TAFTO 2010 Contribution: Christopher Blair

When it comes to the concert experience, today’s contributor is a key figure in a growing field that shapes the impact of a live concert event experience. Acoustician and conductor Christopher Blair is the new archetype that redefines what Arts and Sciences are all about. His contribution is every bit as enlightening as it is entertaining and it’s practically unthinkable that you’ll walk away without a renewed sense of inspiration…

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Orchestral Acoustics 102: Orchestra vs. Hall

In a recent blog post, Washington Post music critic, Ann Midgette, posed questions concerning:

  1. what influence a hall’s acoustic response has on orchestral performance technique, and
  2. what effect the 1997 renovation of the Kennedy Center Concert Hall had in improving acoustics onstage and in the audience.

In response to the first, I can report conclusively that orchestras have great flexibility in adapting their playing to different environments. I offer a few anecdotal observations here supporting this contention and also comment on the effect of recent acoustical adjustments at Kennedy Center Concert Hall…

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Orchestral Acoustics 101: Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

Christopher Blair – full time acoustician, part-time conductor,  last time blogger. We come to Friday and the end of Drew’s absence from these pages. I have really enjoyed my time here (Thanks, Drew for providing this forum!) and look forward to possible future exchanges.

This being my last day, I thought I’d try something different by offering a series of short thoughts, one or more of which might spark some interaction from the readers.  These will range from discussing acoustical misconceptions to the difference between acoustic measurements and what we hear.  And, please, if you have a question about a topic that has not appeared here this week, go ahead and ask using the comments section.  So now, welcome to “Open Line Friday!”

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Orchestral Acoustics 101: Avery Fisher Hall

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What went wrong, and how to fix it Christopher Blair –  full time acoustician, part-time conductor,  3rd time blogger. “For me the evening can’t end soon enough. I head back to my hotel with a splitting headache triggered by the blare of the orchestra and that spot in the Mahler where a percussionist strikes a rail with a sledgehammer….There’s enough blame to go around, of course, but by now I’ve become …

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