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Beethoven in Bermondsey

Aurora Orchestra’s immersive site-specific performance of Beethoven 7 (from memory) will be on at Printworks London.

The orchestra is teaming up with Printworks London – once home to the largest printing presses in Western Europe – and German audio specialists d&b audiotechnik to present Inside Beethoven on Thursday 11 November. Curated to immerse all senses in Beethoven’s classical masterpiece, audiences of up to 1000 will be invited on a journey into the heart of the orchestral experience.
In 2014 Aurora became the first orchestra in history to present an entire symphony from memory. Since then, it has continued to embrace this intensely communicative style of musical performance. Inside Beethoven marks a major development of the orchestra’s memorised performance strand, harnessing the vast scale of the Printworks Press Hall and cutting-edge technology to offer audiences the unique opportunity to experience a symphony from within the orchestra.
Aurora co-founder and Principal Conductor Nicholas Collon will conduct a pair of concerts representing not only the first symphonic performances in the history of the 16-acre industrial building in Canada Water, but also a radically new way of experiencing orchestral music.
With the orchestra exploded across the space, audience members will be able to experience the symphony from inside, getting up close to the orchestra’s players as they perform in ways that would be impossible in a concert hall. Also exploded in time, movements of the symphony will be interspersed with sound and light installations, enabling audience members to uncover the secrets of the building and choose their own path through this great work. For experienced concertgoers and classical newcomers alike, this event will offer a completely fresh and revelatory take on Beethoven’s music.
The events feature the d&b Soundscape, creating a ‘virtual acoustic shell’ provided by Southby Productions. It’s d&b’s most cutting-edge technology that allows the orchestra to perform across a much larger space than would ordinarily be possible, whilst accurately retaining the naturally immersive sound, making for a harmonious, enveloping and emotionally engaging listening experience.
Aurora’s performance at Printworks is supported by the Royal Philharmonic Society Audience Fund in association with the Rachel Baker Memorial Charity. 
Aurora Orchestra Chief Executive John Harte said: “We’re thrilled to be teaming up with Printworks to realise a long-held ambition to physically envelope an audience in an orchestral symphony.  Since starting to perform from memory in 2014, we’ve often been struck by the idea that it would be great to take advantage of the absence of music stands and chairs to give listeners a much more immersive experience of an orchestral concert than is usually possible.  Printworks offers the space and the d&b Soundscape the technical capabilities which we needed to bring the idea to life – we can’t wait to see how the experiment unfolds.”
Inside Beethoven: Printworks, Surrey Quays Rd, London SE16 7PJ takes place on Thursday 11 November, 6.00pm-8.00pm & 9.00pm-11.00pm with tickets costing £16.50. For more information and to book tickets visit https://www.auroraorchestra.com/event/printworks/

Here’s a trailer for the event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qinOy9_BLm0

Photo: Harry Cawthorne

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