Octave 9: Raisebeck Music Center is Seattle Symphony’s new and immersive, experimental performance space. An unprecedented and first-of-its-kind arts venue, Octave 9’s sophisticated digital acoustics and projection technology creates a highly flexible environment of “electronic architecture”, unbound by the dimensions of the room.
Advancing beyond the idea of the “black box” performance space, Octave 9 introduces a venue that can adapt visually and sonically to the needs of each specific activity. To support acoustic immersion, Octave 9’s physical environment is designed to acoustically disappear. Processors recreate reflections and reverberations, then play them through speakers on the ceiling, casework on the floor and portable units placed around the edges of the room to imitate the acoustic performance of other settings.
These programmable digital acoustics foster sound environments that range from an intimate classroom to an expansive concert hall, depending on the unique needs of the performance. An especially dramatic “sacred space” setting mimics the echoing, rolling reverberation of a canyon or cathedral.
Performances are further enhanced by the venue’s visual immersion capabilities: 10 ultra-short throw projectors transform the space into virtually any environment. A series of 13 mobile projection screens can be customized to wrap the space almost a full 360 degrees or positioned as desired along a circular track. This combination of audio with visual and lighting effects bring musicians and audiences together in a shared exploration of art and sound, with modes supporting uses that range from immersive and highly interactive experimental environments to presentations and meetings.
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