Mention the word ‘proms’ to most people under 30 and you can see them groan inwardly. Images of stale, stuffy baby boomers, imprisoned in formal wear and half-an-inch of powder makeup are visible in their eyes, whilst their nostrils twitch for the first trace of lavender and denture fixative to become apparent.
But this is Bristol, a city with an international reputation for innovation and technology, blending genres and influences from far-reaching corners of the art world. Why should the proms be any different? Here, one of the bastions of classical music is about to go digital. Of course digital audio is nothing new, and the Proms has always been famous for its quality of music. The difference is the digital they’re talking about is visual. Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to literally see the music come alive in front of you as a Bristol digital media studio meets Handel on stage.
One of the creative influences behind these experimental proms is Bristol Old Vic’s Tom Morris, who says he has always wanted to see what would happen if “theatre and classical music were to explore the collaborative potential that exists between them”.
The collaboration between the Bristol Proms, the Watershed Pervasive Media Studio and Universal Music Group is an excellent indicator of a city that combines classic media with cutting edge delivery mediums to provide businesses and audiences alike with exciting new interpretations of timeless art.
One of the highlights of the Proms is expected to be a performance by Young Musician of the Year Nicola Benedetti. The renowned violinist will be combining her performance with danceroom Spectroscopy, a fusion of 3D imaging and quantum mechanics to transform them into energy fields.
The Bristol-based project has more information on danceroom Spectroscopy, but this will mark the first time it has been incorporated into a classical music performance.
Integrating technology into classical design has been a long-held belief of ours, and as progress dissolves the boundaries between websites, apps and augmented reality, we feel there is a duty amongst those developing it that the inherent beauty of design isn’t sacrificed in the name of functionality. Essentially if it works in an ugly way then that isn’t our way, just as there is nothing beautiful in something failing in its purpose. Collaboration with our clients and partners are what provides our inspiration and through this we can design a future together.