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Nick Cave Museum Exhibition Gets Immersive

Australian rocker Nick Cave and his music are now the subjects of Stranger than Kindness, a new, immersive exhibition at the Black Diamond museum in Copenhagen.

Copenhagen, Denmark (April 9, 2021)—His work has long been the subject of intense scrutiny and academic study, so it’s both appropriate and unsurprising that Australian rocker Nick Cave and his music are now the subjects of Stranger than Kindness, a new, immersive exhibition at the Black Diamond, a museum extension of the Royal Danish Library in Copenhagen.

Cave and longtime bandmate and collaborator Warren Ellis were involved with the exhibition, working with Danish AV integration firm Stouenborg, and designer Christina Back, leading the exhibition team on behalf of the Black Diamond museum. The two musicians together conceived and recorded the soundscapes for the exhibition, heard throughout via a variety of Meyer Sound self-powered loudspeakers.

“We wanted an immersive experience,” explained Back. “We wanted people to be free in the space, without headphones…. The sound system definitely turned out as I had hoped, and from my experience working with sound, it is a powerful tool in an exhibition setting.”

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The exhibit occupies eight rooms in the basement of the Black Diamond, seven of them with sound installations, each with a primary speaker system playing the main musical atmosphere. Additional localized speakers are placed around each room for more atmosphere, or to tie into visual elements within the space.

“Very early in the process I specified Meyer Sound loudspeakers,” said Kaspar Stouenborg, project manager for the AV installations and CEO of the company bearing his name. “I knew that sound was going to be a very important part of the exhibition, so I wanted to be sure Nick Cave and Warren Ellis had the full freedom to make it sound exactly as they wanted it. I knew I could accomplish that with Meyer Sound loudspeakers.”

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A total of 29 full-range Meyer Sound self-powered loudspeakers are used, with two compact MM-10 subwoofers adding bass impact where needed. Five different full-range models are employed, including the ULTRA-X40, UPM-1XP, UP-4XP, UP‑4slim and MM-4XP. The exhibit as a whole uses 32 discrete channels of audio playing from a MacBook Pro and controlled by QLab 4 software. Many audio programs play in extended loops, so that the exhibition’s sound design changes depending on the time of day.

Meyer Sound •