Upcoming student project: making the Nalle concert format more co-creative

Teddy bear with headphones

Teddy bear with headphones. Credit Flickr user Elisa R Baralt CC:BY-SA

How can Malmö Symphony Orchestra’s Nalle concert format be made more collaboratively co-creative? This is a question that interaction design masters students at the School of Arts and Communication, Malmö University, will explore for a few weeks during spring 2014.

Text: Erling Björgvinsson.

Malmö Symphony Orchestra (MSO) has developed a children’s concert format called Nallekonserten (the Teddy Bear Concert). The concert, where children bring their favorite teddy bear, is highly popular and an opportunity for parents, grandparents and children to have a shared cultural experience. Each concert has a specific theme. The 2013 themes were Nalle in Traffic and Nalle’s Christmas Concert. During the spring of 2014, the themes will be Nalle and Niklas meet Alfons Åberg, Nalle in Space, and Nalle Invites You to a Party.

MSO, together with the Musical Experience Design research project, is interested in deepening the relationship with its audience and explore how they can become more actively engaged co-creators. Researchers Erling Björgvinsson and Marie Ehrndal, project coordinator Karolina Rosenqvist, producer Gabriella Bergman, composer Nicklas Schmidt, and designer and programmer Rikard Lundstedt are for the theme Nalle in Space developing a musical experience where the children – before the concert – can make melodies in a space-sequencer optimized for mobile phones. By controlling planetary movements, activating meteorites that disturb the composition, and by recording ssound that are launched into space in the form of satellites, the children are given the opportunity to compose their own space melodies. Some of these space melodies will be played during the concert.

Although optimized for the Nalle in Space theme, MSO and Musical Experience Design would like you to explore how the Nalle format can be made more collaboratively co-creative. (The current Nalle format developed focuses to a large extent on single-user experience and mainly through pre-produced music).

Central questions to address are:

  • In what ways could children engage in collaborative and physical musical experiences?
  • Are different co-creative productions formats needed for the children, or can a format be developed where different age groups – including parents and grandparents – can participate together in creating and composing music?
  • How can the experience be stretched out in time and space so that it includes musical creation and experiences before, during, and after the concert?
  • What dramaturgical, narrative, and pedagogical formats are needed for an engaging experience?

Also read about the student project Expanding the relationship between the Royal Danish Theatre and gymnasium students.

Further reading: Malmö University student projects 2013 – Four concepts that strengthen the relationship between institution and audience.