The Japanese acoustician Yasuhiso Toyota advanced an interesting theory at his new hall in Helsinki, saying that the visual aspect is more important than generally recognised in determining whether we think a hall sounds good, or not.
He calls this perception psychoacoustics, and he may well be right. Lots of people think London’s Royal Festival Hall and NewYork’s Alice Tully sound better than they really do because the setting is so imposing. Shut you eyes, and the grit comes through.
I shall write more later and elsewhere about Helsinki’s acoustic transformation.
photo: Helsingin Sanomat