Praeludium by Verbier Festival ECHO project © EPFL+ECAL Lab i
Praeludium is an experimental space, inspired by Masterclasses, to trace a link between past and future. The archive is a medium of discussion and exploration for our mainstage artists and young musicians from our Academy. For its first presentation in the summer of 2023, the experience investigates different artistic expressions representative of the Festival's programming: opera, chamber music, symphonic work. Thanks to a specifically designed interface, the works are explored in a new light for the audience. The sound installation allows, for example, to experience the sound as a musician positioned in the center of an orchestra, or lost in the audience at a good distance from the stage. These works that seem frozen to us, played in exactly the same way in all the concert halls are actually tinged with many nuances brought by the differences in the range of the singers' voices, the vision of the conductor, the energy of the orchestra, the sensitivity of the soloists... Thanks to algorithms and artificial intelligence, all these nuances can be isolated, transformed, recombined at will and discussed. In it’s final version, the Praeludium must above all be a place where we imagine the future of classical music and make it intelligible to a wider audience.
The Prealudium is mobile and adaptable. During the Festival, it hosts interactions between masters and young musicians: a small stage, an interface to interact with the archives associated with immersive screens and a musical recording and interview device. The rest of the year, Praeludium becomes an immersive, interactive and itinerant exhibition space to meet the public in prestigious places (Paris, New-York, Vienna, etc.). The stage disappears, replaced by interfaces that give access to the content produced by the musicians during the Festival.
The group is made up of a steering committee from the Verbier Festival, an artistic curator who is well acquainted with the festival, the EPFL CHC team (archivist, musicologist, digitization specialist, database developer) and EPFL+ECAL Lab team in charge of Praeludium development (designers, software development engineer, user experience specialist, technician, etc.).