from that of an opera house, a theatre, a worship space, a dance rehearsal space, or a multipurpose community hall. Since arts buildings are different from each other, the performance spaces and their acoustics are designed specifically for each facility.
- Concert and Recital Halls
- Multipurpose Halls and Opera Houses
- Theatres and Experimental Spaces
- Music Schools, Educational Facilities
- Museums and Galleries
- New Facilities and Renovations
- Historic facilities; historical research
- Feasibility Studies and Facilities Planning
- Acoustics Design: Schematic Design, Design Development, Documentation
- Construction Site Visits, Checkout and Tuning
- Client Advice – envisioning and realizing projects
- Collaboration with performers and arts organizations
- Research, writing and education in acoustics, music and architecture