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Saxophonist Exhibit Comes Alive with Safe, Motion-Activated Directional Sound from Audio Spotlight Technology

Category: Industry Advertorial
A museum gallery displaying music ephemera with two speakers hanging over floor decals where visitors can stand to trigger audio

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At the Wood Museum of Springfield History exhibit Horn Man: The Life and Musical Legacy of Charles Neville, several AS-168i Audio Spotlight focused sound speakers provide sanitary, touchless directional audio playlists that highlight the musician’s proficiency in a range of musical genres. Visitors to the exhibition at the museum in Springfield, Massachusetts, are dazzled by Audio Spotlight’s revolutionary motion-activated directional sound beaming technology in an exhibition that promotes social distancing as it pays tribute to the late saxophonist’s life.

To protect the health of patrons as well as staff members, museum and gallery directors are rethinking exhibit designs and audio delivery systems due to the changed social landscape brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. High-touch tactile devices, including headphones, handsets, and listening wands, have quickly become antiquated relics of the past as an increasing number of exhibit venues everywhere have implemented social distancing measures and turned to touchless technologies such as Audio Spotlight.

At the Wood Museum exhibit, Holosonics’ patented directional speaker technology was used to isolate sound at each of five key stations throughout the open room. Patrons were directed by floor decals indicating where to stand to hear music activated by motion-sensor triggers embedded in the Audio Spotlight speakers themselves. Unique playlists pre-loaded into each of the exhibit’s respective AS-168i speakers include a selection of songs that highlight different points in Neville’s journey as a musician. The playlists are comprised of a five-minute selection of songs that focus on the music and artists that influenced Neville during a particular time of his life, as well as recordings of Neville’s own music.

A display of music ephemera in a museum gallery, including a tie-dye t-shirt and a saxophone, with a floor decal that triggers and audio sensor near it.

Known onstage as “Charlie the Horn Man,” R&B and jazz musician Charles Neville was born in 1938 in New Orleans. Influenced early in life by the New Orleans music scene, Charles and his siblings formed the Neville Brothers, who became best known for songs that embraced rhythm and blues, gospel, doo-wop, soul, rock, jazz, funk, and the sounds of Mardi Gras.

“This exhibition that celebrates Charles Neville’s life and music would not have been complete without sound and we are happy to include the unique Audio Spotlight technology to enhance the visitor experience,” said Collections Specialist Phyllis Jurkowski. “Charles Neville has been remembered as an incredibly warm and giving individual, and we hope that the directional speakers reinforce the intimate nature of this exhibition, while at the same time providing up to five visitors in the gallery the opportunity to experience directly the music which so defined him.”

Engaging visitors in an immersive, personal listening experience while keeping the surrounding area quiet, the flexible and self-powered Audio Spotlight directional sound speaker is a powerful tool that ensures any exhibit in a museum or gallery has its own isolated audio. By requiring no physical contact from the listener owing to its inherently touchless operation, and by strategically placing the sonically activated areas at respectful two-meter intervals, the Audio Spotlight also encourages safe social distancing practices and ensures patron safety.

A display of music ephemera in a museum gallery, with a sign showing a picture of the musician Charles Neville and the quote "Museum may seem to be a frivolous profession. But to some folks it is the stuff of life. When I cannot allow it to flow freely through me, my soul seems to shrivel and withdraw."

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