Wednesday 5 December 2012

Universe of Sound - The Planets Remix

The Universe of Sound was a brilliant installation/exhibition which enabled visitors to experience what it was like to be really inside an orchestra whilst it was playing Holst's The Planets (see my review of the exhibition at the Science Museum). At the centre of the installation was an HD recording made by Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia with films being made from various points of view within the orchestra. Now these are available on-line at The Space, the Arts Council's digital download site.

The recording used 39 cameras to re-create the performance from various points of view within the orchestra. Each of these is available on the web-site, and via a grid of images and icons, you can hear what it is like from each of the orchestral sections (brass, wind, strings etc), but also you can select your own points of view (or let the system give you a random one). It is all great fun and I must say that once I got the hang of it, I spent hours playing with ti.

As an ex-orchestral player, the different points of view are not so much a novelty, but for the ordinary audience member this will be useful but rather fun tool. Not only are The Planets available, but also Jody Talbot's Worlds, Stars, Systems, Infinity, a companion piece to The Planets which was commissioned from Talbot.

You can get further information from the Philharmonia's Universe of Sound website and from

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