MusicLab was an interactive, digital classroom-sized mobile 13.5m trailer which toured the South-West of the UK from April 2014 to July 2015, reaching over 20,000 visitors, as part of the wider audience development project iOrchestra. MusicLab provided a fun and interactive introduction to the Orchestra. It allowed visitors young and old to experiment with real orchestral instruments, becoming players, composers and arrangers. Hands-on, video-guided tutorials, offered an introduction to a French horn, cello, timpani and clarinet under the ‘virtual’ guidance of Philharmonia principal players.
Visitors could explore every instrument in the orchestra, using central iPad consoles which offered a chance to play, compose and produce. In the ‘Chorus Booth’, visitors could sing along with the Philharmonia, creating a huge virtual choir from each location visited, then available for download from the iOrchestra website. The wider life of the Philharmonia - playing concerts, recording film scores, and making video-game music – was showcased in bite-size films through the video bench. The ‘Hi-5!’ made a participative game out of the variety of sounds possible through unusual uses of orchestral instruments.
The trailer was sold on upon completion of the iOrchestra project, however the five digital interactions have been retained, and are still available for workshops and demonstrations, recently featuring at WIRED Conference in London, and at the Sound & City showcase in Tokyo in 2016. The technology will be developed in future digital projects in 2017 and beyond. Further information about the iOrchestra project can be found here.
MusicLab was only made possible thanks to the continuing support of the David and Elaine Potter Foundation and the Arts Council Strategic Touring Fund.