Boston-based architecture studio Matter Design has teamed up with composer Ashley Fure on her new piece titled ‘Filament’ which will debut at the New York Philharmonic’s Opening Gala Concert this Thursday, September 20, 2018. Breaking with the proscenium tradition of the symphony, where action is frontal and ticket prices increase toward stage, this piece seeks to distribute the visceral power of sound into the far reaches of the concert hall.
Towards this end, the voices of the Constellation Chor carrying megaphones moves throughout the audience as the work unfolds. These singers democratize proximity by spreading access to the intimacy of performance throughout the space.
Twenty custom robotically printed megaphones focus acoustic energy into hyper-directional streams, giving agency to each singer in directing the imprint of their voices onto the audience. Each megaphone shapes sound in a unique way — variably in-line or perpendicular to the performer, with narrow or wide washed bands of sound, some split into multiple directions, while others focus on a point. The megaphones are designed to help the choir manifest a dramatic presence to counterbalance the proscenium pull of the orchestra onstage.