A HISTORY OF THE BLUE ROOM
Future Shape Of Sound
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1991 • IN THE BEGINNING

IN THE BEGINNING ...

My name is Simon Ghahary. 1991 was the year that I found a source of free speaker components: the Bowers & Wilkins Loudspeakers Ltd. (B&W) research and development skip in Steyning, West Sussex.

I followed the music of the 80’s emerging UK dance scene, designed flyers, carried record boxes, scouted and cleared warehouse venues for underground house parties and involved in promoting my events. I was always intrigued by the counter culture of the 60s & 70s led by the beat generation and the hippies and punks that followed. There was a similarly spirited movement happening. Having loved the sound and played music, I was always fascinated by the power of sound to transform space and bring listeners together. It inspires me to see the way music creates the culture around it. It was at this time I began experimenting with the construction of Sound Systems. The concept of the Sound System fused all my interests, art, music, design and the esoteric into one.

I began to imagine how sound waves behaved and I developed an intuitive foundation point. I began to imagine the sound of a liquid and the ripple as the movement. It made the cabinet shape relevant to the sound waves. Round cabinets made sense because of the lack of flat surfaces and sharp edges. I didn’t fully understand at this stage the importance of this or the actual dynamics, however, at this point, it didn’t matter as I had the trigger to start my concepts of curved speaker enclosures.

Some local friends first introduced me the rubbish skip. B&W was well known for their very expensive top end hi-fi loudspeakers. My friends collected parts too, only to wait to assemble completed versions of existing B&W loudspeakers from components that they had gathered from the skip patiently over many months, sometimes years. At the time, the staffs were disposing components and cabinets every day. Tested and then discarded. Some of the parts had minor faults; discontinued, with no future or cabinets with scratched paintwork. I didn’t have the patience to wait. I started to build and put mutant versions together to make my speakers. I did it by ear most of the time. It was pretty primitive, but it worked. I made speakers for use to play the music I liked. It was mainly electronic music, soundtracks, and dub. A favorite was the Orb, bass heavy, atmospheric and dynamic. Through this unique learning experience, I started to build my knowledge. It was here that I discovered my limits and drew the speakers I wanted to make, and that is where things became more organic and round.