SEATTLE SYMPHONY’S NEW VENUE FOR IMMERSIVE MUSICAL EXPERIENCES, OCTAVE 9: RAISBECK MUSIC CENTER, OPENS MARCH 3 IN BENAROYA HALL

Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center in early January. Photo by James Holt.

Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center in early January. Photo by James Holt.

GRAND OPENING CELEBRATIONS BEGIN ON MARCH 3 AND CONTINUE THROUGHOUT INAUGURAL SEASON

SEATTLE, WA — On March 3, the Seattle Symphony and Benaroya Hall unveil the much-anticipated new venue Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center. The only known space of its kind, Octave 9 is an immersive environment for inventive performances, education opportunities and community engagement. Through the nexus of technology, art and design, Octave 9’s first season will see five world premieres, over 70 contemporary composers and 70 instrumentalists from the opening in March through June 2019.

“Octave 9 is a space for artists to invent new experiences that will define our time,” shared Krishna Thiagarajan, President & CEO of the Seattle Symphony and Benaroya Hall. “Thanks to James and Sherry Raisbeck for their vision in supporting this center for creativity. I cannot wait to see this space become a home for inspiring performances and meaningful connections in our community.”

FREE GRAND OPENING CELEBRATIONS   

The Grand Opening of Octave 9 will be celebrated from March through June with a variety of concerts and events, showcasing Octave 9’s capabilities and versatility. Below are events that are free and open to the public. For a full chronological listing of concerts and events, please visit the Seattle Symphony Press Room.

Grand Opening Ceremony and Open House | Sunday, March 3
On March 3, the new Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center opens its doors. Octave 9 creates an immersive environment for inventive performances and is the Seattle Symphony’s new home for education programs and community engagement. The only known performance venue of its kind in the world, Octave 9 offers a way to experience music as you have never dreamed before. Join us for the Grand Opening celebration of Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center! Free admission.

First Thursdays | Thursday, March 7 and the first Thursday of every month
On the first Thursday of every month, Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center welcomes you to experience the vast artistic possibilities of music and technology. Join us for an evening of fun and creativity with an interactive demonstration of the space. Free admission.

Family Open House | March 9, April 12–13, May 4, June 7–8
Following the Tiny Tots Concerts (ages 0–5) and Family Concerts (ages 6–12) in the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall and S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium, respectively, families will be invited to continue their musical exploration in Octave 9. Crafts and instrument exploration connected to the concerts will enhance their experiences and build on the concert themes. These additional activities are open and free to the public.


OCTAVE 9: RAISBECK MUSIC CENTER INAUGURAL SEASON HIGHLIGHTS       

Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center’s novel first season includes a 24-hour nonstop Contemporary Music Marathon that features multi-sensory and interactive performances; creative chamber concerts; intimate performances alongside illuminating conversations with artists and composers; insightful lectures; events for families that spark curiosity; and a new performance venue for the community.

CONTEMPORARY MUSIC MARATHON For 24 hours nonstop, Seattle Symphony musicians and guest artists will perform eclectic works by over 50 composers, including an overnight “sleepover” incorporating an interactive music installation. Beginning at 5 p.m. on March 23 and ending at 5 p.m. the next day, the marathon contains one-hour programs co-curated by a wide array of musicians, composers and artists. Music by composers like John Luther Adams, Inti Logan Figgis-Vizueta, Jessie Montgomery, Gity Razaz, Alex Temple and Julia Wolfe are included.

The marathon on March 23 and 24 will be comprised of three different “acts” — Nightfall, Dreams and Daybreak. Marathon passes for the entire 24-hour period are available for purchase, with the option of purchasing individual acts separately. 

Nightfall Opening the Contemporary Music Marathon will be the world premiere of an electronic piece by Melody Parker that showcases the extensive range and ability of Octave 9’s sonic capabilities using Meyer Sound’s Constellation® acoustic system. Nightfall begins at 5 p.m. on March 23 with performances until midnight and includes works by composers such as Dai Fujikura, Nathalie Joachim, Helmut Lachenmann, David Lang, Missy Mazzoli, Angelica Negrón, Kaija Saariaho, Tyshawn Sorey and Kotoka Suzuki, among others.

Dreams Dreams is an immersive overnight experience curated by composer and artist Marcin Pączkowski who will transform the space through performance into an interactive sound installation from midnight on March 24 until 7 a.m. Coinciding with the sunrise, John Luther Adams’ songbirdsongs starts the new day.

Daybreak Transitioning to the final segment of the Contemporary Music Marathon, Daybreak begins with Paul Schoenfield’s Café Music and includes music by John Adams, Christopher Cerrone, Anna Clyne, Gabriela Lena Frank, Alexandra Gardner, Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Hannah Lash, Jessie Montgomery, Joseph Pereira, Terry Riley, Alex Temple and Julia Wolfe, among others. 

COMPOSER IN RESIDENCE DEREK BERMEL CURATES PROGRAMS AND WORLD PREMIERE Composer, clarinetist and conductor Derek Bermel is the Seattle Symphony’s Composer in Residence for the 2018–2019 season. Bermel is curating a series of concerts and community experiences in Octave 9 as part of his residency. Bermel’s first program tells a narrative of American music at the intersection of jazz and classical while the second program is an exploration of contemporary music in dialogue with electronics and spatialization. Bermel’s series also includes two commissioned works from Seattle-based composers Stephen Newby and Kaley Lane Eaton. Bermel has been commissioned to compose a new site-specific work for Seattle Symphony musicians to premiere in the new venue on April 28, utilizing the technology available in the space.

SETH PARKER WOODS Cellist and interdisciplinary artist Seth Parker Woods is Octave 9’s first Artist in Residence, from March 2019 through the 2019–2020 season. He will be a featured performer throughout the opening of this new venue including the March 10 program curated by Derek Bermel, and in an hour-long self-curated program during the Contemporary Music Marathon. His marathon performance will include interactive and electronic works by Ryan Carter, Nathalie Joachim, George Lewis and Annea Lockwood.

EDUCATION & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Building on the history of Soundbridge Seattle Symphony Music Discovery Center, which operated in this location from 2001 to 2016, Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center will continue to be a home for the Seattle Symphony’s family, school and community programs. 

FIRST CONCERT SERIES This season marks the return of early childhood family programming to the corner of Second Avenue and Union Street. In this series children ages 3–5 will explore various instruments in the orchestra including the French horn, harp and violin. Pre- and post-concert activities will give families the opportunity to try the featured instrument and build deeper connections to Seattle Symphony musicians.

SENSORY FRIENDLY CONCERTS Sensory Friendly Concerts, a program designed specifically for children on the autism spectrum and with other sensory sensitivities, invites families with children ages 5–8 to enjoy small chamber works and participatory group songs in Octave 9. The concert experience includes instrument exploration before and after the show, a meet-and-greet with the featured musicians, and a 35-minute performance hosted by a board-certified music therapist. 

LULLABY PROJECT CONCERT Since 2013 the Seattle Symphony has partnered with Mary’s Place, which shelters families experiencing homelessness, to present the annual Lullaby Project. The Lullaby Project is a workshop series where Seattle Symphony musicians come alongside parents in crisis situations to create personal lullabies for their children. The workshop culminates in Octave 9 with a performance of the lullabies on Mother’s Day.

THE SPACE                              

Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center is a third venue in Benaroya Hall opening on March 3. A new space for performance and learning, the opening of Octave 9 coincides with the hall’s 20th anniversary season. Octave 9 reimagines the former Soundbridge Seattle Symphony Music Discovery Center on the corner of Second Avenue and Union Street through the nexus of technology and design, creating a versatile, immersive environment for inventive performances, education opportunities and community engagement.

In Octave 9 a broad range of creative residencies and performances are possible, leveraging the embedded technology to push boundaries and pioneer the future of musical experiences. Combining a modular surround screen with 13 moveable panels, 10 ultra-short-throw projectors, motion-capture cameras, and a state-of-the-art Meyer Sound Constellation® acoustic system with 42 speakers and 30 microphones, the technology in Octave 9 can create a 360° shared virtual experience or disappear into the background for a more traditional setting.

The name was inspired by the size of a concert grand piano, which spans just over seven octaves. A nine-octave range, then, pushes past the boundaries, redefining what is musically possible.


SUPPORT                                

Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center is named in honor of Seattle philanthropists James and Sherry Raisbeck, who provided a $2 million matching challenge to transform the former Soundbridge.  

Support for the inaugural season of artistic programming for Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center is generously provided by the Judith A. Fong Music Directors Fund.

Benaroya Hall, including Octave 9, is owned by the City of Seattle and is operated and maintained by the Seattle Symphony under a lease agreement. The city also has invested funds to help make Octave 9 possible and preserve an important public asset.


PROJECT PARTNERS             

ARCHITECTS: LMN ARCHITECTS

LMN Architects specializes in the planning and design of significant public and private projects, including cultural venues, education facilities, convention centers, office buildings, mixed-use developments, transit stations, and other urban environments that celebrate and enrich communities. The firm is recognized internationally for design excellence, practice innovation, and the successful delivery of complex projects. LMN is the recipient of the 2016 American Institute of Architects Architecture Firm Award. lmnarchitects.com
 

DIGITAL ACOUSTIC ARCHITECTURE: MEYER SOUND

Meyer Sound continually strives to elevate the overall dialogue about sound and bring greater awareness to the importance of how we hear and listen. A collaborative, results-focused approach to sound solutions drives a company philosophy where creative thinking, old- fashioned craftsmanship, and entrepreneurial technology are strongly intertwined. Tours for top-grossing artists and respected concert and entertainment venues rely on Meyer Sound, as do houses of worship, cinemas, restaurants, universities, corporate offices, and museums. With field offices and authorized distributors worldwide, Meyer Sound designs and manufactures all products at its Berkeley, California headquarters, allowing for rigorous quality control and testing, and starting in 2018, all products are covered by a five-year warranty. Scientific acoustical research and product development have earned Meyer Sound more than 100 US and international patents and numerous awards since its founding in 1979 by John and Helen Meyer. meyersound.com 

ACOUSTICS & AUDIO-VISUAL INFRASTRUCTURE: JAFFE HOLDEN

Jaffe Holden is a full-service acoustic, audio/video, and IT infrastructure consulting firm with a passion for exceeding client and audience expectations. Since 1968, the firm has provided consulting services for performing arts facilities of all types including theaters, concert halls, recital halls, auditoriums, opera houses, black box theaters, rehearsal rooms and multi-purpose performance spaces. Jaffe Holden’s expertise in Seattle is evident in Octave 9, Benaroya Hall, the 5th Avenue Theater, Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, and the renovation of Town Hall. jaffeholden.com


THEATRE PLANNING AND LIGHTING DESIGN:
SCHULER SHOOK

Schuler Shook is valued internationally as a creative and insightful design partner to provide exceptional design solutions in theatre planning and architectural lighting design, today and for the future. With over 30 years of experience, Schuler Shook fully engages all team members—users, planners, designers, engineers, and builders—to understand and elevate the project vision, and make innovative ideas a practical reality. schulershook.com


IMMERSIVE TECHNOLOGY:
BELLE & WISSELL, COMPANY

With exceptional craftsmanship and modern tools, Belle & Wissell, Co. crafts participatory media experiences for exhibits, landmarks, and other public spaces. The firm provides design and technical capabilities, content development, and curatorial services for a wide variety of subjects and experience types. Belle & Wissell subscribes to a prototyping, form-follows-function approach—reinventing its process to best fit each client’s needs. Founded in 2003, Belle & Wissell’s experienced studio collaborates with partners around the globe to create and guide audiences through memorable, participatory experiences. bwco.info 

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: JTM CONSTRUCTION

JTM Construction is a Seattle-based general contractor delivering client-focused construction from concept to completion. The firm provides expertise in multiple market sectors, including performing arts centers, class “A” office buildings, medical facilities, hotels, residential, towers, retail centers, restaurants, tenant improvements, renovations, and parking structures. Founded on trust, performance, and reliability, JTM is positively engaged in building the neighborhoods, work places, and infrastructure support systems of the Pacific Northwest. jtm-construction.com

MECHANICAL ENGINEERING: HOLADAY-PARKS, INC.

Holaday-Parks creates state-of-the-art mechanical solutions, ranging from small scale improvements to large scale high-rise design-build structures, and serves each client with personalized care. The firm has been in business for over 125 years, and today is one of the premier mechanical contractors in the Pacific Northwest. Working collaboratively, Holaday-Parks designs, fabricates, and installs with environmentally conscious efforts, and ensures that each mechanical solution reflects the team’s success. holadayparks.com 

ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING: SEQUOYAH ELECTRIC, LLC   

Sequoyah Electric provides clients with a coordinated approach to meet their electrical design-build and construction needs. The firm’s expertise ranges from complex, multi-phased design-build projects to technically challenging industrial and low voltage installations. Sequoyah is a single-source provider for all electrical construction and low voltage technology needs, including in-house engineering and design. sequoyah.com

 

BRANDING & LOGO DESIGN: KARASS CREATIVE

Karass Creative is a team of idea alchemists. We bring the beat to your brand, composing compelling content that captures your company’s story. Crafting everything from logos to websites to interactive demos and more, we’re a seasoned, trusted team of experts with a deep understanding of how to communicate effectively. karasscreative.com

 

NAMING: LORE NAMING

Based in Seattle, LORE develops names and brand stories for clients large and small. LORE’s focus is developing great names with the power to build brands — helping them both stand apart and stand for something. lorenaming.com

 

STRUCTURAL: MAGNUSSON KLEMENCIC ASSOCIATES

Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA) provides structural and civil engineering services worldwide, including 47 states and 54 countries. Founded 97 years ago, the firm is headquartered in Seattle. MKA has been presented with the American Council of Engineering Companies' (ACEC) National Engineering Excellence award 27 times in the last 30 years, as well as the ACEC's "Grand Conceptor" award three times, which recognizes the firm responsible for the top engineering project in the nation. mka.com

BENAROYA HALL

Benaroya Hall is home of the Seattle Symphony and venue of choice for many local arts organizations. It is located on an entire city block in downtown Seattle and is surrounded by numerous restaurants, retail stores and parking facilities. The Hall has three performance spaces — the 2,500-seat S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium, the 540-seat Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall, and the 125 immersive Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center — and a 430-stall underground parking garage. Over 450,000 people participate in public and private events annually, making Benaroya Hall the most-visited performing arts venue in Seattle. Benaroya Hall has received numerous awards, including a 2001 American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Honor Award for outstanding architecture. Launched in 2012, Live @ Benaroya Hall presents a diverse lineup of jazz, rock, blues, country, pop, alternative and world music concerts. For tickets, additional information, including rental information, event listings and public tour schedules, please visit benaroyahall.org.

 

SEATTLE SYMPHONY

The Seattle Symphony is one of America’s leading symphony orchestras and is internationally acclaimed for its innovative programming and extensive recording history. Since September 2011 the Symphony has been led by Music Director Ludovic Morlot and in September 2019 Principal Guest Conductor Thomas Dausgaard will become the next Music Director. The Symphony is heard from September through July by more than 500,000 people through live performances and radio broadcasts and performs in one of the finest modern concert halls in the world — the acoustically superb Benaroya Hall — in downtown Seattle. Its extensive education and community engagement programs reach over 65,000 children and adults each year. The Seattle Symphony has a deep commitment to new music, commissioning many works by living composers each season. The orchestra has made nearly 150 recordings and has received three Grammy Awards, 26 Grammy nominations, two Emmy Awards and was named Gramophone’s 2018 Orchestra of the Year. In 2014 the Symphony launched its in-house recording label, Seattle Symphony Media.

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