Sound, Physics, Arts

“Whoever, in the pursuit of science, [tone, and amphitheaters] seeks after immediate practical utility may rest assured that he seeks in vain.” — Hermann von Helmholtz / Academic Discourse, Heidelberg 1862

Stage and theater emanate the promise of community and imagination, art, and arts' ability to expand our mind and our appreciation of the difference within each of us.

Those of us that appose the amphitheater being built in the Barker Park are not against the arts or an amphitheater, we are simply against the place and manner and strongly question its legality. That position was clearly laid out in a speech given by Aaron Christensen February 8, 2018 [link]. We're also concerned with safety, cost and sound/noise realities, as well as the impact the structure and its use will have.

An amphitheater is the interplay between two seemingly different domains—the arts and the sciences—and the higher the art of both the more remarkable the dance. The two disciplines not only share the stage, they are the stage, and under the protection of physical safety and freedom of thought and expression allow us to frequently reach greatness. The performing arts appeal to our sight and hearing, and the better we see and hear the intent of the artists the greater the possible affect and appreciation. For this reason venues for the performing arts give elaborate attention to sound and lighting; and scientists, engineers and techs help create that framework on which a great performance is hung.

Sound, and not just the science and engineering but its quality and tone. Above hangs a quote from Helmholtz, one of the greats, and wantonly or not he established usage of a very important word, Tone: a quality in pitch, harmonic composition, dynamic complexity... it's not how something measures but how it sounds. The word was made popular through Helmholtz’s groundbreaking work On the Sensations of Tone. This book was the beginning, seeing light in 1863 and representing the coming together of the art of music and the science of sound and wave mechanics. It thrust upon us ideas and knowledge of physics, metaphysics and sensation.

We keep hearing from those that want to build this venue that we who are against it are against the arts, whacky as it sounds. To me, and to many, art is the passionate pursuit of creativity and sensation, realized through doing, expressed in and received through a kind of humanized transcendence. The value ascribed by mankind to sound and music, dance and drama is, and has always been, subjective, and I for one hope it aways will be. When we approach art with an open mind and within the right place, time and manner it brings us closer together. We are not against the arts, we are against exclusion and censorship. We embrace freedom of information, speech and expression, and we demand these fundamental rights with equality. We that appose the buildout of this venue, with its 8000 square foot stage works and roofline that stands thirty-nine feet tall, and its controlled auditorium size that makes it the largest performing arts venues in the state of Utah save USANA, we ask you to look inside yourself and ask if Barker Park is the proper place.

To express and experience what the arts can impart—boundlessness, hope, inspiration... we have to have the right setting, crowd, artists, venue and freedom to think big and express without being censored, and without trodding on the rights of others.

(Speaking for myself, the strong likelihood of this NO Amphitheater becoming a Freedom of Expression/Speech issue is very real as I refuse to let government tell me what art is, or what I should value. City leaders are on record saying it's time they decide what art is, and that they will ensure only content conforming to their idea of values will be allowed. State sponsored arts... very Big Brother and 1984 and very much against the ideals and practices embodied in our First Amendment.)