Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Do you hear what I hear?

The Inquirer's Peter Dobrin reports that renovations to the Kimmel Center are being considered. Cultivating greater public access outside of performance times is sure to win cheers; my first suggestion would be setting up a reliable wireless connection, not just for those who'd like to file reviews quicker, but for encouraging any and all to come early to events or to stay late afterward.

Apart from developing the Kimmel into a more public space, the project also seeks to "redress the widely criticized acoustic of Verizon Hall." Though Dobrin points to studies which state that the hall "suffers from a 'low level of reverberance' and a 'relatively low level of impact of the orchestral sound'," I have to say that in my visits, the sound has never seemed as bad as everyone makes it out to be -- a little thin in the low strings, but good presence for the upper strings, woodwinds, and brass. I'm usually on the orchestra level on an aisle, though. I have yet to explore how the sound plays out from the balcony or, more intriguingly, from the seats behind the orchestra that have proved so controversial since the Kimmel's opening in 2001.

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