The concert was a great success!
As I announced in my previous newsletter
, on May 22, 2016, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
performed a multimedia concert where they played live to a variety of animations, including my visual music piece of Khachaturian's bona fide classical hit Sabre Dance
. (I even shared the program with Beethoven!)
My piece was the first of the well-attended afternoon concert. (The historic church
was largely filled). The conductor, Michael Butterman
, first played the piece in its entirety without the fil
m. He then addressed the audience, inviting them to imagine what the music "looks like". It was a family-oriented concert, so quite a few kids offered their ideas, which included things like fairies, cars, and Bugs Bunny. He then invited me onstage for a short introductory interview to discuss how I approached creating the animation to visualize the music they had just heard. Then the RPO performed it again, this time with the animation, using Ion Concert Media's Mus�ik
application to sync the visuals to the conductor's tempi.
The response was excellent. As reported to me afterwards, people, adults and children alike, sat transfixed, mouths agape, in a state of wonderment. It was most gratifying to hear this. After the concert I was approached by quite a few people -- audience members as well as musicians -- to extend their compliments and inquire further about this visual music thing I do.
Once the hall emptied and the musicians departed Scott Winters of Ion Concert Media led the conductor through the application. (I had tried it myself at a previous meeting with Scott. The app is surprisingly friendly.) The conductor thought it a brilliant and liberating tool: he hates conducting to a click track, which forces him to slavishly synchronize his performance to the film. He claimed the technology was something he long wished for, a way to freely conduct his own interpretation to a film's score
, and here it was! Apparently, and unsurprisingly, this is a wish shared by many conductors (indeed, probably all of them), which is why this sort of technology is poised for great success as word spreads.
Michael also shared his thoughts about concerts of the future featuring truly immersive technologies such as stereoscopy and even virtual reality. This pleased me immensely, since this has always been my ultimate vision for this kind of art: to have music envelope you, to actually be in
The concert confirmed that this is the wave of the future. More and more music organizations -- and audiences -- are interested in just these kinds of multimedia performances, and musicians and audiences alike understand and respond enthusiastically to the visual music.
I've come to believe that it's conceivable that I might be able to make a living doing what I've always dreamt of doing, perhaps even starting up a little studio dedicated to the creation of visual music intended for live concert performance. Now I just need to get those commissions rolling in... (Which it was hinted might happen... But, after all my years in the movie industry, I don't believe anything until the ink is dry.)
Overall, it was a great experience.
PS After the concert my wife and I walked around Rochester, since we'd never been there. What a great city! I definitely look forward to visiting it again.