The Lab

The Lab is a nonprofit experimental art and performance space located in the Mission District of San Francisco.

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Jacqueline Gordon and Zackery Belanger: The Acoustic Deconstruction of 2626 Bancroft Way

Image by J. Parkman Carter

Image by J. Parkman Carter

Lecture and performance.

Artist Jacqueline Gordon teams up with acoustic designer Zackery Belanger to map the unique sonic properties of 2626 Bancroft Way, original home of the Berkeley Art Museum. Designed in the Brutalist style by architect Mario Ciampi and opened in 1970, the Museum’s galleries were stark and strong, constructed of massive, nonresonant concrete balconies cantilevered over a cavernous atrium—all of these components tend to retain and mix sound. Throughout its 45-year tenure, celebrated musicians like Terry Riley, Ellen Fullman, and Pauline Oliveros were invited to perform in the building, distinctly exposing the underlying relationships between sound and architecture.

Recognizing a rare opportunity, Gordon and Belanger sought to document the building’s exceptional acoustic properties before the building’s closure. At The Lab, invited composers will interpret acoustic data gathered from the original home of the Berkeley Art Museum live on a custom array of 45 loudspeakers.

LECTURE, 5:00pm
Zackery Belanger – "Acoustic Concrete: What Brutalist Architecture Can Teach Us About Sound"
All materials are acoustic, and concrete’s mass and form make it an ideal material for designing to sonic limits. Few architectural styles will likely champion concrete materials in the totalizing manner of Brutalism. So, as one of its last remaining edifices, 2626 Bancroft Way provides us with a trove of information about acoustic design.
PERFORMANCE, Doors at 8:00pm, Performances 8:30pm
Matt Ingalls, Maggi Payne, David Dunn with David Kant, and Jon Leidecker with Willie Winant were all given access to the acoustic data collected from 2626 Bancroft Way. Ingalls created a new piece combining an improvised clarinet recording captured in the museum alongside a virtual reproduction of the Museum’s acoustics. Payne will perform a new 8-channel recording using the impulse responses. Leidecker and Winant will sonically blend 2626 Bancroft Way with the natural acoustics of The Lab, performing Max Neuhaus' realizations of John Cage's score "Fontana Mix" for percussion and feedback.

This project is supported by the generous donations of 185 backers on Kickstarter, and a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant, and equipment donations by Meyer Sound.

For further information about this project please visit