Classical Music Turns to Virtual Reality
Highlights of London’s Southbank Centre from the 2016-17 seasons incorporate a computerized stumble into a symphony, a year-long celebration looking at music and conviction. London’s Southbank Center is unquestionably aggressive. Its 2016-17 established music season will grasp life, the universe and basically everything in the middle.
The season will open in September with the Philharmonia’s “advanced takeover” of the Royal Festival’s Hall’s open spaces in what will be a virtual reality first for a UK ensemble symphony. Between the 23rd and 25th of September, guests will have the capacity to wear virtual-reality headsets and headphones and be transported to the center of the Philharmonia Orchestra, where they will get a 360-degree perspective of main director Esa-Pekka Salonen driving his performers through the end minutes of Sibelius’ Fifth Symphony. It will also show background footage and various perspectives from the highest point of the Festival Hall, looking down over the stage as it will give guests an unprecedented look inside the sights and sounds of an ensemble symphony in full action.
Salonen, whose orchestra has been at the leading edge of advanced development in established music, talked about his fervor at being included in this initiative. “Creative artists for a long time have been dreaming about creating a world where they would create the laws, the physics and grammar and syntax of what audiences experience. But for the first time in human history, we have the technology that will do that for you. The incredible power of virtual reality is that it is disappointing to leave it – to come back to reality. There is no doubt that for classical music virtual reality will be a very powerful, useful medium… I am sure it will be the very first step in an exciting development for the future.”
The Philharmonia’s stroll through the installation of Holst’s The Planets, Universe of Sound is coming to the Southbank Center. The installation won the 2013 Royal Philharmonic Society honor for groups of onlookers and engagement and now welcomes the general population to venture inside another virtual Philharmonia by means of large displays, touch screens and planetarium-style projections that permit guests to participate as if they were conductors, composers, arrangers or musicians.
The Belief and Beyond Belief festival commences in January 2017 and will keep running consistently throughout the year. Expanding on the accomplishment of 2013’s multi-disciplinary Rest is Noise festival, the foundation of the year will be the London Philharmonic’s Orchestra’s shows, however exhibitions, performances and debates will be prevalent as well. A progression of eight weekend examinations will inspect such subjects as “the search for the meaning of life”, “religion and war” and “should science depose religion?”.
London Philharmonic Society (LPO)’s, Chief Executive and Artistic Director, Timothy Walker, said, “If the last century was defined by battles between ideologies … it’s clear that the 21st will be marked by conflicts over religious truths and extremism. We hope to be part of a debate about belief and how composers have responded to, or against God, spirituality and religion.” Conviction has roused so a large number of the best works in the traditional standard, yet is regularly considered today to be a private leisure activity, said the Southbank’s imaginative executive Jude Kelly,. Kelly is hoping that the festival will bring new people to the centre with a scope of music from Tallis to Mahler, Bach to Penderecki as the VR experience could potentially make them passionate about classical music.
Audience development is very important to orchestras, especially with younger audiences as many young people aren’t fans of classical music as they haven’t been properly introduced. London Sinfonietta’s Chief Executive, Andrew Burke, said, “It’s vital to take music out to young ears. They listen with no prejudice.” Kelly added, “It is our duty to share the amazing riches we have in the music of the past and present. If we don’t, we do casually what other regimes are doing cruelly. We mustn’t squander our jewels.”
These orchestras are hoping that the VR experience will bring in a younger audience as well as more people in general.