Shanghai orchestra allies with art collective teamLab for immersive experiences

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/12 19:13:40

Shanghai orchestra allies with art collective teamLab

A musician performs at the Borderless Shanghai amid a storm of colorful digital "butterflies." Photo: Courtesy of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra

A musician performs at the Borderless Shanghai. Photo: Courtesy of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra

With works from classical composers such as Bach, Beethoven and Debussy, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra transformed the Borderless Shanghai, Japanese art and technology collective teamLab's second museum following its venue in Tokyo, into a packed music hall on Friday and Saturday nights. The only difference from traditional performances was that these were accompanied by projected digital images such as blooming flowers, swimming fish and leaping animals.  

Seeking to push the limits of classical music, the orchestra sent a team of its musicians including a violinist, harpist and clarinetist to stage performances while at the heart of various digital installations. 

In a hall featuring the work Fall of Flowers, harp player Chen Lei chose to perform "Song from a Secret Garden" from Rolf Lovland as well as some music from famed Japanese animator Miyazaki Hayao's films considering the large number of children in attendance. 

"The fall was filled with floating water and the music of the harp. It was a great match. I felt like I was performing out in nature; such a wonderful experience," Chen said, adding that she found it a relaxing performance with "close interactions and almost zero distance with the audience." 

For Dai Le, the clarinetist performer, performing as colorful butterflies flew around her was something "fantastic and magical." 

Choosing to wear a white dress instead of the traditional black dress worn in music halls, she noted that her choice of music, the joyful "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of OZ, was a perfect fit. 

Opened in November, 2019, the Borderless Shanghai has received thousands of visitors, providing them with a mesmerizing world of color, scenery and unusual concerts. The artworks exhibited at the museum do not only interact with each other, but also move in accordance with visitors' movements. 

Due to its popularity and outstanding visuals, the Mori Building Digital Art Museum in Tokyo has edged past Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum and the Museo Picasso in Barcelona in number of visitors. 

The concerts are the orchestra's latest attempt to reach a broader audience by incorporating classical music into people's daily lives. 

"We are expecting a bright future for classic music with all the things that we can do. Combining classic music with other art genres and allowing them to meet to build something new and unique, in return will introduce some new inspirations to the classic world," said Zhou Ping, president of the Shanghai Sympathy Orchestra.

Newspaper headline: Music & magic

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