Archive for the 'The Arts' Category

Sounds of the Hagia Sophia from the Middle Ages

Breathtaking acoustics! Do not miss a chance to watch (and listen to) this beautiful video.



From The Smithsonian,


You Can Hear Hagia Sophia’s Sublime Acoustics Without a Trip to Istanbul
Stanford scientists have digitally created the building’s unique sound, taking listeners back to the Middle Ages


“Hagia Sophia, a former church and mosque, is an important part of Istanbul’s long history. Who knew its sublime sound could be transferred to Stanford?


Twice in the past few years, Stanford scholars and scientists have worked to digitally recreate the experience of being in Hagia Sophia when it was a medieval church. Collaborating with choral group Cappella Romana, they digitally recreated the former holy building’s acoustics, and performed medieval church music in the university’s Bing Concert Hall as if it was Hagia Sophia. Their efforts are part of a multi-year collaboration between departments at Stanford that asks the question: can modern technology help us go back in time?


The “Icons of Sound” project focuses on the interior of Hagia Sophia, using recordings of balloon pops taken in the space and other audio and visual research to  figure out the building’s acoustics by extrapolating from those noises. The scientists used that data to recreate the experience of being there—an experience that has been in some ways timeless for the almost 1,500 years the building has stood. But much has changed for the Hagia Sophia in that time…”





For the original article, click here to go to The Smithsonian.


Beige No More: The Met Restores Color to the Temple of Dendur

This kind of restoration may be a bit of a novelty, but we love it…



From Open Culture,


The Met Digitally Restores the Colors of an Ancient Egyptian Temple, Using Projection Mapping Technology


“Thanks to the tireless efforts of archaeologists, we have a pretty clear idea of what much of the ancient world looked like, at least as far as the clothes people wore and the structures in and around which they spent their days. But we seldom imagine these lives among the ruins-before-they-became-ruins in color, despite having read in the history books that some ancient builders and artists created a colorful world indeed, especially when a special architectural occasion like an Egyptian temple called for it.


“As depicted in popular culture, ancient Egypt is awash with the color beige,” writes the New York Times’ Joshua Barone. “A trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art would seem to reflect that notion: The Temple of Dendur, with its weatherworn sandstone, could fit in naturally with the earth tones of Aida or The Mummy.


But Egyptologists know that this temple, like many others of the ancient world, was painted with vivid colors and patterns. In ‘Color the Temple,’ a marriage of research and projection-mapping technology, visitors to the Met can now glimpse what the Temple of Dendur may have looked like in its original, polychromatic form more than 2,000 years ago.”…


For the rest and some amazing videos, click here.


How the age of the illuminated manuscript makes the case for the 21st century paper book…

The absolute beauty of a work in print…



From Open Culture,


How Illuminated Medieval Manuscripts Were Made: A Step-by-Step Look at this Beautiful, Centuries-Old Craft


“What place does the paper book have in our increasingly all-digital present? While some utilitarian arguments once marshaled in its favor (“You can read them in the bathtub” and the like) have fallen into disuse, other, more aesthetically focused arguments have arisen: that a work in print, for example, can achieve a state of beauty as an object in and of itself, the way a file on a laptop, phone, or reader never can. In a sense, this case for the paper book in the 21st century comes back around to the case for the paper book from the 12th century and even earlier, the age of the illuminated manuscript.


Bookmakers back then had to concentrate on prestige products, given that they couldn’t make books in anything like the numbers even the humblest, most antiquated printing operation can run off today…”


Here’s a video: “In this episode of How To Make Everything: Book — Andy expands his repertoire of writing utensils by making quill and learning how to use it. Along the way he discovers how this one tool still impacts the way we write today.”


Read more (and see more video!), here.


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