Archive for October 25th, 2013

Invisible Cities Opens to Sell-Out Performances at Los Angeles’ Union Station as Sennheiser Technology Enables ‘Artistic Creation Without Borders’

City of Los Angeles Issues Proclamation to Invisible Cities as Sennheiser Delivers Highly Personalized, Yet Communal Artistic Experience to Consumers

Los Angeles – October 25, 2013Invisible Cities, the world’s first large scale opera for wireless headphones, opened to critical acclaim on October 19th at the iconic Union Station, where it was issued a Proclamation by the City of Los Angeles. The visionary production, which was written by Christopher Cerrone and produced by The Industry and L.A. Dance project, is made possible through the professional and consumer technology of leading audio manufacturer Sennheiser.

Invisible Cities, which is based on the 1972 novel by Italo Calvino that explores Marco Polo’s descriptions of fantastical cities as described to Emperor Kublai Khan, turns the classic operatic archetype on its head, transforming Los Angeles’ iconic Union Station into a constantly moving and artistically unique experience for each participant. Invisible Cities pushes the limits of artistic production and is made possible through Sennheiser’s wireless headphone and microphone technology. This enables patrons to experience a vastly repurposed art form both as independent participants and as a connected, communal audience.

“Over the last decade, we have seen technology increasingly become a primary driver in the creation of art,” commented Stefanie Reichert, director of strategic marketing, Sennheiser. “Invisible Cities relies on a very creative application of Sennheiser’s leading edge wireless microphone and headphone technology to deliver an ingenious, pioneering artistic experience to its audiences. As Invisible Cities illustrates, Sennheiser’s wireless microphone and headphone technology enables the consumer to be more of a participant in the artistic performance itself.”

Sennheiser’s wireless headphones enable participants to have a unique perceptual experience based on an almost infinite number of vantage points from which they can view the performance. At the same time, participants are gathered together in the highly ‘communal’ environment of a train station and all wearing headphones. Union Station, with its illustrious history and exquisite architecture, serves as the perfect backdrop to this tale of people in imaginary cities as cast members intermingle with both active audience members and ordinary passers by.

“Being in your own space, yet still being part of a community is a very common style of today’s generation,” Reichert said. “As social media and personalized listening experiences permeate the lives of modern consumers, Invisible Cities illustrates that people can share a communal experience with others while still enjoying art independently. This production actually leverages this phenomenon into its dramatic presentation, creating a deeper and more meaningful experience for participants.”

With its unorthodox approach and creative use of Sennheiser wireless technology, Invisible Cities successfully reinvents the traditional opera in many ways. For example, with no opera house or assigned seats, audience members are free to move about the entire performance space — a public train terminal — as the opera progresses. This often puts them directly ‘on-stage’ aside actors and performers. Regular terminal passengers and bystanders — perhaps initially unaware that a dramatic event is unfolding before their eyes — become an impromptu element in the performance as someone standing directly beside them dressed in 14th century attire, suddenly breaks out into beautiful song.

In addition to Sennheiser’s RS 120 consumer headphones worn by participants, Invisible Cities‘ technical production also relies on Sennheiser’s state of the art Digital 9000 professional wireless system, which transmits pristine audio for the duration of the performances. This system, which was launched last year after having been under development for over a decade, is the most advanced wireless system in the world and used in top level theatre, music and broadcasting events.

For more information on Invisible Cities, including performance dates and ticket information, please visit http://invisiblecitiesopera.com/.

About The Industry:

The Industry is a new home for new and experimental opera in Los Angeles. Founded and led by director Yuval Sharon, The Industry creates ambitious productions that expand the traditional definition of opera and explore new paradigms for interdisciplinary collaboration. Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times writes “The Industry is quickly and dramatically becoming an essential component in American opera. It’s now indispensable to the LA scene.” The Industry’s inaugural production, Anne LeBaron and Douglas Kearney’s Crescent City, was instantly hailed as “reshaping LA opera” (Los Angeles Times) and “changing the face of music-theater in this city overnight” (Out West Arts). The large-scale multimedia production, featuring the work of six visual artists in a 25,000 sq. ft. warehouse in Atwater Village, performed over three weeks in May 2012 to capacity audiences. The Industry recently presented First Take, a west coast opera workshop showcasing excerpts from six new operatic works-in-progress by the legendary Pauline Oliveros, and rising star composer Mohammed Fairouz at the Hammer Museum’s Billy Wilder Theater. For more information visit: www.TheIndustryLA.org.

About L.A. Dance Project:

L.A. Dance Project is an artist collective founded in 2012 by renowned choreographer and dancer Benjamin Millepied, along with composer Nico Muhly, art consultant Matthieu Humery, producer Charles Fabius, and film producer Dimitri Chamblas. L.A. Dance Project’s mission is to create new work and to revive seminal collaborations from influential dance makers. Programs include full-length evenings in traditional theater venues as well as various modular performances in non-traditional environments. New works by the company endeavor to be multidisciplinary collaborations with various artists: visual artists, musicians, designers, directors and composers. L.A. Dance Project promotes the work of emerging and established creators, contributing to new platforms for contemporary dance. For more information visit: www.ladanceproject.com.

About Sennheiser:

Sennheiser is a world-leading manufacturer of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems. Established in 1945 in Wedemark, Germany, Sennheiser is now a global brand represented in 60 countries around the world with U.S. headquarters in Old Lyme, Conn. Sennheiser’s pioneering excellence in technology has rewarded the company with numerous awards and accolades including an Emmy, a Grammy, and the Scientific and Engineering Award of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.You can find all the latest information on Sennheiser by visiting our website at http://www.sennheiserusa.com.

Photo captions:
1) The Invisible Cities opera, written by Christopher Cerrone and based on the 1972 novel by Italo Calvino, combines historical fiction with surrealist elements to create an ‘invisible opera for wireless headphones’. (Photo Credit: Dana Ross).

2) Yuval Sharon, artistic director of The Industry, is presented with a proclamation from The City of Los Angeles on Saturday, October 19. (Photo Credit: Dana Ross).

3) The Invisible Cities production included an 11-piece orchestra using Sennheiser and Neumann microphones. (Photo Credit: Dana Ross).

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135th Audio Engineering Society Convention Hits A Five-Year High

— Convention takes a bite out of the Big Apple and reminds the industry that “If It’s About Audio, It’s At AES” —

New York, NY, October 24, 2013 — The 135th Audio Engineering Society Convention (Thursday, October 17, through Sunday, October 20, 2013, at the Javits Center in New York City) was the place to be if you have anything to do with the audio industry. The exhibit floor, panels and technical sessions were packed all four days, and as AES celebrated its 65th Anniversary, a five-year-high number of 18,453 registrants was tallied.

At show close, AES reported a 16% increase in registration since the last time the convention was in New York two years ago (131st AES) and a staggering 71% increase over last year’s San Francisco event (133rd AES), which unfortunately was plagued by smaller attendance due to Hurricane Sandy.

Convention Committee Chair Jim Anderson and his team created the most ambitious and comprehensive schedule of workshops, panels and technical programs in AES convention history; AES135 will be remembered by those in attendance as an exciting and enlightening experience, and one of the most heavily attended conventions in years. From the opening keynote address on Thursday by Josh McDermott from MIT; and the Heyser Lecture by legendary producer, technologist and multi-GRAMMY® Award winner George Massenburg; to Friday’s lunchtime keynote by multi-GRAMMY Award winner Jimmy Jam; the Project Studio Expo and Knowledge Center; the “Sound For Picture” Deadliest Catch workshop; the GRAMMY SoundTables event honoring the late Phil Ramone; presentations by engineer and Jay-Z collaborator Young Guru; and more, AES135 hit it out of the park for attendees and exhibitors alike.

“I can’t express how thrilled I am with our Convention this year,” stated Bob Moses, Executive Director of the AES. “Our organizing committee really outdid themselves, with over 250 presentations from an astounding 682 leading researchers and practitioners in the field, many of them standing-room only. The convention floor was absolutely packed, and the only complaint I heard was that we ran out of convention programs on the second day because so many people showed up. We took some risks with this show in an attempt to bring in lots of new blood and to maintain our position on the proverbial cutting edge, and the fact that it was such a fantastic success gives us confidence to ratchet it up a few more notches in Los Angeles next year. Actually, why wait for October 2014? – we’ll be back in Berlin in April, and much of what made this show so great will be leveraged to breathe new life into our European convention.”

No matter what sector of the industry you are involved in — recording & production, broadcast & streaming, game audio, live sound, networked audio, sound for picture, post production or system integration — AES135 had it all. The convention received support from over 20 industry sponsors and partners including: Audio Precision, Cerwin-Vega, CharterOak, Focusrite/Novation, Gibson, Hal Leonard, Harman/Soundcraft, iZotope, KRK, NewBay Media, Onkyo, SAE Institute, Sennheiser, Sound On Sound, Sound and Picture, Stanton, Tascam, and THAT Corporation. Additionally several organizations lent their support, including APRS, ASCAP, DTV Audio Group, International Music Festival Conference, Manhattan Producer’s Alliance, The Recording Academy® Producers & Engineers Wing® and SPARS, as well as leading audio retailers GC Pro and Sweetwater.

The convention garnered praise from exhibitors and attendees alike. Piers Plaskitt, CEO, Solid State Logic, Inc., stated, “We went into the 2013 AES with high expectations, a new console for the live market, a cool summing box for our music professionals and a MADI/Dante bridge for our broadcast customers. We staffed up accordingly, and I’m very pleased to say that we had an extraordinarily busy show that exceeded our projections on every level. We are looking forward to 2014 and the convention’s return to Los Angeles.”

“This AES in NY was the best AES convention in many years,” stated Eric Mayer, President, DPA Inc. “This year the show floor traffic seemed up, our booth attendees were more ‘qualified’ and spirits seemed high. I’m not sure what changes were made, but whatever they were, they were needed and they worked.”

Katy Templeman-Holmes, Sr. Marketing Manager USA, Mixer Group, HARMAN, echoed Mayer’s words: “We had a great show, specifically with the hands-on workshops we hosted. Attendance was stronger than ever and it was a valuable mix of student, new and veteran engineers all looking to learn and experience the available technologies and products. A good show all around.”

“AES NY is always special, as no other show draws such a diverse crowd of key decision leaders in music, post, broadcast and live sound,” stated Phil Wagner, President of Focusrite Novation Inc. “This year’s AES show had our booth and sound demo room packed with potential customers from start to finish. We were proud to sponsor both the Project Studio Expo and Networked Audio Track. We look forward to a strong presence at AES Los Angeles next year.”

For additional information on the Audio Engineering Society and its conventions, conferences and technological outreach, visit http://www.aes.org.

Photo Caption 1: The 135th Audio Engineering Society Convention (Thursday, October 17, through Sunday, October 20, 2013, at the Javits Center in New York City) saw five-year-high registration numbers. Photos courtesy of Audio Engineering Society. © 2013

Photo Caption 2: Attendees flock to the 135th Audio Engineering Society Convention on the opening day of exhibits, Friday, October 18, 2013. Photos courtesy of Audio Engineering Society. © 2013

Photo Caption 3: The aisles on the exhibition floor at the 135th Audio Engineering Society Convention were filled with wall-to-wall attendees. Photos courtesy of Audio Engineering Society. © 2013

For additional photos from the 135th AES Convention, please visit http://clynemedia.com/AES/AES135/photos/.

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