Written by Behnan Vadi
Enjoying music events as much and as long I have, every time I hear or see the word euphoria in the title of an event, it somehow stirs up a connotation of distrust, and I find myself saying; Could you please stop using that cliché and say something I haven’t heard before? Now, this comes to me due to all the disappointments I’ve had over the years when promoters hype up their shows as the ultimate “euphoric” experience, but I must happily confess that I was proven wrong on Friday night by the producers of SoundBox SF.
SoundsBox SF presented the sold-out event Euphoria, April 6-7, 2018, inside of the rehearsal space at Davies Symphony Hall. Like most others, when I first heard about the event, I thought the show was going to take place where the SF Symphony performs —I was proven wrong again. Under the pouring rain, a cast of colorful, hip patrons stood with excitement and pride in a long line that stretched down the block of 300 Franklin St, Zellerbach A for the first nights showing of “Euphoria”. They waited patiently to be the first batch to nestle themselves onto one of the limited black cushions within the avant-garde lounge-like venue. As guests transition from reality through a portal of entry, they arrive in a lofty, underground bunker of eclectic and abstract designs, mixed with active digital 3-d art screens. While sipping a fancy cocktail at the bar, attendees marveled at the steel beams exposing the brilliant craftsmanship of the building and electrical conduits running across the walls. After one finds their nesting area, the spell of the Meyer’s Constellation sound system brings them into a state of euphoria. 28 microphones and 85 loudspeakers transform the industrial space into a sonic environment, amalgamating sound and acoustics to captivate your attention in the most elegant way. Digital screens are positioned precisely from each side and above the audience, encapsulating the crowd through a hallucinogenic like the journey of obscure, active art. Once spellbound, an ensemble of wizards take the stage with their apparatus, uplifting bliss with sounds of divine intervention, while the raconteur, Patrick Dupré Quigley (conductor) began his magical expedition through hand gestures and passion. The apex of the night transpired when soprano, Lauren Snouffer, and mezzo-soprano, Virginia Warnken, pitched their talents to awaken our aural imagination compelling the audience to nonstop applause.
As an Industrial Arts major, and a sucker for Italian Opera, I was blown away by the way vintage theatre composition and contemporary art can be fused to enthrall a diverse group of men and women from new tech to old school music aficionados.
SoundBox is a spectacle of visual delight and auditory sound and the SF Symphony has hit a high note with this cutting-edge new series. SoundBox is definitely an event I will attend again and anyone who loves music and is looking for a new way to enjoy the classical offerings of the SF Symphony in an intimate setting, SoundBox should be on the top of your to do’s.
For more information on SoundBox go to: www.sfsoundbox.com