Classical Music Meets Cyberspace at Sydney Opera House [au Sydney]

r737846_6007116.jpgAustralian Broadcasting Corporation :: Broadcast: 21/03/2011 :: More than one hundred musicians from thirty-three countries spent the past week at the Sydney Opera House for a unique multi-media event which has allowed their music to instantly go worldwide via YouTube. As Rebecca Bailie reports it was the perfect marriage of classical music and cyberspace – the participants had to audition online, the spectacle was uploaded and streamed direct onto mobile phones and those lucky enough to be inside the concert hall were tweeting direct from their seats.

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Classical music met cyberspace at the Opera House during the past week. The YouTube Symphony is no ordinary outfit. More than 100 musicians from 33 countries joined together for a unique multimedia event involving online auditions, mobile phone streaming and live tweeting of the finale. Rebecca Bailey produced this report.

MICHAEL TILSON THOMAS, CONDUCTOR: Well the YouTube Symphony’s a wonderful adventure. People who are in the orchestra who come from 30-some-odd different countries and will have a very amazing experience learning to make music together.

MARIA CHIOSSI, HARPIST, ITALY: Hello. My name is Maria Chiossi. I’m a harpist and I come from Italy.

ALI BELLO, VIOLINIST, VENEZUELA: I’m a violinist. My name is Ali Bello. I’m from Venezuela.

XIOMARA MASS, OBOIST, PUERTO RICO: My name is Xiomara Mass and I’m from Puerto Rico. And I play the oboe.

BRENT MILLER, TIMPANIST, AUSTRALIA: I’m Brent Miller and I’m from Toowoomba, Queensland. I play the timpani. It was very daunting, putting our videos on line for the orchestra, but the fact that it’s taking classical music out of the concert hall and taking it to, really, a worldwide audience.

MICHAEL TILSON THOMAS: We’ve been amazed at how much does come through on a YouTube clip. When you hear many people play the same pieces, it is extraordinary how some people are able to play the music not only accurately, but with a spin which is their own story.

MARIA CHIOSSI: When I saw the advertisement on the internet I thought what is this? And the more I was reading, the more I started to think this was a great and unique opportunity in my life ’cause I could experience this innovative union between technology and art.

MICHAEL TILSON THOMAS: It’s an exciting frontier, I think, and an essential one. Nothing about video or about cyberspace is going to be going away. We can’t in classical music look upon this the way silent film stars looked at the talkies – “Oh, it’s just a fad. It’ll go away.” It’s not going away.

XIOMARA MASS: A dream come true. Everyone dreams of playing the Sydney Opera House. It’s amazing, you know. It’s an honour to play and make music with Michael Tilson Thomas as a conductor. It’s such an honour. So I was really nervous.

ALI BELLO: The soul of the music is you and your instrument vibrating at once. And that technology is helping, but at the same time, you know, it’s two monsters that you have to control and try to make them marry in a perfect world, which is what we’re trying to do.

Never nervous, but just excited and that gets you belly and the butterflies comes in. But, as soon as you hear the first note, you’ll hear what we got for you.

MARIA CHIOSSI: Everyone in the world can just, you know, Google and find us and listen to us. In this sense, I think technology should have more music, and not just music – arts.

ALI BELLO: Music and the light projections and the whole spectacle. It’s far beyond just an orchestra playing a concert.

XIOMARA MASS: It’s amazing what YouTube is doing right now with this product. People that are in parts of the planet that they just don’t have an orchestra near them or they just don’t know too much about classical music are gonna be able to experience this.

BRENT MILLER: Regardless of what language you speak or where you come from, we can all speak one language, which is music and make great music together. And the excitement in the room is just incredible.

LEIGH SALES: That report produced by Rebecca Bailey.
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Mar 21, 2011
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