The Stanford Mobile Phone Orchestra

by Emilio Pérez Miguel on December 13, 2009

How does technology and traditionalism have been getting on lately? Leaving aside Robert Murdoch’s ongoing battle with search engines so that print media will retain its inherent force and exclusivity, I think that the year was a good one in terms of bringing together ends that might always have been deemed as too opposite. Of course, it was the year of social media (“unfriend” was voted the word of the year by the Oxford University Press), and it was a year in which we saw Twitter crowned as the supplest way to spread news – the plane landing in the River Hudson, the elections in Iran…

And where does music stand in all this? Obviously, social media has modified the way people promote and market music. I just don’t think that CDs and physical music would become a thing of the past anytime soon (look here), but there is a clearly new portion of music consumers that grows exponentially, and that is already colossal (IE, young people taken as a whole). And now, a new development has taken place when it comes to the actual performing of music.

Last Thursday (3rd of December) a previously unheard feat took place when a small group of students performed using solely their iPhones. They have dubbed themselves “The Stanford Mobile Phone Orchestra” (MoPhO). The only other pieced that they employed were gloves that functioned as speakers.

Just to think of the possibilities this could bring about is certainly exciting. But what do you think – is this applicable to genres such as rock and roll? If it were, gestures like the one The Who established long ago would lose a lot of fun. One hit and it’s all over!

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