In Friday’s (6/19) Baltimore Sun, Tim Smith writes about a new concert-program app, Octava, “aimed at enhancing the musical experience for listeners by delivering information via Wifi, synced with the music being played in the concert hall…. The app is being tested this month during concerts presented by the National Orchestral Institute in College Park [Maryland]. Audience members with Apple or Android tablets can purchase tickets in the Octava seating section, located in the back of the hall…. (Smart phone users are welcome, too, but limited testing has been done on phones.) … [There are] Octava program notes for 30 compositions so far, [chosen] from a list compiled by the League of American Orchestras of the most-performed orchestral works in this country…. Allowing tablets and cell phones to be used in concerts, even for music-enhancement purposes, is likely to generate a variety of reactions among concert-goers. But with audiences for most orchestras dwindling and aging, any venture with the potential to engage is just as likely to be taken seriously.” Also discussed are the Philadelphia Orchestra’s LiveNote app and an older app, Concert Companion, launched twelve years ago by Roland Valliere, president and CEO of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra.
Posted June 22, 2015