A Sense of Perspective

My parish’s sound system installation proceeds. By the end of next week, we should have completed installation and “commissioning,” including an orientation to new hardware. We’ll also be tweaking the weekend of 13-14 July.

One piece that was criticized, despite being well-presented at committee meetings, was the appearance of the main speaker cluster:

new speaker cluster from east

This is the view from the east, as one enters the nave from the narthex. In an image, it seems smaller and less intrusive. Like it did in the computer renderings that the whole committee mostly thumbs-upped. (I think we spent five times as much time on the fabric treatment for the back wall of the balcony.)

Most of the time sound system people give you what it looks like as assembly eyes aim at the “front” of the church. Like this view from the south:

new speaker cluster from south

Not only does it “present” a bit better this way, but it still seems relatively insignificant.

Still, I heard from a number of people. Little kids noticed it. Most adults didn’t. My trusted liturgical confidantes were uniformly against. Or was it aghast?

Maybe it’s a matter of a well-planned church interior in harmony that suddenly has a small difference. Or disruption. Then the artistically sensitive zero in on the change.

The promise is that the new sound system will be light years of an improvement over the old. Once people get used to the new, they won’t notice the weird-looking arcs over our baldacchin. Or perhaps we have sacrificed a bit of the visual ambience to an improved sensation for our ears.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in Liturgy, Parish Life and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Sense of Perspective

  1. Liam says:

    What’s the natural reverb time for singers without amplifcation?

  2. Todd says:

    2.5 seconds I think.

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