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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Dr. The Collected Silence of Trondle

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The idea is fascinating: can it be scientifically proven how people feel when they attend a classical music concert? Martin Trondle thinks it’s possible. As a professor at the Zeppelin University of Friedrichshafen, he has been involved in audience research for a long time. He has now teamed up with the Berlin playwright and concert designer Folkert Uhde, the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, the Technical University of Dortmund, and the Psychiatric Services of the University of Bern to start a large-scale research project.

The hosts are Radialsystem at Ostbahnhof and Pierre Boulez Saal. Here, 1,200 subjects will listen to music while wearing a data glove and chest strap that provide information on respiratory rate and skin conductivity every second. Before the performances, they are not only wired, but asked about their age and previous knowledge, about their experiences and expectations. Another survey is carried out after the musical experience.

There are many theses on the subject of the concert experience.

Since 2016, Martin Tröndle and his team have been working on the gigantic interdisciplinary project, which is being financed with millions of dollars. When it comes to the question of which factors are particularly important for the success of a concert night, you will hear many different theses, explained Martin Tröndle at a press event at the Radialsystem on Thursday, depending on whether they are artists or organizers, sociologists, psychologists or musicians. critical: internal response, each with their individual experiences in mind.

The “Experimental Concert Research” project now aims to provide objective facts. The concerts at the Boulez Saal will take place on April 13 and 14, the series of concerts at the Radialsystem will begin on April 28.

The audience provides useful data in silence.

The complex technology developed especially for the research project is ready, now it is necessary to find “laboratory rats”, that is, people who are willing to provide the computer with a large amount of information while listening quietly. The same program is always offered with works by Beethoven, Brahms and Brett Dean, performed by a string quintet. The concerts are divided between two formations, a stellar cast around the cellist Alban Gerhardt and a young ensemble.

The form of performance changes from time to time, because the sequence of pieces is sometimes played very traditionally, sometimes enriched with light or video effects, sparingly explained, or even reinforced with a Dolby surround sound system. . Which version will be played on which night won’t be revealed in advance, so the listening experience begins with an open mind. We’re looking for people who can’t experience enough in the concert hall, as well as conservative classical music fans who think traditional rituals are justified. The price of admission is tempting: test subjects only pay six euros to enjoy the art.


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