Seattle Symphony recently opened Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center, a high-tech, acoustically nimble performing arts space at Benaroya Hall downtown where artists and composers can experiment with sound.
This “participatory sound machine for the city of Seattle” is intended to foster new music and push interdisciplinary performances to new frontiers, said Mark Reddington, design partner of LMN Architects, in a press release.
His Seattle firm designed the 2,500-square-foot Octave 9 with surfaces and materials that help control and modulate sound. Floors are carpeted, casework is made of micro-perforated wood and resting instruments go into built-in storage spaces.
LMN designed and fabricated the ceiling with cells made of a recycled felt-like material that absorbs sound. Integrated in the ceiling are 10 projectors, 62 full-range loudspeakers, 10 compact subwoofers and 28 microphones, and 13 curving screens on tracks offer options for interactive projections, including a nearly-360-degree immersive experience.
A Meyer Constellation acoustic system controls how sound behaves in the space. The 28 microphones pick up sound, digitally creating early reflections and reverberation, and then play them through speakers on the ceiling, casework on the floor and portable units to imitate the acoustic performance of other settings, from that of a small venue to a cathedral.
LORE naming named the space for the nine-octave range, which redefines what is musically possible, LMN said.
Octave 9 also has a dressing room, two unisex restrooms, an audiovisual room and storage, and is home to the symphony’s family, school and community programs. Soundbridge Seattle Symphony Music Discovery Center had been there.
The Octave 9 team included Jaffe Holden, acoustic/AV; Meyer Sound, digital acoustic architecture; Sequoyah Electric, electrical design build; Columbia Fire, fire protection; JTM Construction, general contractor; Belle & Wissell, Co., immersive technology;
Schuler Shook, lighting design; Holaday-Parks, mechanical design build; Studio Matthews, signage; and Magnusson Klemencic Associates, structural engineer.
LMN designed Benaroya Hall, the symphony’s home.