“Scores of cellular phones trilled and twittered, beeped and burbled all at once inside a concert auditorium in this community outside Chicago. The orchestra onstage was unfazed. The composer was delighted.”
"Paul Freeman, the group’s music director, told the audience beforehand, “This is a great moment in history, when we can say to you, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, turn on your cellphones.’”
[via NY Times]
David N. Baker, a composer and professor of music at Indiana University, made history with his Concertino for Cellular Phones and Symphony Orchestra. Baker found a new way to make the audience a part of his music, excite and entice them. Instead of fighting what lately seems like a lost battle againt mobile phones ringing during concerts, he found a way to reverse the effects of the worst enemy of live performances – the ringing mobiles.
Previously, scholar Todd Gitlin wrote that one of the ways media and culture cope with undefeated enemies is by taming them. The hegemonical culture provides the shrew a stage to convey its message but only within a limited space\time-frame and under the mediation of the hegemonical culture. In this example, we see Classical Music aknowledging one of its biggest enemies, the mobile music (short in length, pop in its nature, digital…). Classical Music attempts to contain it inside but under limitations - the maestro (or the composer) decides when the ringtone will ring.
-So who’s higher in hierarchy…? -Right. :)
P.S. You can also check out the NY Times audio slide show of the concert.