Prompt Corner: ACO VIRTUAL

ACO VIRTUAL transforms the way Melbournians experience classical music.

ACO VIRTUAL, a ground-breaking interactive, surround sound and vision installation presented in the Salon in February pushed new boundaries in digital music technology and education, all at the touch of a button.

The installation was presented at Melbourne Recital Centre in February in a Melbourne exclusive.

The brainchild of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Mod Productions and BSound, the installation, which was also a finalist at the SXSW Festival, featured projections of 13 orchestra members in a circular installation with the sound of each player coming from the direction of their projection.

These images were controlled via an iPad, allowing visitors to zoom in on particular musicians or sections of the orchestra, listen to the individual sounds of each instrument or turn them off and step in with their own instruments to play along. An iOS app provided more background information on the orchestra, repertoire and the technical aspects of the project.

Younger visitors were especially captivated by this new way to experience and control classical music. These guests included students from Stawell Primary School, Tate Street Primary School, East Geelong, and secondary students from a range of Bendigo government schools, many of whom had never had exposure to the music of Bach, Grieg, Smalley and Piazzolla, nor these instruments. Some had never been inside a professional music venue before.

“I really enjoyed it. I’m going to practice a lot so I get better on my violin.”
(Bendigo Instrumental Music Program)

“It was great turning the players on and off using the iPad. You can’t do that in real life.”
(Bendigo Instrumental Music Program)

“I like the creativity throughout the whole building”
(Tate Street Primary School, East Geelong)

ACO Virtual marked a new kind of musical journey for the Centre in bringing new audiences to classical music via alternative settings, bridging the gap between classical music and the digital world.

ACO Virtual at Melbourne Recital Centre was made possible by the support of Naomi Milgrom AO, Benefactor of the Centre’s New Music Leadership Circle.