Presence, absence, distance and intimacy: how do virtual classical music concerts rate against the wonders of the musical metaverse?
Teniswood-Harvey, A, Presence, absence, distance and intimacy: how do virtual classical music concerts rate against the wonders of the musical metaverse?, Proceedings of the 21st International Conference of Looking Popular: Representations of the Popular in Music Visual Culture, 29-31 July 2022, Prague, pp. 1 piece- abstract. (2022) [Keynote Presentation]
There is no question that the pandemic has challenged musicians to find alternative modes of performance that allow them to connect with remote audiences in a participatory, presentational (and ideally monetary) experience. In the classical realm, these attempts have largely focused on pre-recorded videos and the live-streaming of concerts held within venues ranging from private homes to established concert halls. Physical distancing, mask wearing, and empty seats are recurring motifs in this visual record, reinforcing the haunting sense of isolation that has characterised pandemic life for many people. The atmosphere of physical live performance is lost in translation. In contrast, the take-up of virtual reality by musicians working in more popular genres has seen a flourishing of new forms of virtual concerts that demand new ways of both making and experiencing music.