Copenhagen Phil Steps It Up In Cyberspace
Copenhagen Phil has two worldwide hits under its belt – so what’s next? The answer is an interactive symphony orchestra on the Internet, with musicians from all around the world: World Online Orchestra. The project has just been launched on kickstarter.com – the world’s largest portal for social financing of creative projects.
Two Shots Fired Round The World
A few years ago, Copenhagen Phil took a big chance. The orchestra wanted to create a musical experience on its freshly minted YouTube channel.
“We need to be relevant for our audience in the concert hall, but we also need to make an impression on the Internet,” said Artistic and Executive Director Uffe Savery. The musicians gathered in Copenhagen’s Central Station, where they began Ravel’s ‘Bolero’ with conductor and snare drum. One by one musicians appeared and began to play; little by little both the orchestra and the music swelled in until both reached full dimension. An unannounced mini-concert that, for the few hundred passers-by who were lucky enough to see it, disappeared as quickly as it had appeared.
But the experience took on new life on the Internet, and has since been re-lived 7.2 million times on YouTube. One year later the orchestra took over a car on the Copenhagen Metro in a similar fashion. The video of that flashmob was named ‘video of the day’ on CNN and widely discussed in the media worldwide – today it has garnered 6.5 million views on YouTube. Symphonic music, set in a startlingly disparate context, took on new relevance for a segment of the public, who normally don’t find their way into the concert hall. A part of the orchestra’s vision was thereby realized: to actualize the symphony orchestra, and make it relevant for new audiences.
So What Next?
The answer is: World Online Orchestra.
“This project is about forging cultural value. In a fun and innovative way, we are trying to democratize and propagate both familiarity and personal contact with symphonic music. World Online Orchestra (W.O.O.) wants to make as many people as possible curious and creative in their relationship to that music. We want to invite everyone in to the fantastic universe of classical music, and we want to do our part so that creativity, curiosity, and inventiveness continue to be important elements in people’s lives and in their development,” says Uffe Savery, and continues:
“W.O.O. also has a pedagogical view, in that kids and young adults can move freely and intuitively about in the different elements of the symphony orchestra, and can thereby actively and creatively participate.”
The World Online Orchestra is born out of the collaboration between Copenhagen Phil, Makropol, and Helios Design Labs. Makropol, with Mads Damsbo at the helm, produced the orchestra’s two successful flash mobs, and works on fashioning narratives in the new media landscape. Mads Damsbo and Uffe Savery had the honor of presenting W.O.O. at the cross-media festival ‘Power to the Pixel 2012’ (a sub-festival to the London Film Festival). It was here that they met the Canadian programmers and design artists from Helios Design Labs.
These three partners have now completed phase 1 with support from the Danish Arts Council and the Scandinavian Inter-regional Musical Experience and Design Project. Phase 1 can be experienced in beta version at worldonlineorchestra.com
At this point the platform only functions on Google’s ‘chrome’ browser. Here one can create one’s own adventure with modes such as “Explore” and “Build Ensemble.” All members of Copenhagen Phil have recorded their parts individually with both video and sound. These can be heard individually, and set together by the user in any conceivable combination.
Phase 2, which is currently campaigning for the support necessary to realize it through social financing on Kickstarter.com
, will allow anyone and everyone to participate creatively in the World Online Orchestra:
“People’s contributions will inspire other people to put new things up, and those new things will in turn inspire even more contributions. The idea is actually very sustainable and self-reinforcing. The longer this project sits on the Internet, the more interesting it will become. The Internet itself will function as a catalyst for creativity, and hopefully break down barriers between music-lovers of many different types, who can all speak the same language in this space we create for them. Maybe there will be someone from Gambia, or North Korea, who will put something up,” says Mads Damsbo.
Phase 3 will consist of works created by users of the site, which will then come full circle and be presented in physical form to a live audience in an actual concert. We will also make audio-visual installations in the public sphere in conjunction with these works.
Launch On Kickstarter.com
On Sunday, January 12, W.O.O. was launched on Kickstarter.com
, the world’s largest portal for social financing of creative projects, where anyone can donate a small amount of money to get a project underway. There is a time limit: Inside of 45 days, the project has to collect at least 30,000 Canadian dollars. If one donates $5 today, the amount will be debited on February 26th, the deadline for realization of the funding. If the project doesn’t garner at least $30,000 in total support, donations will not be debited at all, and the project will not receive any funding from Kickstarter.com
In order to realize, drive, and develop the project to its fullest potential, significantly larger financing is required, and Copenhagen Phil is actively seeking sponsorship to that end.
World Online Orchestra makes it possible for users to assemble a whole orchestra experiment with smaller ensembles online — eventually, using musicians from around the globe.
Copenhagen Phil steps it up in cyberspace with the interactive symphony orchestra: World Online Orchestra.
On Sunday, January 12th, the W.O.O. was launched on kickstarter.com, the world’s largest portal for social financing of creative projects. Inside of 45 days, the project must garner 30,000 Canadian dollars in support funds.
Members of Copenhagen Phil have individually recorded their parts with both video and sound.