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 2. The full version of this text was originally published on pages 14-29 in the book ‘How the Lion Learned to Moonwalk’, which summarizes the Designing Classical Music Experiences project.
Weaving Audience Engagement: Classical Music, Design, and Democracy
Author: Erling Björgvinsson, PhD, senior lecturer in interaction design, School of Arts and Communication, Malmö University, Sweden.
“How can the orchestra, an organization that is rooted in the past, find an authentic voice in the modern world?”
Uffe Savery, CEO, Copenhagen Phil.
“These old and prestigious institutions need to become more democratic and better connected to the outside world”
Dorte Grannov Balslev, outreach manager, Royal Danish Theatre.
The question raised by Uffe Savery and the declaration by Dorte Grannov Balslev is what the Designing Classical Music Experiences project has investigated. These issues are central as symphony orchestras, just as many other cultural institutions, are having a tough time. During the last years, several orchestras across Europe have seen sizeable cuts, and a few orchestras have even been closed down. The issues raised are central also because they raise questions on how to think of – and work with – the relationship between organization and art, between art and audiences, and between the past and the present.
The above quotes – and the title, purpose, aims, and vision of the project (see chapter 1) – point at how musical experience design is entangled in organizational issues related to, for example, what new audiences to reach and why, what experiences are to be created, how that is to be achieved, and how mediated communication can interweave with them. Given the project’s ambition, it is not the least necessary to address what the words experience and democracy can mean, as they strongly shape what is considered meaningful.
In what follows, these issues will be addressed from three perspectives: Media and communication, audience engagement, and organization. These perspectives are interwoven, but are here discussed from three different angles so as to bring forth different aspects of the work that has been carried out. To put our insights into perspective, however, a very short overview of audience development and audience engagement, and a discussion on experience and democracy, is first put forth.