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Björk and Arup create intimate concert performance through novel acoustic design

Jackie Wei-Green Jackie Wei Green Senior Communications Leader,Los Angeles
9 May 2019

On 9 May, Björk performed her new, elaborately staged concert Cornucopia, kicking off her residency at The Shed during its inaugural season. As part of this program, Arup worked closely with Björk to create a reverberation chamber that enables her to sing in a naturally enveloping acoustic space from stage, unaided by effects or processing.

 

Björk initially approached Arup because she was familiar with our innovative work in the SoundLab. The SoundLab is a virtual 3D listening space where our clients can hear existing spaces and test the acoustics of spaces in design. Working iteratively with Björk and her creative team, we used the SoundLab to trial and test the shape, materiality, and size of the chamber. 

From the outset, Björk had asked us to design an experience transposed from the memory of singing solo in small, intimate rooms. This is a unique approach to a live stage performance that projects an encapsulated and solacing moment to the McCourt’s 1,200-seat audience at The Shed. The reverberation chamber then becomes both sanctuary and instrument, creating a space for an intimate acoustic performance from the stage. By using our unique immersive spatial audio design process, we were able to achieve the lush and enveloping natural reverberation Björk required.

I would like to thank Arup for a divine collaboration, their acousticians helping me design my own private reverb chamber i can travel with. it has been a pleasure! ” Björk