The Voices of Epidaurus
The acoustics in Epidaurus are clear, sharp and beautiful and people often test them by whispering or dropping a coin on the stage (see previous post - Now We Understand ). But if you walk into a modern concert hall and whisper or drop a coin on a stage today, you do not always feel the love.
Major concert halls from New York to San Francisco have been famous for bad acoustics and people have dropped a lot of coins on stage to fix them. New York’s Alice Tully Hall renovation at Lincoln Center cost 159 million US dollars and took 22 months.The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. is still a mess.
With some of the best engineering, computer modeling, and acoustic science brains trying to get things right -and a lot of coins dropped -the question is : Why do they ever get it wrong ?
The senior acoustician of Davis Hall in San Francisco, Robert B. Newmann, states ” the acoustics of every new concert hall is an experiment” The acoustician never knows beforehand how it will turnout.
But the sound at Epidaurus is as clear and pristine as the Mediterranean summer sky. And it sounds like more than just an experiment.
Next time – How we think they did it.