Bendana Rivas, Elvis Josue (2019-08). Creating an Interactive/Immersive Classical Music Concert. Master's Thesis.
Classical music is heavily characterized by tradition and conventions that shape and dictate the way is supposed to be performed. As a performer (classical guitarist and conductor) I've been looking for ways to negotiate the conventions of the classical music performance by readapting it to the technological and immersive/interactive demands of the 21st Century. Music can also be used to express and declare a social issue such as the migrant crisis we live today, without losing the music's original value but rather recontextualizing its message to the current events. I consider the stage as the big screen that frames our performances, but how can we enhance the audience experience with the use of technology, immersion and interaction? Also, if the traditional stage is a form of marginalization that creates separation between the audience (as individual and community) and the performers, how can we reshape it as a more inclusive arena? This research explores how, by adding theatre techniques (immersion and interaction) and media (big screens, animations, lights and photography) to classical music concerts, we can create a performance experience that connects with the audience and appeals to their reality, environment and emotions. The main premise behind these additions is that "people want to be engaged" and that empathy can be used to build and enhance the message of a performance to the audience. Therefore, I show how, through media, free roaming (not restricting audiences to chairs) and a focus on social issues, an immersive and interactive classical music experience can be an effective tool to engage audiences, provide a type of enjoyment that goes beyond the sonic layer, and be a form of social declaration and activism.