Orchestra Plays ‘Carmen’ Entirely on Mobile Devices [Video]

Led by conductor Libor Pesek, the orchestra features 60 musicians playing their parts on various smart devices, making use of 227 different devices that were linked together via Wi-Fi. They’re playing from Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen, based on the novella by Prosper Mérimée.

First the Bard on iPad and now an all-digital symphony?

Fans booed when Bob Dylan went electric in 1965, but in 2013 in the Czech Republic no one seemed to bat an eye when the Czech National Symphony Orchestra one-upped Dylan by also going mobile.

Publicis Conseil introduces BNP Paribas’ “Hello Bank!” which claim to be Europe’s first fully-digital mobile bank, with a smart orchestra stunt.

The Czech National Symphony Orchestra recently worked on an ad for an “all-digital” bank by rendering the classic “Carmen” using —you guessed it— all-digital instruments.

The 2 1/2-minute spot shows Czech conductor Libor Pesek stepping up to the Prague Public Theatre podium while musicians pull mobile devices from their pockets and behind their chairs — some stacked to appear like flutes, horns and cellos — to play Georges Bizet’s famed piece.

As part of a stunt to promote a new “all-digital” bank in Europe called Hello Bank!, BNP Paribas and ad agency B-Roll wired up 60 musicians with smartphones and tablets for a rousing rendition of “Carmen.”

While it might look staged, the agency also released a behind-the-scenes video showing just how the phones and tablets were hooked up to 227 different interfaces, and linked together via WiFi.

An article posted on the website Creativity Online said the “smart orchestra stunt” was created in collaboration with master production company B-Reel and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra.

In the ad, the Czech National Symphony Orchestra earned a standing ovation for their special rendition where they strummed and tapped on touchscreens instead of the usual musical instruments.

“It’s amazing what you can do with a mobile … Now you can have your bank in your mobile,” read the English version of the ad, which posted on YouTube May 15.

This is great for a lot of reasons. First, the kind of planning, testing, and skill involved on the parts of the conductor, every musician and technician, the higher-ups at the production company and the spot’s producers is staggering.

The experiment lends itself to any number of things going wrong, from dropped connections to misuse of the touchscreen controls by trained orchestra musicians. And second, how often do you see a stunt like this go off without a hitch?

The technology is there right now for video-chatting between any number of device types, with new phone and tablet options popping up all the time.

So whether you’re sitting on a concert stage with 59 other musicians or participating in an online college discussion with any number of other students logging in from all over the world, these large-scale presentations utilizing Wi-Fi are no less achievable than any other kind of collaborative effort, says Digital Trends.

The video indicated the rendition was made last April 30.

The point: You and your mobile device can make beautiful music together. Or something.

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