A “sonic chandelier” has been designed and manufactured to be installed in the new “Casa del Suono” in Parma. This museum will be an exhibition of sound reproduction devices from the 20th century, and a multi-channel audio laboratory as well. The chandelier is a 64-channel, dome shaped array of 228 speakers suspended in the center of the main hall of the museum, at a height of 4 meters. It creates, by means of Wave Field Synthesis, virtual sources moving above the listener’s heads, and will reproduce an original spatial music composition. This listening experience plays the role of a very advanced music reproduction system, in contrast to the other, historic devices exhibited. An important requirement is that the sound produced must be confined to a restricted area beneath the system itself, in order not to interfere with other exhibits present in the hall. The physical structure and algorithm design are described, as well as some listening tests, performed for now on a reduced linear version of the array itself.
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