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Live Virtual Orchestra

Philharmonia Orchestra
London, UK, Leicester, UK, Lisbon, Portugal and Germany
November 2009 through to 2011
Being inside an orchestra, experiencing the sensation of 101 players taking on this iconic music is one of the biggest adrenalin rushes, and one that I want to share with the world. Now we're doing just that.
Esa-Pekka Salonen, Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor

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RE-RITE is the Philharmonia Orchestra's Digital Residency and the purpose is to give members of the public an opportunity to conduct, play and 'virtually' become part of the Philharmonia Orchestra through audio and video projections of musicians performing Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen.

The project opened at the Bargehouse on London's South Bank in November 2009, and involves every section of the Orchestra performing The Rite of Spring simultaneously 'as live'. This means the visitors sit amongst the horn players, perform in the percussion section and conduct sections of the Orchestra whilst playing.

Since then RE-RITE was installed in Leicester, April 2010 and Lisbon, Portugal in January 2011.

Supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and developed by Philharmonia's Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor Esa-Pekka Salonen along with the Philharmonia Orchestra's Digital Department.

The project involved filming and recording the orchestra in studio performance from 28 fixed viewpoint HD cameras.  These films are then played back as larger than life images (typically 4m wide in Lisbon) in temporary spaces. The public are invited to move around/through the orchestra, listening to the piece weighted from the nearest recording microphone, to match the image that they are viewing.

Visitors have the opportunity to adjust the sound mix in a central zone, be the conductor, play along with the percussion section and talk to live musicians from the orchestra dotted around the event.

Working Wall, recently aquired by Foresight AV, a Torpedo Factory Group company, planned, designed and installed the projector layout to suit the client requirements at each venue.

The project won the RPS awards for both Creative Communication and Audience Development in 2010.

Photographs courtesy of richard.slaney@philharmonia.co.uk