We create incomparable spaces for the celebration of music
We are lifelong music lovers who have never lost touch with that sense of trance-inducing euphoria created by simply listening, grooving, or chilling to music in an ultra-cool, moody, sexy and edgy looking space specially designed and put together just for that purpose. For us, music, and the experience of listening to music are all about taking opportunities to live life in the moment. After all, music is one of the very few things in life that genuinely transcends time, space, and place, as well as all cultural, generational, religious, socioeconomic, and ideological boundaries.
As a design studio focusing on aligning our artistic creativity with our life-long passion for music, we create beautiful music rooms for those of you who choose to find sanctuary by immersing yourself in one of the most sacred of all human rituals, listening to and living in the moment with the only music that matters, the music that you love. We uncompromisingly create tailor-made and visually stunning music rooms that deliver a mind-blowing multidimensional and multisensory musical, emotional, and spatial experience.
Acoustic research reveals that listening to music involves considerably more than the auditory experience alone. One’s sense of sight often overrides the complex multimodal interplay between all five senses, with our vision and visual perception shaping all sensory information reaching our brains on both the conscious and subconscious levels. The perceived attributes of what one hears are very much affected by what one simultaneously sees, touches, and smells. For these reasons, and from a philosophical perspective, we design our music rooms to transform the entirety of the journey, not just the hearing part of it.
When it comes to the intangible purity of musical enjoyment, we believe that in most cases the visual and tactile aesthetics and emotional vibe and energy of the spatial environment are of greater importance than developing an obsession over room geometry, construction, and the inclusion of artificial room treatments. Music rooms that fail to combine visual appeal with an electrifying atmosphere, or even worse yet, rooms that are actually quite unappealing or clinical-looking, negatively impact mood, pleasure, and arousal, thus diminishing one’s ability to enjoy the music experience entirely.
Our design philosophy is grounded in the belief that sound reproduction can approximate the illusion of a live musical performance. To achieve what most acoustic engineers believe is unachievable, we take into consideration how people relate to sound, how they are affected by it, and how they perceive and process it within the overall context of their visual and atmospheric environment. A music room that is designed solely to conform to acoustic principles is a missed opportunity. To create a more meaningful and breathtaking sensory experience for our clients, Raven Vanguard precisely integrates art, design, and technology by being mindful of music emotion and psychoacoustics research. Our music rooms give the listener a unique sense of space and a beautiful aesthetic experience allowing them to connect fully with the emotional essence of their favorite music. In other words, through our creative process, that is equal parts pure imagination, art, the wisdom of bygone days, voodoo, and science, our rooms succeed in capturing the often elusive nature of lightning in a bottle. After all, isn’t that the point of taking the time to listen to music in the first place?
After more than two decades of music being beaten down and compressed to the point of lifelessness because artist marketability became more important than artistic ability, and the mainstream audience simply being satisfied with casually hearing music as background sound, there now appears to be a renewed interest in music and music listening as art and lifestyle. The founders of Raven Vanguard believe that we are witnessing the dawning of a new golden age of music and a renewed interest in music reproduction in the home.
Late in the 20th Century, the art of passionately listening to music seemed to vanish, and rooms dedicated to the reproduction of music in domestic spaces appeared to fall out of favor. Why did this happen? Although the reasons why are undoubtedly varied, we can safely assume that lifestyle changes, an economic downturn of epic proportions and rapid technological advancements are at the root of this phenomenon.
The increased popularity of television, home theater, video games, the Internet and personal computers undoubtedly played their role. Portable devices like the Walkman, MP3 players, iPods, smartphones and earbuds made it possible for people on the move to hear music wherever they went. It is safe to say that more than four generations have now come to accept the inherent limitations of MP3 music played on iPods and iPhones. Moreover, fingers can also be pointed at online gaming, our fascination with social media and online music streaming. Nor can we ignore the part played by the complexities of everyday life just getting in the way.
Music as art and lifestyle is once again returning to its rightful place in our homes. Encouraging signs of this revitalization surround us everywhere. For example, vinyl record/LP sales continue to rise gradually, with revenues from record sales in the US and UK in 2016 surpassing those from digital downloads over the same period. Turntable sales have been steadily increasing, and there has been a global increase in the number of record pressing plants; in fact, new companies have been formed that are manufacturing new record pressing machines for these plants. When a musician like Jack White is throwing a large party to celebrate the opening of his new record pressing plant in Detroit, Michigan, and a global giant like Panasonic is reintroducing an updated version of its Technics SP-10R direct drive turntable, it certainly appears as though we are on the precipice of a new movement.
In the words of Jack White, "this is not about being nostalgic;” it is “about preserving something beautiful for the next generation so they can understand it too. Tonight and tomorrow, some 12-year-old kid's gonna buy a Stooges record and is gonna get turned on, and that's worth all of this -- every cent, every bit of energy."
One of the reasons we formed Raven Vanguard is to play a role in returning music to its rightful place in our homes. We are passionate about designing artistic and distinctive interior spaces that are dedicated solely to the reproduction and enjoyment of music. Imagine, if you will, an eighteenth-century French music parlour where the expressive and captivating powers of music were enjoyed by musicians and music lovers alike, either in complete privacy or as part of a larger social gathering.
Although never an easy feat for a designer to accomplish, a well-designed music room counterbalances visual, auditory, and tactile qualities to make the occupant’s sensory experience within this space unforgettable. Raven Vanguard’s approach to creating a space for music listening is opposite to the cold, laboratory-like aesthetic of the stereotypical audiophile listening room which is usually covered in unappealing acoustical treatments and where blandness, sound for the sake of sound, frequency response measurements, listening chairs and “man cave” trappings take precedence over the immediacy and heartfelt pleasure of music experienced within a beautifully proportioned and adorned listening space.
Our Design Team creates elegantly appointed music rooms that function as multi-sensory spaces; spaces that inspire and are equally suited to dance, ritual, seduction, intimacy, spiritual awakening, meditation, creative thought, solitude, and shared social experience. We believe no other design team captures the sensual pleasures of a music room quite like Raven Vanguard and its community of like-minded collaborators.
When creating a space for music, first and foremost, we look to improve the acoustic properties of a music room by reducing unwanted artifacts. This is usually accomplished through the inclusion of sound reflecting, absorbing, and diffusing materials, and by the appropriate spatial configuration and use and proper placement of textiles, fabrics, flooring, carpets, upholstered furniture, wall hangings, artwork, and lighting. We purposely design our music spaces in this fashion to provide absorption and diffraction and to reduce unwanted reflective and reverberant properties.
Whenever possible, we prefer to work with and design our music rooms using audio equipment manufactured by individuals and companies who actually understand that the overarching goal of audio playback equipment should be to realistically capture the beauty and dynamics of music rather than what amounts to the fetishistic or cult-like worship of whatever is popularly perceived to be the “latest and greatest” breakthrough in audio technology.
Like most people, the members of Raven Vanguard fell in love with music as children, long before our first exposure to the sonic possibilities of high-fidelity playback equipment and the importance of room acoustics. The truth is, like most people, we love music for its own sake, and we have a deep-seated emotional bond with the music we love. So, are you a music lover or an audiophile? In a Raven Vanguard-designed music room, you can be both, but you are intrinsically a music lover first and foremost. For us, this distinction is an important one, because music lovers choose to listen to music as their first priority, whereas many who self-identify as audiophiles are often more interested in critically evaluating the sounds reproduced by their audio equipment. Sadly, many of these same audiophiles are simply on a never-ending mission to replace and “upgrade” their equipment rather than enjoy listening to music.
Raven Vanguard’s approach to music rooms and audio technology is poles apart from that of most designers and audiophiles; we genuinely believe that older audio and sound technologies and centuries-old interior design styles are better suited to the art of music listening and enjoyment. In fact, our audio partners have painstakingly taken the time and expended considerable resources to improve older audio technologies by making evolutionary changes in design and by the addition of proprietary materials, component parts, and upgraded manufacturing techniques.
We believe the music lover’s listening space should be music-centered rather than overly fixated on technology, scientific measurements, and artificial room treatments. We also believe that a music lover’s audio equipment must be designed to serve the overall musical experience and it must be designed to reproduce all types of music well. Moreover, a music lover’s audio equipment must be blessed with an innate sense of musicality and the ability to realistically reproduce the dynamics and spiritual vibrancy of all music genres and to generate a true-to-life soundstage that has width, height, and depth. Raven Vanguard masterfully combines its artistic vision with that of our high fidelity audio partners to reconnect the audiophile to her/his music-loving beginnings.
At Raven Vanguard, we value: music in itself; connecting music, space and people; “being there” when listening to music; creating music rooms of enduring beauty and long lasting value; designing music rooms to produce an emotional, non-analytical, listening state in the music listener; achieving the best sound possible without falling victim to an endless quest of slavish devotion to seemingly incremental improvements in audio technology; expanding our musical horizons one record at a time; building record collections; and, best of all, getting lost in the music – to actually experience this transcendent reshaping of both time and space.
Raven Vanguard’s dedicated music listening room, which is undergoing another face-lift, is expected to reopen to both clients and prospective clients sometime in the Spring of 2019. Our room will continue to be available by appointment only Monday through Friday between the hours of noon and 7:00 PM. Upon request, we make every effort to accommodate late evening and weekend listening sessions. Our Website will be updated periodically with photographs to report on our progress.
Since we have already received countless inquiries on the future availability of this unique space, we strongly encourage you to make an appointment to meet with us at least 45 days in advance of your hoped-for meeting date. Presently, until we have a fixed reopening date, we have created a standby waiting list of individuals who have already expressed their desire to visit our unique space.
We have only two hard-and-fast rules in our Music Room – no electronics and no photography equipment. Mostly this means no telephones allowed. We find nothing more distracting when listening to music than the annoying ping of e-mails and text messages, the ringing of the phone, and phone conversation.
In late-February 2019, we intend to randomly select ten individuals to join us for food, drinks, and music at our Grand Reopening Celebration (date to be determined) to formally rededicate and rename our Music Room. Each guest will be encouraged to invite one additional guest. We are hopeful that some of our collaborators will be able to join us for this one-of-a-kind musical and social experience. To be eligible to participate in our random selection process for this event, you must fully complete and submit the questionnaire at the bottom of this page no later than February 22, 2019.
Following our Grand Reopening Celebration, clients and prospective clients alike will be treated to one-on-one, specially curated listening events where you will have the opportunity to reacquaint yourself with musical masterworks like Symphony No. 5, Rubber Soul, Out to Lunch, Station to Station, Black Saint and the Sinner Lady, Physical Graffiti, Tago Mago, Pet Sounds, Free Jazz, Blue Train, Born Under a Bad Sign, Wish You Were Here, Bitches Brew, Blood on the Tracks, One Size Fits All, Gymnopedie No. 1, Parsifal, Close to the Edge, Maxinquaye, Electric Ladyland, Mule Variations, Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers, Remain in Light, Endtroducing, American Recordings, Fun House, In the Jungle Groove, Exile on Main Street, Catch a Fire, In the Wee Small Hours, Electric Warrior, and S/T. Even though Raven Vanguard has an extensive record collection, our clients and prospective clients are encouraged to bring their favorite records with them to these listening sessions.
When you visit our Music Room, we want the music to wash over you and for you to connect with music you love, music that you are emotionally attached to, and music that you are intimately familiar with; we will not waste your time by playing music for you that is on some audio magazine’s audiophile-approved playlist only because it sounds a certain way.
We believe we work with some of the best, most knowledgeable, and skilled furnishings, lighting, carpeting, fabric, material, casegood, and audio specialists in the world. It is through their equipment, products, and contributions that our music rooms genuinely come alive.