Distributed orchestra, part 2

Continuing my post from yesterday, I envision a concert in which you are asked to purchase tickets with your cellphone. Once you have been assigned a seat, the creators of the concert have a way of mapping your seat number to your cellphone number.

This information becomes, in effect, a spatial map, in which a text message to a particular cellphone is a message to a precise seat in the auditorium. Which enables all sorts of exciting possibilities.

For example, sounds can be made to flow, circulate, or ricochet around the room. As an audience member you can experience a wave of sound move through you — or circle around you.

Up on the stage an image can be projected which shows where each instrument (or other source of sound) is located in the audience. Audience cellphones can be made not just to play music, but to laugh, shout, caugh, or call out a word or phrase, and any of these utterances can flow through the space, as they are made to successively emanate from one cellphone in the audience after another.

Meanwhile, the “conductor” is interacting with the projected on-stage image to visibly manipulate the image of cellphone locations, thereby giving audience members a visual representation of the waves of moving localized sound that they are hearing flow through them.

I think it will be an entirely new kind of concert experience.

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