At the third Essentials evening at the Concertgebouw we presented our first PHENICX experience around Beethovens Eroica conducted by Ivan Fischer to a dedicated audience. Besides this first full ‘post-live’ experience, we also experimented with a first full live experience around Strauss’ Alpensinfonie, presenting timed text for three different experience levels, a live score follower and an artistic impression of the live music, all designed as tablet (web)app.
The third test was the ultimate live tracker experiment. The Alp Symphony contains multiple ‘soundscapes’ where it is extremely complicated to detect the exact location in the piece. It was also the first attempt to present more artistic visualisations.
The symphony is actually a story about a walk through the Alps. With the help of director Joost Honselaar the consortium presented old black and white video footage to support the storyline of the music. These video’s were presented as animated GIFs during each part of the symphony.
To complete the full PHENICX experience, we also presented timed text to guide listeners through the piece. This timed text was differentiated in three different knowledge levels: beginner, intermediate and expert. Depending on the settings the user was presented different explanations throughout the whole performance.
The results were both promosing and confronting. Confronting in the way that offering too much was percepted as, well… too much. Switching between text, artistic impression and score follower was quite distractive from the actual live experience. But promosing in the way that different users appreciated the different options during the performance.
This first public test is not enough to draw too strong conclusions. We will however take these results into account while adding the other planned features in the full pre-live-post experience.