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The future of music has arrived—at Seattle Symphony's experimental performance and education space. Octave 9 was designed as a canvas for experimentation, to elevate our sensory experience, and allow for new ways for artists and audiences to connect.
Belle & Wissell designed and engineered a generative visual engine for Octave 9 to provide visual effects that can be tuned to music—first authored and then played like an instrument during performances. Taking inputs from live instrumentation (via a Meyer Constellation audio system) as well as an array of motion-tracking cameras, the generative engine also responds to those inputs with real-time visual output. Visuals are expressed through high-performance animations which envelop the performing artist and audience.
The generative engine also includes a bespoke content management system that allows performance authoring (and rehearsal preview) by composers, musicians, and artists-in-residence. Visual themes can be assembled and then fine-tuned to best extend the musical vision of the artist.
Over fifty animating visual themes were brought to life by Belle & Wissell but they include controls that allow for exponential variations and combinations. Each theme continuously responds to the organic nature of every performance but also evolves and progresses within code-based parameters.
Working in close collaboration with LMN Architects, the Seattle Symphony, and a team of project partners, the collective Octave 9 environment is an adaptable canvas for experimentation—one that responds to the variable needs of this unique venue.
A complimentary streetscape element at the visitor entrance is the Octave 9 Multiplex: a digital sign that dynamically reflects the activities happening within. The Multiplex is also centrally edited and published through the same content management system.
Principal: Gabe Kean
Studio Director: Sarah Trueblood
Design Director: Claudia de Almeida
Technology Director: Edward Tang
Lead Developer: Zach Archer
Content Lead: Natalie Karbelnig
Senior Developer: Scott Thiessen
Senior Designer: Edrea Lita
Designer: Isabella Vasquez
Contributing Creative Director: Thomas Ryun
Contributing Art Director: Eric Harvey
Quality Assurance Engineer: Siarhei Bokach
Architect: LMN Architects
A/V Systems & Acoustical Design: Jaffe Holden
A/V Integration: Diversified
Audio Engineering: Meyer Sound
Lighting Design: Schuler Shook
General Contractor: JTM Construction
Project Leadership: Seattle Symphony
Octave 9 Photography: James Holt / Seattle Symphony
Octave 9 Videography: John Jeffcoat / Doug Hostetter
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