Acoustics

The acoustic circumstances involved in my first doctoral concert were nearly catastrophic. The Korjaamo concert hall is run by a free enterprise company, which in this case meant high rent and minimal rehearsal time on the site. I managed to negotiate one preliminary rehearsal in the hall two weeks prior to the concert. During the rehearsal, we were supposed to test the possibilities for manipulating the acoustic parameters in addition to rehearsing. However, that afternoon, the hall was already set up for an evening event, and we were not allowed to change a thing. We could only imagine and plan the things we might be able to alter on the day of the concert before the dress rehearsal.

After consulting with acoustician Henrik Möller, our plans for the acoustic manipulation of the Korjaamo Hall became rather practical and succinct:

 

  • Perform on the parquet floor instead of the sound-absorbing aluminum-structured stage.
  • Move the side curtains and expose the hard wall surface as much as possible.
  • Rather than performing in front of the curtain, which covers the full area of the gabled wall, we would ask for a large plastic coated screen to be placed behind the performers to provide projection.

 

Seating order:

The ensemble was arranged on the stage according to the plan Stravinsky had drawn in his original score, discarding the orchestra shell structure. Salonen's piece was performed in the same arrangement.

 

                                                                          

 

                                                                                      conductor                                                              narrator

 

                                    cornet/trumpet                                                                               violin        

 

                                                trombone                     bassoon                       clarinet       

 

                                                                 percussion                double bass

I've being betrayed big time! There are still curtains all around! At first the wobbling stage seemed to give little boost to the bass sound but in the reality it eats it all and especially the higher notes give only an awkward creak – this is like playing inside a huge tennis sock!