Meyer Sound Helps Edfu Temple Bring Ancient Egypt Back to Life
When visitors arrive at the Edfu Temple, a 2,200-year-old landmark located in the desert 500 miles south of Cairo, they are greeted with an imposing sound and light show that brings the mysterious world of ancient Egypt to life. Sonic clarity from weather-protected Meyer Sound systems elevates the storytelling, and helps provide travelers with a new, exciting way to experience the ancient monument and Egyptian mythology.
The Edfu Temple—also known as the Temple of Horus—is the second largest surviving ancient Egyptian temple (after Karnak) and one of the best preserved. Its new 50-minute sound and light show features dramatic imagery and Stephan Boehme's tantalizing soundtrack that have transformed the visitor's experience.
"Our goal was to create a show that would set a new benchmark for permanent sound and light shows at historic monuments," says Sabine Weissinger of Germany-based Casa Magica, designer for the Edfu show. "The Meyer Sound loudspeakers are able to deliver a full orchestra sound as well as delicate solo instruments, choir and reciting voices." Casa Magica was contracted by Egyptian partner firm Horizon (El Ofok) and commissioned by MISR Company for Sound, Light, and Cinema. The Meyer Sound systems were provided and installed by Cairo-based Modern Touch Entertainment.
Horizon was also part of the team responsible for the successful production at another ancient temple on Philae Island, where Meyer Sound systems installed in 2004 have prevailed despite the heavy rainfalls and hot temperatures. "After the success that we had with the audio at Philae sound and light show, it was a simple decision to stick with Meyer Sound for the Edfu Temple," says Wael Gouda of Horizon. "We had to specify a product that would perform under extreme weather conditions and Meyer Sound proved its quality and durability in the Philae project."
The Ministry of Egyptian Antiquities mandated that the loudspeakers were to steer clear of the ancient temple walls or columns. The final system configuration was a collaborative effort of Bassem Fahmy, Modern Touch's director of technical support, Casa Magica, and Horizon's consultant Toon Thellier. "Most of the loudspeakers are strategically placed in locations that comply with the Ministry's requests such as the top of walls, inside windows, and on poles," says Fahmy.
A total of 13 Meyer Sound UPM-1P loudspeakers provide effects and ambience before the show kicks off. Lighting and the wall-projected imagery are synchronized with audio tracks reproduced by three UPQ-1P loudspeakers on top of the enclosure walls and two 700-HP subwoofers on the ground. The action then shifts to the temple's colonnade courtyard, reinforced by six UPQ-1P loudspeakers on poles and cornices and two 700-HP subwoofers for surround sound. Two additional UPQ-1P loudspeakers are dedicated to the voice of Horus, the main godly lord of the temple and protagonist of the show.
Finally, for the third act, the audience is guided to the front of the temple to witness the celebrated rituals of Edfu, Horus's battle against Seth, and the Festival of Behdet. Nine UPQ-2P loudspeakers and two 700-HP subwoofers complete the loudspeaker configuration.
"The Edfu Temple was one of several temples built during the Ptolemaic period," says Engineer Fawzi of MISR Company for Sound, Light, and Cinema. "The new spectacle with its sight and sound has turned the darkness surrounding the temple into an amazing site for visitors to experience its history. We are very pleased with the result."
Friedrich Foerster of Casa Magica adds: "The Edfu project presented a rare opportunity for us to work at a prestigious ancient site. We very much appreciate the confidence of our client MISR company, the cooperation of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, as well as the commitment to the project demonstrated by all of the parties involved."