Tuesday, February 14, 2012

John Donne at the University of Salford

Ben Crystal will be recording John Donne's Gunpowder Day Sermon for November 5th, 1622, in the Anechoic Chamber of the University of Salford, near Manchester, in early March.

An anechoic chamber is a room without echo, a room without reflections from the walls, floor or ceiling.
This means that the room adds no acoustic properties of its own to a recording made there.

As a result, when the sound of Ben's voice is heard in the virtual acoustic environment of Paul's Churchyard, it will sound as though it were being heard in that space, not in the space of the recording studio at the University of Salford.

The sermon Donne preached on November 5th, 1622, was, as we know, intended for delivery at Paul's Cross but was actually delivered in the Choir of St Paul's Cathedral "because of the weather."

So when Ben's voice realizes for us the words of Donne's sermon through our acoustic model of Paul's Cross, those words will be heard in the space where Donne intended to speak them, 400 years ago.

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