Choreographing Sound in Space
October 1, 2016 - October 31, 2017
Audium is the only theatre of its kind in the world, pioneering the exploration of space in music. The theatre's 176 speakers bathe listeners in sounds that move past, over, and under them. "Sound sculptures" are performed in darkness in the 49-seat theatre.
When & where
Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:30pm (arrive by 8:15)
1616 Bush Street (at Franklin)
Information: Call 415.771.1616 or email or website
For the history of Audium, go here
When the concept of AUDIUM began taking shape in the late 1950's, space was a largely unexplored dimension in music composition. The composer who suspected space capable of revealing a new musical vocabulary found his pursuit blocked by the inadequacy of audio technology and performance spaces.
Because of an unusual combination of art and technology—AUDIUM's creators, composer Stan Shaff and equipment designer Doug McEachern, were both professional musicians—AUDIUM's conception and realization were able to evolve jointly. AUDIUM is the only theatre anywhere constructed specifically for sound movement, utilizing the entire environment as a compositional tool.
The theatre consists of a foyer, sound labyrinth and main performance space. It is a building within a building, conceived directly for this art form, and built in part with a grant from the National Endowment For The Arts. Listeners sit in concentric circles and are enveloped by speakers in sloping walls, floating floor and a suspended ceiling. Compositions are performed live at each program by a tape performer who directs the sounds through a custom designed console to any combination of the 169 speakers. Sounds are "sculpted" through their movement, direction, speed and intensity on multiple planes in space. Live performance of taped works gives a human, interactive element to AUDIUM's spatial electronic orchestra.