Technology from Sennheiser will help deliver an immersive audio experience for visitors to the upcoming Revolution exhibit at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA).
The exhibition, which originated at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London, looks at the social fabric of the late 1960s — the pivotal period when youth culture initiated a new sense of identity, solidarity and idealism, bringing people together to question established power structures.
Like the V&A, the MMFA employs Sennheiser’s AMBEO immersive 3D audio technology and guidePORT audio guide system to deliver a fascinating museum experience and bring the spirit of that era back to life with an unforgettable soundscape.
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, which collaborated closely with the V&A on the exhibition, will open it to the public on June 17th, inviting visitors to explore the finished and unfinished revolutions of the years 1966 to 1970. Around 700 objects – photographs, posters, album covers, design objects, books, clothes, works of art and consumer products from the period – have been carefully selected by V&A curators Geoffrey Marsh and Victoria Broackes and MMFA’s Diane Charbonneau, curator of Modern and Contemporary Decorative Arts, and Photography, who also added specific Quebec content from the late sixties.
The music playing throughout Revolution is an integral part of the exhibition experience, noted Charbonneau: “The music of the period was both a reflection of and inspiration for the social upheaval of the period, and we are pleased to have worked with Sennheiser to bring that sonic tapestry to life within the museum,” she says. The music selection played at the V&A has been enhanced with a dedicated Quebec section which was researched by Marie-Claude Senécal of Radio-Canada, ICI Musique.
Daniel Sennheiser, co-CEO of Sennheiser, comments: “We are extremely pleased to work with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts as the official audio partner of this exciting exhibition. Through their collaboration with the V&A, the MMFA has captured the essence of a period that was pivotal in the shaping of today’s open-minded society. The unforgettable music of these turbulent times has significantly defined contemporary culture.”
“The careful curation and compelling exhibits combine with a truly captivating immersive sound experience powered by Sennheiser’s AMBEO 3D audio and guidePORT technologies,” adds co-CEO Dr. Andreas Sennheiser.
A Sennheiser AMBEO 3D audio installation is employed for a key section of the exhibition:
a Woodstock area which recreates the festival with original stage costumes, documents of the time, vibrant concert video material on giant screens and immersive AMBEO 14.1 audio system.
For this sound experience, digital copies (24 bit, 192 kHz stereo .wav files) of the original analog magnetic tapes of the Woodstock film were converted to 3D by the Sennheiser AMBEO upmix algorithm.
The nine-channel output was then post-produced and fine-tuned to play back on 14 Neumann KH 420 midfield loudspeakers for an increased impact that would enthrall visitors and give them an emotional as-if-there feeling. The KH 420 were positioned as L, R, SL, SR, C, plus sides, each of these seven positions with a height speaker mounted at about 5.5m), while the LFE is played back through a total of four Neumann KH 870 subwoofers.
Visitors are accompanied through the exhibition by their handy Sennheiser audio guide. The guidePORT system is able to deliver hundreds of personal, automatically triggered stereo feeds simultaneously, enabling the user to enjoy context-specific audio throughout the course of the exhibition.
This real-time, lip-sync audio helps to fully immerse visitors in the sights and sounds of the late 1960s. The system at the MMFA comprises 700 audio guides with headphones, all interfacing with several transmission and trigger units that are hidden from sight.
Revolution runs from June 17 to October 9, 2017 at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.