iOrchestra returns to Plymouth


A pioneering digital music project led by the Philharmonia Orchestra will return to Plymouth this April and May.

Inspired by the latest technology, iOrchestra offers people an amazing opportunity to step inside the beating heart of an orchestra.

As in 2014, when more than 16,500 Plymouth people took part in the experience, the project will visit a range of communities across the city before moving on to Torbay and Cornwall.  For the Plymouth leg, the project is supported by Plymouth City Council, Plymouth Youth Music Service and Plymouth Music Education Hub.

For 2015, iOrchestra will present Universe of Sound – a huge digital installation housed in a giant tent on Armada Way from Monday 27 April to Saturday 9 May.

Once inside the tent, visitors will be able to explore a virtual orchestra from the inside out as they perform Holst’s The Planets. They will be able to see each instrument up close, join in with the percussion section and even have a conducting lesson.

The tent will be open from 10am to 6pm each day free of charge.

From Monday 13 April to Saturday 9 May MusicLab, iOrchestra’s musical truck, will also be touring to different communities across the city. This free pop-up ‘play-and-create’ experience will enable people to step into the shoes of a horn, timpani, cello or clarinet player, as well as compose their own music and watch films about the orchestra.

MusicLab will visit North Prospect (13 to 18 April), Whitleigh (20 to 25 April), Efford (27 April to 2 May) and Stonehouse and Devonport (4 to 9 May). It will be open to the public from 3.30pm to 5.30pm each day and will also host a series of workshops for schools and community groups. On Monday 4 May the opening hours will be extended especially for the bank holiday and will run from 10.15am to 5.30pm.

On Saturday 9 May there’s a chance to hear the Philharmonia Orchestra itself live in concert at Plymouth Pavilions. Tickets for this event, which will start at 5pm, cost just £5 and can be purchased via the Pavilions website and box office.

An iOrchestra Fringe will also run this year in collaboration with the Plymouth University Orchestra, Take A Part and a range of other local organisations. The programme will feature dance events, a collaborative composition project, an animation project, guided tours, play-along sessions, workshops and live performances all inspired by Universe of Sound.

Deputy Council Leader Peter Smith said: “iOrchestra was a brilliant experience for everyone who attended last year. More than 12,000 visited the giant installation on Armada Way; over 2,000 people visited MusicLab and 1,500 music lovers enjoyed the live concert. Plymouth is very fortunate to play host to a project like this, which combines the latest technologies with a strong commitment to community engagement. I’m looking forward to seeing the MusicLab truck roll back into the city and the ‘Universe of Sound’ open on Armada Way. I’m sure this year’s event will be even more successful than the last.”

For full details see the iOrchestra website.