Chicago, IL (August 15, 2014)—David Bowie Is, a retrospective exhibition of the artist’s career, will make its U.S. debut in September in Chicago with Sennheiser guidePORT technology providing an imersive sound experience for visitors.
The exhibition, curated by London’s Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum in London, has already been experienced by more than half a million visitors worldwide during its recent visits to London, Berlin, São Paulo and Toronto. On September 23rd, the David Bowie Is exhibition makes its U.S. debut at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA).
The V&A’s partnership with Sennheiser enables each museum visitor to walk freely into 25 different display zones with a pair of Sennheiser headphones and a guidePORT receiver. Sennheiser’s guidePORT expert Robert Généreux is on-site to install and configure the system at MCA.
Sennheiser’s system constantly broadcasts 25 live audio streams through transmitters mapped to the floor plan of the exhibit. Each time a visitor walks towards a different display the relevant audio stream activates, broadcasting high-quality audio through corresponding antennas located nearby. Small trigger units called identifiers located throughout the exhibit recognize the geo-location of each visitor and pick up the appropriate audio stream.
Visitors may also experience a 3D audio spectacle, consisting of Bowie concerts from over the years and an exclusive mash-up of his songs, created by Tony Visconti, Bowie’s long-time producer. The immersive audio experience is made possible by a special 3D upmix algorithm created by Gregor Zielinsky, Sennheiser’s international recording applications manager, and the experience is delivered through an array of hidden loudspeakers from Sennheiser subsidiary Neumann.
To develop the exhibit, curators Victoria Broackes (V&A) and Geoffrey Marsh were given unprecedented access to the David Bowie Archive, consisting of more than 70,000 pieces. The exhibition takes visitors on a sonic and visual journey, retracing Bowie’s creativity and influences from all areas of his art using a wealth of material, including videos, stage costumes, album covers, stage sets, photographs and, of course, his music.