A decade after the Schulich School of Music’s Elizabeth Wirth Building opened, Kirkegaard helped design the Music Multimedia Room (MMR) for the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology (CIRMMT), fitting out an existing three-story shelled space.
The MMR is a unique space, used for CIRMMT’s ground-breaking research in ensemble communication as well as rehearsals, performances and recordings. For this challenging range of uses, we created a neutral, highly flexible acoustic environment. The walls of the room are covered with custom-design sound diffusing panels mounted over tuned bass absorbers. Working closely with the architect, we used parameter-driven design and listening tests to create a panel that is offers broad-band diffusion without coloration. Retractable banners and adjustable curtains dampen the room’s response depending on the users’ needs. A walkable wire grid and side wall “buttresses” accommodate any physical setup within the room, regardless of the position of the banners and curtains. Sound-reflecting shelves at the middle of the side wall provide supportive reflections to musicians and help to project sound to audiences. Rolling towers function as recital screens for performances or gobos for recording sessions. An acoustic enhancement system (Meyer Constellation) can extend the room’s reverberation or generate specific sets of virtual reflections. The comprehensive design of the MMR allows any kind of music to sound authentic, whether electronic, natural, or a seamless blend of the two.