Do you miss Harry Potter as much as we do here at BRWC? Well, never fear, Audible have your back. On Thursday 15 March, two hundred mesmerised guests were treated to a ground-breaking audio experience to mark the launch of Quidditch Through the Ages, a new digital audiobook by J.K. Rowling, narrated by Andrew Lincoln, which is available in audio for the first time.
Immersed in a first-of-its-kind 360-degree sound experience soundscape, listeners made history as part of the largest audience for a spatial sound experience at the breathtaking London Symphony Orchestra venue, St Luke’s.
Seated in the St Luke’s atrium, the public were transported to the frenetic heart of the 2014 Quidditch World Cup Final through a one-off audio spectacular. Match commentary from the Daily Prophet’s Quidditch correspondent, Ginny Potter (narrated by Imogen Church), and Rita Skeeter (narrated by Annette Badland), echoed around the venue as the sounds of whizzing Snitches, whooshing Quaffles and the buzz of racing brooms darted from all four corners of the room.
Everyone in attendance received a bespoke listening experience, with no two parts of the venue sounding the same thanks to the specially created rig of thirty-eight speakers. Adapting bonus content from the Quidditch Through the Ages audiobook – first written by J.K. Rowling for pottermore.com – Pinewood Studios’ award-winning team worked with sonic reality innovators Kinicho using real objects, spatialized sound and Kinicho’s patented Sympan Scene-Scale™ technology to create a vivid Wizarding World through sound. These sounds were then meticulously matched with a web of bespoke lights and LED bulbs to create striking visual effects that mirrored the sounds of the match.
Garry Haywood, Co-Founder at Kinicho, said: ‘Working with this exceptional audio gave us a fantastic palette to enter the magical sonic reality of the Wizarding World. Being able to build the biggest system of its kind ever used in UK, using the latest, bespoke 360-degree sound experience aural technology that we’ve created, resulted in this once in a lifetime audio experience that we’re delighted the public got to enjoy.’
Laurence Howell, Director of Content at Audible UK, said: ‘We’ve always known that audio has the ability to let listeners completely lose themselves in a story. The room was buzzing with energy and excitement – you really felt transported to the sidelines of the 2014 Quidditch World Cup. Both Andrew’s narration and the highly detailed sound design really let you immerse yourself in this richly imagined universe.’
A perennial bestseller in the wizarding world and one of the most popular books in the Hogwarts school library, Quidditch Through the Ages contains all a listener will ever need to know about the history, the rules – and the breaking of the rules – of the noble sport of Quidditch. Packed with fascinating facts, this is a must-have sporting bible for all Harry Potter fans and Quidditch lovers, whether the weekend amateur or the seasoned Chudley Cannons season-ticket holder.
Pottermore will make a proportion of the proceeds from this audiobook available to Comic Relief, and J.K. Rowling’s own international charity Lumos – organisations both of which help some of the world’s most vulnerable children and young people to have a better life.
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