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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Quantum Quantz

Quantum Quantz

Quantum Quantz is a musical design project that merges space, instrument and score in a unified whole. The work merges innovative technologies with acoustic theory to realise a novel approach to centuries old musical practice.

Performance spaces have naturally evolved over time, sometimes outpacing the repertoire developed to be played within them; Small-pipes instrument design development has remained virtually the same since the 1850s, yet international concert pitch and amplification technologies have continued to develop unabated throughout the 20th century.

Small-pipes musicians used to playing in intimate venues find themselves playing in unsympathetic venues more often. Instruments and repertoire are not often optimised for contemporary spaces and such environments can detrimentally affect the impact of the performance.

This project uses developments in manufacturing methods and composition to situate the work in a contemporary acoustic environment without the compromise.

By use of innovative fabrication, the project generates more acoustically flexible instruments without sacrificing the historic sound.

New computational methods can refresh traditional repertoires by generating new scores that respect the sound and modality of historical music. Quantum Quantz looks at how new technology can respectfully augment and evolve traditional instrumental performance and craft in a modern condition.

The shape of instrument bores might not be a straight cone due to the acoustic character. Many instruments have been around for more than 200 years, internal shapes might get distorted or warped. Visualising the internal shape is very critical to reconstructing historical instruments.

Instrument making technology is nearly stopped from the 1850s. International concert pitch and amplifier technology came around in the 20th century. New manufacturing methods and CAD can allow more ergonomic and flexible instruments without sacrificing the historic sound.

We can measure, collect and analyse the acoustic character of a particular space by capturing the impulse response.

3D printing techniques are chosen to reduce unintended variables. Notably, it is comparatively small and multiple iterations involved with minimum waste of materials and time.


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