Kings Place delivers Sound Unwrapped with d&b Soundscape.

Kings Place, the thriving arts venue in London’s Kings Cross, is officially partnering with d&b - and d&b Soundscape - for its Sound Unwrapped season of performances throughout 2023.

A number of innovative and pioneering artists and composers have been working with d&b Soundscape to explore spatial dimensions in live performance and new creative possibilities in sound and space.

d&b Soundscape presents an exciting opportunity, both as a powerful new creative tool for the artist, and as a method of presentation, delivering to audiences a listening experience like no other. At a basic level, Soundscape makes it possible to precisely ‘place’ sounds within a space. It can present a degree of realism such that the entire audience can pinpoint each source, their aural and visual senses precisely corresponding. Sound can be perceived to emanate exactly from a singer, or from an instrument, that we can see at a point on the stage.

But the creative possibilities are greater still. In the hands of an artist or designer, sounds can not only be placed, but moved and manipulated as effects to build and enhance the listening experience: voices and instruments can pan across a room, swirl around our heads, or fill a space. What’s more, Soundscape has the power to change a room’s acoustic signature – opening an even greater range of possibilities for the presentation of musical art, and to an audience’s experience of live performance.

Even a spotless stereo mix is almost like a still image. It can’t unexpectedly call for your attention from far away or right behind your head, jumping from one side to the other of your body, trespassing your idea of three-dimensional. d&b Soundscape brings a new, immense canvas that artists are able to fill by adapting their existing shows to sound like completely new experience.Gerardo Marrone, Audio & Recording Manager, Kings Place Music Foundation

Marrone adds, “d&b Soundscape covers every single member of the audience and welcomes them into the artists’ world and the vision of their craft, from pure sound design to hybrid performances.”

The relationship between d&b and Kings Place goes back several years, as Wayne Powell, Artist Relations at d&b explains, “Kings Place have trusted us to deliver across all its venues and spaces for a wide range of musical genres, corporate clients, art and AV. Being attentive to the audience experience as well as the programme, this feels like a natural progression for them. We are very positive about what we’ve achieved together with Soundscape for the Sound Unwrapped series.”

In preparing for the season, Powell supported the Kings Place team, initiating talks with artists, composers, record labels and management, and organising workshops and studio time to help them explore the possibilities of immersive audio. “It was very much about recognising their creative ideas and articulating them using Soundscape: creativity always sets the trajectory, our technology is there to make it happen,” says Powell.

I truly believe d&b Soundscape represents a huge opportunity for audience members to be part of something they don’t even believe is possible from a large scale live PA system. It creates a much more intimate and inclusive space.Gerardo Marrone, Audio & Recording Manager, Kings Place Music Foundation

In collaboration with Soundscape, Sound Unwrapped’s 2023 programme invites a wide variety of musical presentations to be heard in fresh and experimental ways. These include Loss><Gain’s Moonbathing installation and Liam Byrne’s Soundscape Solos on the 17th-century viola da gamba, as well as artists including DJ and Turntablist NikNak, vocal ensemble HOWL, Holy Other + Malibu, Hinako Amori + DJ Torus, plus composers including Robert Henke, Shiva Feshareki, Rakhi Singh and Tom Middleton.

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