The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
Quite a few of you have already told us what you think of San Diego Symphony’s plans to add music-inspired sculptural elements to its 7th Avenue entrance. As we explored last week, the symphony’s lush, historic theater home is hidden inside a downtown office and hotel complex, and the organization wants to bring a hint of what’s inside out to the street.
Here are some of your responses to the ideas proposed by local architect Mitra Kanaani, who teaches at the NewSchool of Architecture and Design. We posted a few images; the biggest difference between them appears to be the color scheme between a red bass clef and a neutral one.
A quick note about the design: A few people I’ve talked to didn’t recognize the symbols Kanaani used. That backwards “C” thing is a bass clef, used in printed music to signify that the musical notes coming after it will be played in a low range. On piano music, that usually shows what you’d play with your left hand. The lines that come after the more commonly seen treble clef would usually be what you play with your right hand on the piano’s higher keys.
Then there are the music notes. Above the bass clef, on the building, the music notes are imagined here in medieval style, meaning the little dots are squarer than in modern music. And then to the right of the bass clef, Kanaani used a loose interpretation of something called graphic notation to come up with those lightning bursts — that style of music notation is used in contemporary music to signify the general idea of what the player should attempt.
Here’s what you’ve had to say about it:
William Hamilton (@williaminSD) wrote on Twitter that he’s a fan of the bolder color scheme. “Anything that could inject some life into that dreary block is welcome,” he wrote.
@Mundungus42, who doesn’t share her real name on Twitter, took a jab at the plan:
The red one’s better but still clunky, pedestrian. A neon “POW!” and “ZAP!” would complete the design.
Several commenters on our post cheered the plan:
Amy Roth: “The designs are marvelous! I live near the hall and know how easy it is for passers-by not to recognize it.”
Commenter Peggy Cross agreed: “Love it! Love it! Love it!” Cross, who voted for the neutral scheme, expressed her support in puns:
The bass (base as homonym) is what/who needs to hear beautiful music. It makes us smarter and more steeled against what the world throws at us. And I also appreciate that the sculpture shows movement (ha!). The entire piece is just brilliant and would definitely draw more attention to the building.
Alice Hartsuyker thinks red is “too dynamic for this orchestra that tends to program carefully on the safe side,” but she did offer some praise for the ensemble, which she said “sounds better and better.”
More votes for red came from readers Pat Seaborg, Chris Klich and Libby Weber.
But Weber called the clef “clunky” and said the modern feel of the architectural elements didn’t fit either the building nor the symphony:
Incongruous and cheesy. It makes no sense whatsoever to do modern window-dressing on a gorgeous old movie house.
Reader Ivars Bezdechi doesn’t like the plan: “Tacky, tacky, tacky…UGLY….”
I hope that the San Diego Symphony has the wisdom to open this project to San Diego’s architectural community.
Erik Hanson imagines someone coming along to skateboard on the bass clef, and wishes the office building hadn’t been built around the historic theater to begin with.
What do you think? If you missed our coverage of this last week, catch up on the back story by watching this short video and then check out the renderings. Then tell us what you think of the plan by leaving a comment below or on Facebook.
I’m Kelly Bennett, the arts editor for VOSD. You can reach me directly at email@example.com or 619.325.0531.
And follow Behind the Scene on Facebook.