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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Soundscape: Music In Unexpected Places

Human sound making is an activity that can temporarily alter the acoustic character of an architectural space and the expected sounds associated with it. Here are to examples promoting the Copenhagen Philharmonic (Sj√¶llands Symfoniorkester) in which they performed in the manor of a "Flash mob" aboard a metro train and within a train station. Both events were well planed, highly organized, and documented. The performances were unexpected by those passing through the space and, as often seen in flash mob videos, individuals seem puzzled, amused, annoyed and appreciative of the musical events. 

Peer Gynt  (2:17) In April 2012 the Copenhagen Philharmonic surprised the passengers in the Metro by playing Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt. The event was created in collaboration with Radio Klassisk. All music is said to have been performed and recorded in the metro, although some question this given the clarity of the recording. An individual, claiming to be the director, wrote that he could "…guarantee…that the music was recorded in the train car!" He goes on to say, "I must admit though, that the take we used, which was the best (sound recording), was where the train was standing almost still and people where practically holding there breaths." This suggests, and given the train is moving in the video, that the sound from one session and images from other sessions were edited together in post production. Produced by MAKROPOL

Bolero (4:53) As one of the first professional symphony orchestras ever, the Copenhagen Phil (Sj√¶llands Symfoniorkester) did a "flash mob" like event at  the Copenhagen Central Station on May 2nd 2011 playing Ravel's Bolero. In this video the ambient conditions of the station's soundscape are much more pronounced, than in the metro video above, but the clarity of the stereo field recording is quite solid. The conductor is Jesper Nordin. 

Observational video of Bolero Performance (13:37) Here is a comparative video of the same event photographed some distance back from the performance itself. The orchestra can be seen within the context of the larger architectural space.  The acoustics of the station are much more defined with station announcements and the ambiance of the building audible.

Source: YouTube

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