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Meyer Sound Installation At Denmark’s Kronborg Castle Brings The Past Alive

The soundscape created by this unique installation helps visitors to understand what life was once like for villagers.

By PSW Staff August 26, 2010

Denmark's Kronborg Castle featuring Meyer Sound loudspeakers.

Kronborg Castle – a UNESCO World Heritage site in Denmark best known by most as the setting for William Shakespeare’s famous tragedy Hamlet – recently underwent a technical upgrade, with a soundscape adding a new dimension to the visitor experience.

Using a range of low-profile, weather-protected Meyer Sound loudspeakers distributed throughout the fortress, visitors journey through its centuries of cultural legacy, from the heavy battle conquests, power struggles, to its transformation into one of Europe’s most forbidding prisons.

“We call the sounds at Kronborg Castle ‘Echoes of the Past,’” says Exhibition Manager Jesper Gottlib Wik. “The aim is to create sounds that appeal to our guests’ imagination and encourage them to form their own interpretation of what they hear.”

The tour begins at the main entrance, where a left-center-right configuration of UPM-1P loudspeakers plays back prerecorded sound effects composed by Stephen Schwartz.

Military music and sounds of marching soldiers and stonemasons at work combine to help visitors form their own imagery of an era gone by.

Denmark’s Kronborg Castle featuring Meyer Sound loudspeakers.

As the trail leads visitors to the gunpowder house, two MM-4XP miniature loudspeakers and an MM-10XP subwoofer camouflaged in granite blocks depict villagers’ everyday life. Finally a UPM-1P loudspeaker tells the story of the 1658 battle of Sweden, Denmark, and Holland.

Sound quality, treacherous weather conditions, aesthetic preservation, and coverage control were all considerations that complicated system design for the audio supplier, Stouenborg.

“Denmark endures the extremes of seasonal weather, from snow, rain, wind, to very hot summers,” says Anders Jørgensen of Stouenborg. “We were drawn to Meyer Sound knowing that their systems are installed on cruise ships.”

Denmark’s Kronborg Castle featuring Meyer Sound loudspeakers.

“And if a system can sustain the rough conditions at sea, it’s the system that we wanted for the Kronborg Castle. Some of the loudspeakers are hidden in granite enclosures to stay out of sight and to be protected from vandalism.”

Feedback to the soundscape at Kronborg Castle has been overwhelmingly positive, according to Jørgensen. “When people hear the sound of soldiers giving command at Württembergs Ravelin next to the main entrance, they turn around to look for where the sound is coming from,” says Jørgensen.

Project consultant Lars Holst adds that Kronborg is planning to install sensors that can automatically regulate the volume of the prerecorded material based on the level of environmental background noise. “There is quite a difference in the volume requirement between a quiet summer day and an autumn gale.”

Meyer Sound Website


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