2012-2014

Music and architecture

Images © Catarina Heeckt 2013

Music and architecture is a workshop series bringing together a diverse group of practitioners to discuss in small and informal groups, the relationship between physical space and musical space.

The topic arose from Theatrum Mundi founder, Richard Sennett. Perspective, distance, height, balance, proportion, weight, density, light, colour, are fundamental elements within our experiences of both music and architecture. For architecture to come into existence, boundaries of physical space must be defined and for music, boundaries within our experience of time need be defined. So can an architect who sculpts and shapes physical space, learn from a musician who creates virtual environments of musical space?

The first four discussions took place between 2012 and 2013 and saw musical software developers, classical and pop musicians, an acoustician, choreographers, architects, urbanists and a social scientist discuss topics such as why are some rhythmic forms – whether of musical composition or a city plan – can be compelling and others monotonously repetitive? What is the disjunction between linear structures in architecture such as the sequential convergence towards a place such as the Champs Elysees, compare to a crescendo or climax in music? How does the endless shopping street compare to loops in music and what does this do to the way we listen to music, perform it, or inhabit and transform space?

Part 1: Harmony and Harmonious, LSE Cities, LSE, 12th November 2012
Part 2: Rhythm and Urban Space, the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, 11th December 2012
Part 3: Melody and Narrative, LSE Cities, LSE, 15th February 2013
Part 4: Porosity, Aldeburgh Music, 25th February 2013

A workshop summary publication will be available in Winter 2014 with a new series of workshops to follow.