Symphony is a unique opportunity for all audiences to experience and understand classical music as never before. Visitors to this immersive audiovisual installation can experience the symphonic compositions of Beethoven, Mahler or Bernstein in new ways, by taking the position of a musician in the orchestra or traveling inside the instruments. They can also experience music from different parts of the world. Symphony has ensured a greater awareness and appreciation for the heritage of classical music throughout Spain and is a highly replicable model for the rest of Europe. The project was fully supported by the “la Caixa” Foundation, the initiators of the project.
Classical music is an important element of European cultural heritage. Symphony’s unique value is in making this heritage available to everyone through a highly enjoyable experience using state-of-the-art technology. Symphony was created for those who are already fond of classical music as well as those who are yet to discover the genre. The memorable virtual reality experience is found as a permanent exhibition at the CaixaForum in Barcelona and also as a travelling installation.
The visitor is initially welcomed by an audiovisual experience where a short film is projected onto a large screen while they are immersed in sound, creating a remarkable atmosphere. In the second room, the visitor is seated in an individual armchair with virtual reality glasses, to enjoy an innovative and immersive experience. Combining real video material, computer-generated images and visual effects, the visitor takes a 360º journey wherein the instruments are deconstructed in a creative way, with sound and music driving the story. Gustavo Dudamel, the world-renowned Venezuelan conductor and violinist, explains to the audience how the instruments are created from wood and metal, and speaks about the emotional value of music.
The response to Symphony has been very positive, with 37% of the survey respondents, who were not regular listeners of classical music, reporting that they would be likely to listen to more classical music because of the experience.
“This high-profile project allows the participant to become truly immersed in music. Symphony has successfully engaged people who might not usually go to listen to a live classical performance. This innovative approach could further incentivise children and newcomers to more regularly enjoy live classical music or to appreciate the value of learning how to play a musical instrument. This contributes to the continuation and widening appreciation of this important aspect of European cultural heritage”, said the Awards’ Jury.