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Guest Post: Sound Lounge 21 on Universe of Sound

Rumer Cooper [RC]: Yesterday, Yulia and I had the opportunity to shadow Lyle (THSH Communications) and help with managing media (ITV, BBC, Express & Star, Scratch Radio and others) at the first launch of Universe Of Sound: The Planets in Birmingham’s Municipal Bank.

RC: The installation is the brainchild of the Philharmonia Orchestra, who with over 1000 recordings, a number of digital projects and with performances across the globe, are one of the world’s most renowned classical organisations. Both of us enjoyed speaking to media and members of the public, and the morning offered a great opportunity to promote our Sound Lounge 21 festival, which is currently being developed and will take place in August 2013.

Becoming a part of the music at the installation was an unusual and exciting experience for me. I’d never played the instruments which feature in Universe of Sound: The Planets before, and I’m not very familiar with classical music either. Much to my surprise I really enjoyed it all! As Yulia is a musician, she was able to share her expertise and was confident when using different instruments to capturing the right sounds.

YS: I was enthused by being so close to the orchestra – not as part of the audience, but becoming one with the orchestra itself!

RC: Something I liked about Universe Of Sound: The Planets was having the chance to go at our own pace, and become involved as and when we liked through so many projections and screens in various spaces and at many different sizes. It was a very personal experience for us. Throughout our entire time at the installation launch, there was an exhilarating, welcoming and rapturous atmosphere, with many people absorbed in the world of classical music, or perhaps that’s just the magic of the Philharmonia Orchestra?

RC: Studying Media & Creative Production at BOA has given me the confidence to pursue conversations with technical operators and camera crews – I enjoyed speaking about editing, how installations are set up, the effect an installation has on a certain place and how dark surroundings can make a picture become more vibrant.

YS: From a performers perspective I wanted to become more involved, by bringing my own instrument, (this is something THSH and the Philharmonia Orchestra highly recommend), as the surrounding sounds from every corner of the space enticed and inspired me. As a passionate music fan and player, becoming heavily involved in the virtual activities enabled me to learn new skills and become closer to something that I love.

– Rumer Cooper and Yulia Spirina, Sound Lounge 21 festival project team members

Universe of Sound: The Planets, at Birmingham Municipal Bank, runs between Saturday 25 May and Sunday 16 June 2013.

Image: Adam Yosef/I Am Birmingham