Virtual Concert Hall

Two Concerts in the series «Close Distance», supported by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia

Musical performances are forms of community. The performance space hereby represents a vital point: this is where the musicians and the public come together, and communication happens within and between the stage and the hall. It builds a common place of experience. Yet, the concept of the meeting place becomes more and more encroached upon, due to the current pandemic’s call for more physical – and thereby social – distancing or due to the current difficulty of traveling.

For seven years, a team led by Matthias Ziegler and Patrick Müller have been grappling with the question of how to make spaces and performers – which are located in different places and connected over the internet –interact with each other in real time. This question has gained more relevance in the current situation – and more urgency as well, due to the new level in which people are physically separated from one another. The project «Virtual Concert Hall» is formed as a response to this need.

Concert August 20. 2020, 20.00 CEST

  • Franziska Baumann – voice and electronics, Bern
  • Gerry Hemingway – percussion, Luzern
  • Matthias Ziegler – flutes, Stäfa
  • Joel de Giovanni – video scenography and streaming, Zürich
  • Johannes Schütt – sound mixing and streaming, Diessenhofen
  • Patrick Müller – dramaturgy, zoom-barista, Zürich

Concert August 27. 2020, 20.00 CEST

  • Mark Dresser – double Bass, San Diego
  • Michael Dessen – trombone, Irvine California
  • Matthias Ziegler – flutes, Stäfa
  • Joel de Giovanni- video scenography and streaming, Zürich
  • Johannes Schütt – sound mixing and streaming, Diessenhofen
  • Patrick Müller – dramaturgy, zoom-barista, Zürich

Further information for your individual concert experience

Zoom-Bar open before and after each concert from 19:30 CEST: LINK ZUR ZOOM BAR
(Passwort 346471 – online on 27.08.2020, 19:30 Uhr)
Duration of concert: 30-40 minutes

Both concerts feature performances taking place in geographically separate spaces, from Bern, Luzern, Stäfa, Zürich, San Diego, and Irvine. The public can tune-in from their homes or from a location of their choosing.

In a normal streamed concert, there lacks a central element of the concert or theatre event: the presence of all participants in a room, a shared place of experience. Mutual, bidirectional communication between the stage and the hall, between the musicians and the public, becomes impossible

In the «Virtual Concert Hall», however, the logics of the space are re-worked in order to facilitate an allencompassingconcert experience and a shared common space. Accordingly, different parallel channels are opened over the Internet, which re-establishes the bidirectionality of the communication. Via videoscenography, a VJ drafts a logic of the involved spaces to facilitate meetings among the participants and performers, so as to create a multi-dimensional concert experience – even as those involved participate from different geographical locations

Before the beginning of each concert, at 19:30 CEST, the audience and the musicians will meet at the Zoom-Bar for an informal exchange. At 20:00 CEST, the concert can be experienced right here on this website, in the Virtual Concert Hall. The musicians are connected over a separate, low-latency network, where they can musically interact with each other. During the concert, the spontaneous reactions from the public (e.g. applause), will be shown in realtime to the musicians and the public, via Zoom. After the concert, whoever is up for it can meet at the Zoom-Bar again.

To make the full concert experience possible, we kindly ask you to «play along with us» and consider the following: Come join us at the Zoom-bar, if you want — perhaps you can already have a cold drink ready? Try to keep the background of your camera as dark as possible; any light should only shine from the front (from the perspective of your computer), onto your face.

Please feel free to send us a photo of how you experienced the virtual concert hall:

Documentation of the concert August 20.2020