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Charcoalblue to host PLASA Seminar on Acoustic Design for Contemporary Theatres

Charcoalblue to host PLASA Seminar on Acoustic Design for Contemporary Theatres

Forward-thinking theatre design consultancy Charcoalblue's acoustic and audio design experts Byron Harrison and Ian Stickland will be addressing the challenges of designing acoustics for contemporary spaces at this year's PLASA Show, London.

Senior consultant Byron Harrison - who is head of acoustics at Charcoalblue - provides consultancy in all aspects of acoustic design for the performing arts, including major arts centres, university buildings, outdoor venues, and school auditoria. He has written several conference papers for the Acoustical Society of America and guest lectured throughout the USA and UK.

"As building designers, we play the role of the advocates for quality listening experiences in performance spaces and we're continuously evaluating spaces and being challenged to defend our own designs on the basis of sound quality. In this talk, we aim to address some of the traditional means of assessing sound quality and consider their enduring relevance to the design of future venues," explains Harrison.

Ian Stickland specialises in project management and audiovisual systems for the performing arts. He is a qualified Tonmeister (a degree in Music and Sound Recording) from the Institute of Sound Recording, University of Surrey and a diploma in Acoustics and Noise Control from the Institute of Acoustics. Ian has worked in a wide variety of venues including Battersea Arts Centre, Abbey Road Studios, and numerous festivals and tours and is currently associate director of Bad Physics. He has worked with artists including Punchdrunk, Kneehigh Theatre Co, Diana Ross, London Symphony Orchestra and Stephen Frears, and has performed professionally as a musician. His expertise focuses on sound reinforcement and recording.

"Many aspects of our culture and surroundings inform our listening and our expectations - from headphone listening, to our tolerance for noise, to our trained link of visual and aural stimuli through watching television. These experiences inform the expectations of audiences at live events and for venues to remain relevant, acoustically and in terms of audio design we need to acknowledge these factors. We hope that our industry colleagues will come along and consider some big picture thinking, as well as considering the interconnection of audio and acoustic disciplines," adds Stickland.

The Acoustics and Audio for Theatre Buildings seminar takes place on Monday 7 October, 12:30-13:30 in the AudioLab Theatre at PLASA, London ExCel. Registration for the PLASA Professional Development Programme is available at www.plasashow.com/visitors/education

In picture: Charcoalblue's recent project, Cambridge's The Leys School, included acoustics work by Byron Harrison

photo: Ben Hanson

2nd October 2013

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