What makes up the gigantic, imposing sound of a Bruckner symphony? Visitors explore the question playfully and interactively with Playing Anton – an innovative application for the Deep Space 8K at the Ars Electronica Center, developed by the Ars Electronica Futurelab. Here, the audience takes over the formation of the instrumental groups of the Bruckner Orchestra Linz and experiences various facets of the Scherzo from Bruckner’s 9th Symphony, enhanced by impressive 3D visualizations.
Playing Anton is part of the celebrations to mark the 200th birthday of the Upper Austrian composer Anton Bruckner. The Futurelab has also developed Being Anton, an immersive sound installation at the Ars Electronica Center – based around the world of sound that surrounded Bruckner.
Playing Anton allows the audience to immerse themselves visually and musically in Anton Bruckner’s impressive world of sound together with the Bruckner Orchestra Linz and interactively explore its special features. Not just as listeners, but right in the middle of the orchestra – supported by the 3D visuals, a unique experience that makes Bruckner’s work audible in its individual tonal parts and constantly opens up new combinations.
Conducting via tracking with the help of a professional
After all, visitors themselves control whether the violins, oboes or percussion should be in the foreground – by moving around the room. This is made possible by tracking points in Deep Space 8K, which are linked to individual instrument groups: The image and volume of the respective musicians change depending on the position of the visitors. As Playing Anton was implemented by the Futurelab as a multi-user application, the whole group can “play” the orchestra.
The visitors are conducted by Markus Poschner, Chief Conductor of the Bruckner Orchestra Linz since 2017, who is depicted life-sized in Deep Space 8K and invites the audience to join in. Attentive guests can tell from the beat when the next group of instruments is required, creating a particularly impressive experience of Bruckner’s 9th Symphony by striking the right balance.
Read more about Playing Anton and Being Anton in an interview with Arno Deutschbauer, Ali Nikrang and Norbert Trawöger on the Ars Electronica Blog:
Take a look at some of our other projects
From our never-ending list of ideas and concepts we have compiled a selection of works related to the topics addressed in this project. An overview of all our productions, cooperations and projects can be found in our continuously growing project archive.