Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Forget what you thought you knew about classical concerts


My recent post lamenting the shortage in classical music of mavericks, technologists and other agents of change attracted fewer readers than the joke post about Norman Lebrecht precededing it. Which I guess proves my point. But I don't give up that easily, so I am now returning to the subject of technology and agents of change. In my article I said that classical music desperately needs radical projects that capitalise on the opportunities offered by digital technologies to engage new audiences. So this post provides a heads up to a project that does just that, but which has received very little recognition. Here is the description from the University of Salford website:
Forget what you thought you knew about orchestral concerts; this new and innovative series requests that you DO turn on your mobile phones and tablets.
The BBC Philharmonic, in partnership with the University of Salford, will be exploring new and rarely performed pieces – bringing audience immersion and new technology to the forefront.
The sessions will be featured in an enhanced live stream on the orchestra’s website, which enables the audience to explore the orchestra, receive synced information about the music and even view a live orchestral score.
Bring your devices and help us explore a new way of experiencing an orchestra.
The header screenshot showing Red Brick Session real time content comes from an excellent review of the project by cellist Daria Fussi. The BBC Philharmonic Red Brick Sessions started in autumn 2016 and are commendable both because they explore the opportunity offered by new technologies without cringe-inducing dumbing down, and because they feature an eclectic range of composers including Ligeti, Sciarrino, Ad├Ęs and Schoenberg. This is a BBC project for heaven's sake. If classical music really wants a new, young, technology literate audience why isn't it being rolled out to the Proms instead of Rodgers and Hammerstein?

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