Birmingham Opera Company and John Peel’s archives to take part in digital arts project

GregJohnson February 28, 2012 0

Birmingham Opera Company has become one of 53 organisations, musicians and artists commissioned to take part in The Space, a new experimental digital arts platform in the UK.

It will give a multimedia live performance of Stockhausen’s Helicopter String Quartet as part of the programme, which aims to transform the way people connect with and experience arts and culture.

The idea is also to bring music and art to wider audiences and it is the brainchild of Arts Council England and the BBC, which have invested £3.5 million in the experiment.

It will run between May and October and will be viewed on a variety of formats including PCs, smartphones, tablets, connected TVs and via the Red Button on Freeview and digital channels.

The Birmingham Opera Company is not the only classical organisation to get involved. The Philharmonia Orchestra and the Science Museum in London will team up for a unique performance of Holst’s Planets Suite in which audiences can explore the role of each instrument in the orchestra.

Timing of The Space is not a coincidence. It has been organised in the run-up to the London Olympics to act as a showcase to the rest of the world as to the skills and capabilities of the UK’s arts sector.

According to Alan Davey, chief executive of Arts Council England, it “will stimulate a dramatic step change in skills development, creative learning and collaboration”.

Archives from the BBC will be a particularly attractive feature of the project for music fans, as it will turn legendary radio DJ John Peel’s record collection into an interactive online museum.

Thousands of CDs and records will be digitally recreated into the late DJ’s home studio in which users can interact with and contribute to. Peel’s personal notes and performances will also be uploaded onto the project.