Google is everywhere, we all know that. Being the most important and used search engine was never enough. Now their latest idea (through their acquisition: Youtube) is to create the world’s very first collaborative online orchestra. The plan is simple: to get musicians from all over to audition for a classical music piece composed by Tan Dun by downloading the appropriate music sheets (corresponding to their instrument of choice), performing and recording themselves with a digital camera and uploading those recordings as submissions to participate in the orchestra.
Submissions opened yesterday and will go on up to the 28th on January. The youtube community will be asked to vote for the semi-finalists from the 14th to the 22th of February. The finalists will perform a concert at the Carnegie hall in April, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, the music director of the San Francisco Symphony. Tan Dun will release a compilation of all the audition-videos in a YouTube mashup. Apparently Google will arrange for visas and pay costs.
Classical music auditions usually involve months of preparation, very unhealthy doses of stress to finally play in front of a couple of musical geniuses and masters of musical theory and analysis. With this Google/Youtube method you’ll still have to deal with the prep, but with less stress.
If they get a big community on board, Tan Dun’s piece might get global attention leading to a very tight competition.
If this works, and it probably will (better than we think), I don’t see why it wouldn’t open up a new trend for professional classical musicians and orchestra managers.
Wonder if pre-recorded videos could work for a typical rock band’s audition…
(The New York Times has more).