Places: San Francisco’s AUDIUM, a Theatre of Sound Sculptured Space

AUDIUM is a one-of-a-kind theatre, designed specifically for people to explore the role of space in music and audio.

When composer Stan Shaff and equipment designer Doug McEachern first conceived of AUDIUM in the 1950’s, they were limited by the existing technology of the time. Fast forward a few decades, and this wasn’t the case. In 1975 they were awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts so that their vision could come to fruition: a 50 seat theatre constructed specifically for sound movement, utilizing the entire space as a compositional tool.

Attendees sit in concentric circles in pitch darkness, and are bathed in sound from over 169 specifically designed speakers in the ceiling, floor, and walls. The live performance is “sculpted” by the composer through the various speakers, and the sounds move in, around, and through the people in their seats.

“I ask listeners to see with their ears and feel with their bodies sounds as images, dreams and memories,” says Stan Shaff, composer. “As people walk into a work, they become part of its realization. From entrance to exit, AUDIUM is a sound-space continuum.”

AUDIUM 10 (their newest composition) is performed every Friday and Saturday night, at 8:30pm. Tickets go quickly, so reserve ahead of time.