Meyer Sound Constellation Acoustical System
Thanks to the efforts of the capital campaign donors, fundraisers by Performing Arts Center Resident Artist Teams (PAC RATs) and Alumni, OCCA Board, staff and volunteers, capital campaign committee and Newport Symphony Orchestra, Phase 2 was completed in March of 2014.
The Newport Performing Arts Center (PAC) is the first venue between San Francisco and Vancouver, BC to feature the Meyer Constellation Acoustical System. World-class acoustics at the touch of an iPad is what PAC audiences and performers experienced to critical acclaim during Constellation’s debut appearance in the Alice Silverman Theatre for the Newport Symphony Orchestra’s season-ending concerts at the end of March 2014.
OCCA hosted a Second Milestone Celebration following each concert to honor the many donors, businesses and fundraising performers that provided support for Phase 2.
Constellation offers a complete solution that allows the PAC to immediately alter the theatre’s acoustical signature and is uniquely configured to the Alice Silverman so it can be a concert hall for full orchestra one minute, and an intimate theatre for a solo dramatic performance the next.
The system has settings to accommodate the large variety of genres that are performed on the 26-year-old stage. The result is optimum acoustical characteristics for both the audience and the performers on stage. At a musical concert, the listening experience has the enveloping warmth and resonance of a concert hall, while a play in the same space exhibits improved intelligibility. Musicians on stage hear themselves better, fostering superior ensemble performances. The PAC can now fill its schedule with a diverse mix of events and performances of all kinds.
“It is an electronic solution for what normally would be done with construction and architecture,” says Mark McConnell, Chair of the Capital Campaign Committee. “You can make the room feel like you’re sitting in a 5,000-seat concert hall or a 300-seat small, intimate theatre without changing acoustic panels or shells.”
George Relles of Relles Sound Inc. in Eugene oversaw the acoustic enhancement project at the PAC. Steve Ellison of Meyer Sound Inc. designed the installation and created the programming unique to the Alice Silverman space for the iPad controls.
The OCCA and Capital Campaign Committee thank the Collins Foundation, Oregon Cultural Trust, Henry Lea Hillman, Jr. Foundation, Siletz Tribal Community Fund, Toyota Northwest/ Toby Murry Motors and the Autzen Foundation for their generous grants in support of Phase 2.
Meyer Constellation System Recognition
The end of March 2015 marked the first anniversary of the inauguration of the Meyer Constellation Acoustic System in the Newport Performing Arts Center, a part of the “Entertain the Future” capital campaign initiative.
During the course of that year, the PAC has hosted several special Meyer workshops and demonstrations where people from across the state and beyond come to learn about and experience the Constellation System.
The PAC has become a showcase for Constellation and is the only one on the West Coast north of San Francisco. What makes the Constellation so perfect for the PAC and its resident companies is its flexibility – Alice Silverman Theatre can adapt to the needs of different kinds of events, all controlled by an iPad.
Music critic Alex Ross lauded the Constellation System in the Feb. 23 issue of The New Yorker, calling it “the sonic equivalent of Photoshop.” Read the story at the OCCA box office or visit www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/02/23/wizards-sound
. Some of the great halls in the world have the Constellation System; we’re in good company.