NEW VENUE FOR IMMERSIVE MUSICAL EXPERIENCES OPENS FEBRUARY 2019
SEATTLE – Today the Seattle Symphony unveiled plans for Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center, a new venue at Benaroya Hall slated to open in February 2019. Octave 9 reimagines the former Soundbridge Seattle Symphony Music Discovery Center at the corner of Second Avenue & Union Street through the nexus of technology and design, creating a versatile, immersive environment for inventive performances, education opportunities and community engagement. Construction will begin in June 2018.
“Octave 9 will be a beautiful home for our community, engaging audiences in incredible live performance experiences and deepening learning and access for youth, families and schools across our region. With its unique mix of immersive technology and user-friendly architecture, Octave 9 will empower the Seattle Symphony to offer transformative musical experiences to more people throughout our region,” said Seattle Symphony Board Chair Leslie Jackson Chihuly.
The launch of Octave 9 coincides with the 20th anniversary of Benaroya Hall, the Seattle Symphony’s home since 1998. Centrally located in downtown Seattle across the street from the Seattle Art Museum and blocks from the Harbor Steps, Pike Place Market and the Seattle Theatre District, Octave 9 will add a third performance venue to Benaroya Hall. As the only known space of its kind, it will open new opportunities for cross-genre collaborations and allow the Symphony to continue to boldly push boundaries and engage new audiences.
“We have always sought to expand what it means to Listen Boldly, and I look forward to continuing our creative adventure together with the launch of Octave 9. I am tremendously curious to explore the creative possibilities of the new space with the musicians of the Seattle Symphony and the amazing artists we want to invite to Seattle,” added Seattle Symphony Music Director Ludovic Morlot.
Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center is named in honor of Seattle philanthropists James and Sherry Raisbeck, who provided a $2 million matching challenge to transform the former Soundbridge. The name, created by LORE naming, was inspired by the size of a concert grand piano, which spans just over seven octaves. A nine-octave range, then, pushes past the boundaries, redefining what is musically possible.
“Sherry and I are thrilled to support the Seattle Symphony’s commitment to both innovation and community in this new space,” James Raisbeck shared. “Our gift is a vote of confidence and an invitation for others to join us in making Octave 9 a destination for education, inspiration and engagement for music lovers of all ages.”
Combining a modular surround video screen with 13 moveable panels, 10 ultra-short-throw projectors, motion-capture cameras, and a state-of-the-art Meyer Constellation Sound System with 42 speakers and 30 microphones, the technology in Octave 9 can create a 360° shared virtual experience or disappear into the background for a more traditional setting.
“In this time of virtual reality and questions of whether we need physical environments or digital experiences, Octave 9 is both. It is not just a new performance venue for the Symphony, it is also an exploration into the future of musical performance and education,” commented
Mark Reddington, FAIA, Principal, LMN Architects. “With Octave 9, the Seattle Symphony has made a commitment to collaborating with emerging artists who are expanding the definition of musical performance while also making these new technologies accessible to the greater community.”