How the Lion Learned to Moonwalk
And Other Stories on How to Design for Classical Music Experiences
TABLE OF CONTENTS | 1. Introduction | 2. Weaving Audience Engagement | 3. Creating Visual Design and Meaningful Audience Experiences | 4. Teddy in Space | 5. Shadow Play | 6. The World Online Orchestra | 7. Joystick | 8. A Concert with Striking Force | 9. Lots of Brass, Lots of Colors | 10. Opus Lux | 11. Epilogue
CHAPTER 11. This text was originally published on pages 92-93 in the book ‘How the Lion Learned to Moonwalk’, which summarizes the Designing Classical Music Experiences project.
Epilogue: Together we know and can do more than alone
Author: Karolina Rosenqvist, project manager.
Just like a game of Cat’s Cradle, this project has been all about weaving together. It has been a two-year process of exploring new forms of relationships, knowledge, and experiences between the project partners and the audiences we have worked with. This process has been characterized by a mutual interest and mutual learning when developing and testing new concepts.
The result of our work has shown that new forms of collaborations between different types of stakeholders, and engaging the audiences in the development processes, have great potential. The partner constellation – philharmonic orchestras, universities, audiences, and external partners – has contributed to new knowledge and experiences that would not have been accomplished without engaging in co-production. To return to the Cat’s Cradle analogy, many figures can be made on your own, but developing more interesting, complex, and challenging compositions demand more hands. Together we know and can do more than we can alone.
There have been many challenges working in co-production between stakeholders with quite different internal cultures and practices. Reorganizations, personnel shifts, and organizational priorities have in various ways influenced the project.
I would like to thank the steering committee for constantly trying to find solutions to problems, and for your devotion to bring the project forward. Thanks to all project economists who have struggled with hourly reports and spreadsheets. Thanks to the European Union Interreg IVA ÖKS, Region Skåne, and the Danish Arts Foundation for believing in and funding the project.
I would also like to thank all the musicians, producers, outreach developers, communication managers, stage technicians, and frontline staff at the cultural institutions. Without your competence and dedication, this project would not have been possible. Thanks to all researchers, developers, and students at the universities – you have been invaluable. Thanks to all external actors: Organizations, companies, and individuals for your engagement and will to explore. And, not least, thanks to all the audiences, the approximately 24,000 people who have participated and engaged in our tests.
Finally, I would like to conclude with a personal reflection. Cultural institutions are not funded to give the audiences precisely what the audiences want. This is one of the differences between being a cultural institution and a commercial organization – a cultural institution needs to make room for disparities and conflicts. Audience engagement and experience design should not be reduced to a marketing strategy for selling more tickets. Working collaboratively across institutional borders and knowledge domains, on a long-term basis and with a diversity of stakeholders and audiences, can create more sustainable methods. It could be the modus operandi for any cultural institution that sees itself as a reflective contributor to society.