This is the result of using the Meyer Sound Constellation System in a historic Norwegian agricultural location, now used for world-class concerts.
The appointment with the fourth Rosendal Chamber Music Festival is for 8-11 August 2019, when the pianist Leif Ove Andsnes and a group of acclaimed musicians will perform several pieces by Dmitri Shostakovich. Organized by Barionet Rosendal, the festival takes place on the fascinating Norwegian fiord of Hardanger, surrounded by high mountains, glaciers and waterfalls.
The primary concert venue is the Riddersalen, a one-time barn now transformed into an optimum environment for musical enjoyment thanks to acoustical enhancement from a Meyer Sound Constellation system. This recent transformation of an old farm building — one never intended to serve as a concert hall — into an acoustical space ideal for hosting chamber music has earned universal acclaim.
“Over the past three seasons musicians and audiences alike have responded very well”, said Leif Ove Andsnes. “For me, it’s total magic, and after a while I don’t think about the fact that there is a system. I just feel like I’m in a very good room for making music — spacious and reverberant. I trust that the people in the last row can hear as much detail in my performance as people in the front row.”
The main challenge with Riddersalen lies in the dimensions of the building, which is long enough but too narrow and lacking in sufficient volume to function acoustically for chamber music. Constellation widens the perceived aural space and creates a rich, immersive acoustical ambience. Constellation does not directly amplify the instruments. Instead, it captures the natural acoustical environment of the hall and subtly modifies the surrounding acoustical characteristics. For chamber music, Constellation is set for a mid-band reverberation time of about 1,5 seconds. However, longer reverberation times can be selected if desired for choral or orchestral music.
The Constellation system at Riddersalen has three basic components. Thirty-four microphones are spaced around the hall to sense the natural ambient acoustics. The microphone signals are sent to a sophisticated, high-resolution digital signal processing system which applies patented computer algorithms to create enhanced acoustical characteristics. The output signals are sent to 145 small loudspeakers spaced around the room, which together emulate the effect of reflective surfaces placed at the ideal distance and angles from the musical performance.
“Experiencing Constellation” – said the pianist – “I really had to rethink a lot of my perceptions, when I heard how the acoustic could be transformed, I said to myself… this is the future!”
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