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Installing audio in galleries and museums can often be an unwieldy process. Whether there is sound-based art bouncing off the walls of an open white space or an audio tour that has to compete with the noise of a busy museum, it takes a thoughtful consideration of technology, space, and context to carry off the artistic intention of a show that relies heavily on sound.
In an effort to take on this challenge and integrate great audio in a museum context, Klipsch Audio, a global leader of no-nonsense high-end speakers and headphones, has partnered with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, OH. Rung in through their sponsorship of the museum’s 30th anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in April, a major product of their collaboration is the installation of hundreds of its headphones, sound bars, and specialized speakers throughout the museum based on the needs of each exhibit, like “Paul Simon: Words & Music.” The overall result for visitors is a more emotional, detailed, powerful museum experience.
While Klipsch’s partnership is especially relevant to a music museum, it presents an interesting blueprint for ways in which fine art and contemporary art museums might partner with sound experts and audio manufactories in order to enrich the sound experience and better highlight sound art in their spaces.