Mr Oscar Meyer (the New South Wales Commissioner) and Mr Came (who has charge of the Geological Museum in connection with the New Soutli Wales Court) are passengers by the Te Anau, Owing to the foresight of Mr Joubert in arranging for the building at once of ‘the railway avenue considerable trouble and annoyance have been saved exhibitors and others, as the heavy exhibits which would have been damaged by rain were immediately placed on the trucks and conveyed iuside the building. The organ was brought inside in that manner.
Mr M'Neil and assistants are making good progressjwith the fernery, one end of which has been nearly completed. The rafters are being lined with moss, and it is intended to so place the large ferns that the roof will scarcely be seen by reason of the mass of foliage. Operations have been somewhat delayed in consequence of the material at hand not being of so varied a nature as Mr M'Neil would like, but the best possible use has been made of the material that has already arrived. The cascade is a clever piece of work, the course of the water having been skilfully arranged so that it will leave the walk at the bottom perfectly dry, as it eventually finds its way into a concrete bed. A good view of the cascade will be obtained from the main ball, and the watercourse has beeu so arranged that, viewed from that spot, the cascade will present an attractive spectacle. The eastern end of the building will be so constructed as to represents foliaged grotto, with massive ferns, moss, lichen, and creepers hanging overhead. Seats will be placed round the building, and two recesses have been bnilt at the western end. Several members of the Gardens Committee have made a personal excursion over the Leith saddle with the view of procuring some choice ferns. Their trip resulted in the recovery of several dray loads of good varieties from the more sequestered nooks.
Mr G. J. Binns has forwarded from Greymouth a parcel of glowworms, which will be disposed of to the best advantage amid the shades of the fernery. A deputation from the friendly societies waited upon the Executive this morning, with a view to discuss the possibility of holding a monster gala demonstration of all kindred bodies in Now Zealand during the month of March, 1890. The Executive gave the deputation a most hearty welcome. The matter was fully discussed, but the details of the proposed festival have been postponed till Thursday morning, when the delegates have promised to biing up and submit a feasible scheme, which the Executive are quite disposed to entertain favorably.
THE CONCERT HALL.
But one opinion is expressed as to the result of the test to which the concert hall was subjected on Saturday afternoon. All to whom we have spoken are satisfied that the hall is a most suitable place for the purposes for which it was designed. Mr A. J. Towsey, being interviewed ti.i« morning by one of our staff, said : “ From the orchestra there was noticeable, especially in the ‘Hallelujah Chorus,’ in those parts where the voices stop at once, that there was a considerable echo. After each ‘hallelujah* there was a distinct though of course faint repetition of the notes. But you want an echo in an empty ball. It will not be noticed when the hall is full of people. I handed the baton to Mr Barth for ‘God save the Queen,’ and was thus afforded an opportunity of going into different parts of the hall, up into the gallery and underneath it, and can say that the sound is as good as could be wished for. The was no echo at that end of the hall, and I was satisfied that the sound carries well to all parts of the building. As to the sound necessary to fill the hall, I may tell you that I heard every syllable of ‘Comfortye,’ as sung by my brother. I was more than satisfied with the whole test; I was delighted, and consider that the construction of such s. suitable place is a great feather in Mr Hislop’s cap. The building, as yon know, is made of nothing but tin and wood, so I must confess I was afraid it would be like a drum—too much resonance about it. Bub that fear is dispelled. We tried the hall when it was practically empty, and with no scats in it—just a big box—and everyone was pleased. From an acoustic point of view there is nothing to touch it in Dunedin. I have no anxiety on the matter now. And everybody that I spoke to said it was as easy to sing in as could be. The singers felt that they were singing into something, instead of having the sound brought back to them. Yes, you may certainly use my name, and say that I am satisfied.”
Mr James Hislop, the architect, imparted his views on the subject, in the following terms:—“ Well, you know, they harried me along with the hall, and owing to this and to the fact that the building is in au unfinished state, I don’t mind telling you that I was jnst a little anxious as to how the test would result. I bad bestowed special pains and spent as mnch time as I possibly could in perfecting my plan according to correct principles, and therefore cannot say that I was afraid of the result, but I will say that X was to some extent relieved, to find the outcome so entirely satisfactory, considering that the test was made under disadvantages. One feature in my plan that 1 mainly relied on to give the required sonority in a proper way was the bringing of the back arch right over from the wall to the ceiling without any break. That, I considered, would throw the sound forward; and I also thought it would obviate an echo, to place round the walk those miniature pilasters that you see. The walls are lined with wood, the grain running the same way as the singing or sound. This is a factor that should nob be lost sight of in a concert or music hall. Then, again, the height of the gallery has something to do with bringing about the satisfactory result. Some said I was fixing the gallery too high—it is higher than usual—but I did this with a purpose, and the test justifies my calculations, In this, and indeed in most other respects, I have followed my own ideas rather than the models of other places ; ia fact, I do not know another hall anywhere that is exactly like this one. It has just the amount of resonanee that I wanted. This was proved to my mind when the first note was struck on the piano. I afterwards walked to the middle of the hail and could detect no echo. There was the resonance that I spoke of, but that Is a necessary quality, which I looked for in an empty hall t and when we have » crowd of people there the effect of a volume of music from the stage will, I think, satisfy everyone. I should take it to be a bait in which singers will have to mind their p’» and q’s, lor the least defect in intonation will be heard. The stage is built in a manner that is rather out of the common, the design being drawn out so as not to break the wave of sound. I could give yon more particulars if I had time.” Questioned as to the sufficiency of the exits, Mr Hislop said that he had no. anxiety on that point, bnt perhaps it wouldbe as well to get an opinion from the Citj Surveyor.
MrMiramswas thereupon interviewed, and this gentleman said: “ Four fire escapes are provided besides the ordinary entrance and exit doors, which should give proper means of egress so long as the passages are kept dear. That of course will have to be insisted on. There are five exits fer the audience and three for the performers, besides the fire-escape doors. And this should be ample if, as I have said, the passages arc all kept clear during a performance.”
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EXHIBITION NOTES., Evening Star, Issue 8043, 21 October 1889