Seattle Symphony will soon be able to expand its performances with a new, experimental music space at Benaroya Hall, replacing the existing Soundbridge Music Discovery Center. Called Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center, the aim of the 2,500-square-foot venue is to use technology to enable immersive experiences for audiences.
The name Octave 9 is meant to nod toward pushing musical boundaries; a concert grand piano has a range of just over seven octaves.
“With Octave 9, the Seattle Symphony has made a commitment to collaborating with emerging artists who are expanding the definition of musical performance while also making these new technologies accessible to the greater community,” said Mark Reddington, a partner at LMN Architects.
Like with the main symphony hall, Octave 9 will feature a carefully-designed ceiling that’s both an acoustic and architectural piece. A kind of honeycomb holds acoustic absorption material in its openings, sometimes hiding various other systems: subwoofers, speakers, microphones, lighting, and projectors (plus HVAC).
Ideally, the result is an experience that’s both aurally and visually immersive for audiences, no matter where they’re standing; the space’s 13 projection panels can be adjusted on a circular track to hit various points around the room. Materials were all chosen to absorb sound, like carpeting and micro-perforated wood. Instrument storage is built in.
“The Meyer Constellation sound system removes the need to physically shape the space for controlling acoustics, which allowed for the creation of a highly flexible space that can be digitally tuned to a wide variety of performance conditions,” said Scott Crawford, principal at LMN. “Throughout the project, LMN leveraged parametric modeling to coordinate the variety of consultants and systems that occur within the space in order to deliver a design that goes beyond the typical high-tech black box studio.”
Seattle Symphony Music Director Ludovic Morlot said in a statement that he’s “tremendously curious to explore the creative possibilities of the new space” with both the Symphony and visiting artists.
The project budget is $6.7 million, funded through public and private funds, including 4Culture and local philanthropists, including namesakes James and Sherry Raisbeck . LMN Architects and Meyer Sound Laboratories are both working on and financially supporting the project.
- SEATTLE SYMPHONY UNVEILS PLANS FOR OCTAVE 9: RAISBECK MUSIC CENTER [Seattle Symphony]