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Live-Streaming Music Venue, Aurora Nashville

A high-performance audio company unveils Aurora Studio—an interactive live-streaming music venue—inside the Pinnacle building.

Written By:  Chris Parton

Photographers:  Supplied

Here in Music City, a rapidly changing marketplace has had ramifications far beyond those who just make and sell the music. Just ask Thiel Audio, legendary makers of beautifully crafted, high-performance loudspeakers. The rise of highly compressed—or, more commonly known, crappy-sounding—digital downloads, plus a new generation of on-demand listeners, has forced the company to come up with a fresh approach.

Part of the repositioning included a move to Nashville two years ago from its original home in Lexington, Kentucky, and now the company is unveiling something unique: Aurora, a new entertainment division of the company that’s also the nation’s first ultra-high-definition, live-streaming concert studio.

“We have an issue as a company that is, ‘How do we reach the elusive millennials?’” chief brand officer Rebecca Abrahams explains during a tour of the futuristic facility, almost surgically precise in its appointments and housed in the base of The Pinnacle at Symphony Place. “The idea really is: What if you were able to go online and watch Keith Urban, live, in uncompressed, high-res audio and 4K [resolution] video? And what if you were able to interact with Keith Urban?”

By partnering with the music industry and setting up a subscription-based web platform, the Aurora studio aims to show a young demographic what it’s been missing by turning the company into a provider of ultra-HD content. The invite-only studio holds a maximum of 90 people, but it features perfect lossless audio, a bank of 4K cameras, and a network-level control room with fiber optic output, meaning its reach is effectively worldwide, instantaneous, and crystal-clear.

According to Abrahams, the studio’s main function will be as a one-of-a-kind venue for intimate live concerts, but it can also be used in a more traditional sense for pre-recorded shows. To that end, Aurora hopes to create a schedule of regular, daily programming, and it could play host to live Q-and-As with entertainers or politicians, stand-up comedy, fan club parties, and more. There’s even a separate 4K video-conferencing room.

There are other live-streaming studios in town, but what sets Aurora apart is that it’s all interactive and customizable.

“What if you were able to live chat during the concert?” Abrahams asks. “What if you were able to choose the playlist? How about if you were even able to access the cameras and cut your own version of the concert?

Using a specially designed web portal, subscribers can do just that, voting on what song an artist should play next or submitting questions. They can even switch between predetermined camera shots to stitch together self-directed music videos, and then they can share it with friends. The unique experience might even convince a new generation there’s a better way to consume music.

“This has never been done before, and it really sets Nashville apart,” Abrahams says. “We all know it’s Music City, but now we want to merge technology with music and create something that’s really huge.”

Photos by Beverly Malatesta Interiors.

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