Audio and the acoustic therapy of spaces


Something I have been thinking about a lot and wondered if other music and audio fans suffered from this too.

If you've ever been hiking, you realize just how relaxing it is to look across a valley to mountains miles away. Ther's something very soothing about experiencing vast space around you.

I do the same thing with music and acoustics. One of the most rewarding experiences I have in audio is reproducing "alien" acoustic spaces.  That is, hearing an acoustic space that is not my office, the train, or my living room. That in and of itself is sometimes the goal. It's not really music though.

What about you?
erik_squires
This past Sunday morning I attended a Homecoming service with my GF in rural central Alabama at a 180 year old Baptist church. The church is no longer used - except for the once-per-year homecoming services. It’s a tin-roofed, white-washed wood frame building approx. 30’ X 75’, built on brick piers on land my GF ancestors donated back then.

The interior was primitive but in very good condition. Floors, walls and ceilings were all done using 5 or 6" horizontal pine boards, tongue and groove, I presume. There’s no electric service so the high narrow windows were open to allow air flow. The pews were long and consisted of horizontal wooden slats separated with openings between them similar to park benches. There were more comfortable than they looked. The only feature of the church that wasn’t purely functional was that the interior ceiling didn’t follow the peak of the roof. Instead, it arced across the sanctuary from roof line to roof line. An old, upright piano stood in one front corner and a rusty pot-belly stove was in the other.

When we entered and sat down three guitarists were playing- rehearsing, it turns out because they would occasionally stop and converse while looking at sheet music.

The service itself was 90% music, all old-time church songs. They probably played and sang 15 to 20 songs and we were invited a few times to open up the musty hymnals and join in.

Right away, I knew I was in a special place. The acoustics were wonderful. (The preacher even remarked about this.) We were seated near the back and the room was only 25% filled. Lots of open space. But the guitars and singer’s voices seemed to resonate with the building. I am always amazed at the quality of local musicians, people you would never guess could sing and play guitar if you saw them at the Piggly-Wiggly.

It was the closest thing to time travel I have experienced in a long time. Really good, spiritual music that sounded wonderful in an old church. Uplifting.

Love it Tom!
Nice story- Tom.
most Churches do have excellent acoustical spaces. Very soothing, relaxing for troubled minds.
I don't know about therapy but I always pay attention to how the space around me sounds.   It's very educational and interesting. 
Is the church for sale? :-) Really cool Tom!