56.2 F
Seattle
Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Ear, Ear! for the New Town Hall

Town Hall Seattle on First Hill, after two years of full renovation, has opened again for some early programs. This past Tuesday, Joshua Roman played a solo cello recital, and many were the curious ears present to check out the acoustical improvements. So far, very good!

The main enhancement comes from a dramatic, swooping canopy over the stage, which pushes the sound out to the sides and cuts down the “swimmy” acoustics as the music rises into the shallow dome and arched ceilings. Acoustician Mark Holden also wanted to make the Great Hall (upstairs in the converted church) less bass-heavy, and so he installed a large diaphragm right behind the stage to soak up low notes. Double-pane windows make the room very quiet, free from street noise. I found the cello sound to be resonant, rich in the lower notes, present and forward, and much more “directional” (meaning the sound comes from where your eyes take you). The real test for such space is the omnidirectional piano, not on show this night.

There’s much more to praise about the renovation. Lots of modern bathrooms. A dramatic reworking of the lower level into flexible, sociable space called The Forum. A lovely, brighter color scheme. Huge improvements in the stage lights.

The well-played concert ended with an encore performance of Leonard Cohen’s famous song, with the audience singing along the chorus: Hallelujah! Just the right word.

David Brewster
David Brewster, a founding member of Post Alley, has a long career in publishing, having founded Seattle Weekly, Sasquatch Books, and Crosscut.com. His civic ventures have been Town Hall Seattle and FolioSeattle.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

LATEST

The G.O.P. Is Down and Out in Washington State. This Is Not Good.

A one-party political landscape isn't healthy, no matter which party it is. But our rigid adherence to the two-party system isn’t rational, so no serious alternative party is in the works, at least not yet.

Nope, Medina Is Hardly A Poster Child For Runaway City Spending

The tax and deficit situation in the town of Medina has nothing whatever to do with people like Gates and Bezos.

What Should We Call Mt. Rainier?

There is no easy answer to the question "what did native people call it?" Keep in mind that there were many native groups speaking many languages in sight of the enormous peak, and they had their own names for it.

Indexer: Why It Feels Like Seattle Is Growing Faster (When It’s Not)

Growth is everywhere, our infrastructure is straining to keep up, and it feels like we're growing at an unprecedented rate. We're not. So why does it feel that way?

Indexer: Seattle’s Growth In Context

While Seattle is growing nicely, it isn't gaining in national rankings over the past 30 years. Seattle’s relative isolation, high costs and niche economic roles make it an unlikely breakout story.

TRENDING

Nope, Medina Is Hardly A Poster Child For Runaway City Spending

The tax and deficit situation in the town of Medina has nothing whatever to do with people like Gates and Bezos.

The G.O.P. Is Down and Out in Washington State. This Is Not Good.

A one-party political landscape isn't healthy, no matter which party it is. But our rigid adherence to the two-party system isn’t rational, so no serious alternative party is in the works, at least not yet.

Intiman: The Theatre That Wouldn’t Die

One of Seattle's primary theatres dodges a bullet and soldiers on. The question is should it?

Indexer: Seattle’s Growth In Context

While Seattle is growing nicely, it isn't gaining in national rankings over the past 30 years. Seattle’s relative isolation, high costs and niche economic roles make it an unlikely breakout story.

Insight: How Go the Seattle City Council Races?

This year will be less a change or pendulum election and more an entrenching of the impasse between center-left and left-left.