In my column on Georg Friedrich Haas in last week's magazine, I mentioned my visit to EMPAC, the high-tech performing-arts center on the campus of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, NY. The complex is two years old — James Oestreich covered the opening for the New York Times — but I hadn't had the chance to see it until now. It contains a 1200-seat concert hall, a 400-seat theater, and two black-box studios. The main hall is housed in a spectacular egg-like wooden shell that is structurally isolated from the remainder of the building, ensuring that no extraneous vibrations disturb the sound picture. I'm not sure if I've ever heard music in so preternaturally silent a space. All the venues are wired into research and production facilities that would seem to be as technologically advanced as any in North America. It's an extraordinary place, and I hope to return soon.