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‘Magic is the key to create the optimal space for perfect sound’

‘Magic is the key to create the optimal space for perfect sound’

Posted May. 11, 2018 07:36,   

Updated May. 11, 2018 07:36


The Bucheon Philharmonic Orchestra’s conductor Park Young-min and world renowned sound designer Nakajima Dateo put their heads together to work out the details of the new hall for the orchestra. Nakajima, who is in charge of designing the hall, made the visit to understand the orchestra’s requests for the local hall.

Nakajima is known as one of the most promising sound designers. He succeeded Russel Johnson, who passed away in 2007, and is currently leading the sound and stage design team of the Arup, a British company that has designed many famous concert halls. Nakajima has worked on several projects including the National Music Forum of Wroclaw, Poland and the House of Music in Aalborg, Denmark. Your reporter spoke with him via video phone at the Seoul office of Arup.

“Just as aesthetic standards differ, concert halls have their own tone and identity. I make sure that I spend enough time with clients to understand what they expect,” said Nakajima.

Sound design is a journey of coordinating scale, humidity, temperature, texture of walls and floors and many other variables to develop desirable tones. The seats and finishing materials are selected in consideration of sound absorption and reflection; reverberation and initial sounds are taken into account for fine-tuning.

“Although we use cutting-edge technology and huge databases, the outcome overturns our expectations. That is the magic of sound design. A theater is a space where people can not only experience sound but also feel grandness, liveliness and warmth,” said Nakajima. “I hope that the space I work on reflects the identity of that area, so that visitors will blend in with the ambience and experience the area’s unique sound.”

Seol Lee snow@donga.com