The Sonic Lab (Sonic Arts Research Centre, Belfast)

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Architecture, Electroacoustic, Electronic, Music, Sound

Beyond Soundscape.

Sonorities is a contemporary music festival which takes place every year in Belfast and has done so for over a decade now.  It’s not the usual beer guzzling, not remembering how your night ended and waking up the next day to find yourself covered in muck type of festival.  We’ve all enjoyed those kind of festivals but this is a very different festival.  The festival has a variation of performers from all over the world, countries like USA, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Italy, Brazil & Australia.  The Festival tends to focus on performance, sound and musical study.  It is organised by Queen’s University and ties in performances with different areas of the university campus and city.

You can find a link to the Sonorities, Festival of contemporary music website by clicking here

I offered to help out at the festival last year which was titled ‘Beyond Soundscape‘.  My main reason for doing this was so i could see a specific space in action, the Sonic Lab.

The Sonic Laboratory is a facility which is part of the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) in Queen’s University, Belfast.  The building was officially opened in 2004 by the widely acknowledge german composer Karlheinz Stockhausen.  The room can provide for experiments in sound diffusion and creative space for compositional and performance work.  This is how they described the room on the official website:

As a creative facility it could best be thought of as a 'cinema for the ear' - a 
specialist acoustic space designed to provide a unique and exciting listening experience, 
in fact, the auditory equivalent of an IMAX cinema.


After reading the description from the official website i knew i wanted to catch a glimpse of the Sonic Lab.  During my years of studying Music Technology (College and University) i have been in some neat performance spaces for music but the sonic lab would sit right at the top for most innovative environments for sonic performance.  It’s the perfect room for sound, 48 loud speakers specially located in the room to give the listener a unique audio experience.  I believe it is one of the most impressive facilities for this particular field.

My main job that day was to hand-out flyers, show guests to their seats and provide some photography for the website.  So after taking care of those tasks i was i was able to sit back, listen and enjoy the performances 🙂


Purple light Speaker

The Sonic Lab

The room can accommodate an audience up to 150 people.


20’00, Improvisation Performance.

Sonorities 2013


Click here if you want see the official website for the Sonic Lab.

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