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News - Joby Talbot's "Worlds, Stars, Systems, Infinity"

Monday, May 07, 2012
Joby Talbot has been commissioned to write a new orchestral piece for Esa-Pekka Salonen and The London Philharmonia’s ‘Universe of Sound,’ a new project at The Science Museum, London. This is a major digital installation which sees a virtual Philharmonia Orchestra in residence in the museum from May 23 – July 8, also part of the London 2012 Festival. It will then tour to UK cities including Birmingham and Canterbury in 2013.

Universe of Sound is a hi-definition interactive experience, taking Gustav Holst’s The Planets, and presenting a ‘virtual’ Philharmonia Orchestra performing the piece. Using giant screens, unconventional projecting surfaces, touch screens, movement-based interaction and planetarium-style projection, visitors can step inside the heart of a symphony orchestra taking on the role of a musician, conductor or composer. Worlds, Stars, Systems, Infinity by Talbot is the final part of the journey.

As part of Universe of Sound visitors will be able to:

  • experience giant live 360 degree projections of the Orchestra performing The Planets conducted by Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor Esa-Pekka Salonen
  • see the entire 105-piece orchestra alongside multi-channel surround sound
  • enter 10 separate rooms, each representing a section of the orchestra, and connecting iPods and join in as a musician, conductor, arranger or composer — ultimately creating your own new Planets musical experience.

  • Live instruments will be available to play in some parts of the installation, so visitors can perform with the virtual orchestra and be projected onto screens alongside players. They will also be able to play virtual instruments. Each room will contain the sheet music for each instrument, and visitors will be invited to bring in their own instruments and play along.

    A new website (www.universeofsound.co.uk) enables visitors to continue their experience after they leave, and offer those unable to visit the chance to experience some of its elements. The online world of the project will also enable users who have visited the exhibition the chance to access content created by them, for example a film of them conducting, which can be shared via social networks. A Blu-ray Disc of the project will be released by Signum Records to coincide with the installation.

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