Augmented Reality Concert Experience Announced by New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composer’s Program and Chromic Duo

Augmented reality concert experience was announced by New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composer’s Program and Chromic Duo. The project is titled  “Emerald Futures” and is starting on July 2, 2021. 

New York Philharmonic Very Young Composers Program is a afterschool program through the School Partnership Program for grades 7-10, the Very Young Composer’s Program exposes students to the instruments of the orchestra, nurtures their inherent creativity, and culminates with original works performed by members of the Philharmonic.

Chromic Duo are an award-winning electronic toy piano duo that brings new audiences together by creating new connections between classical music, electronics, and multimedia. They are “Tackling large issues with toy pianos.” They push the possibilities of genres and performance by recontextualizing classical music in multimedia work inspired by the multitudes as third-culture-kids discovering their voice within the vast Asian American diaspora. 

The Chromic Duo curtsy of their website.

How this “Emerald Futures” project will work is the performance of the original compositions from young composers ages 12-16 from the New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composer’s Program will be mixed with a sound walk through New York City which will create this augmented experience. The augmented reality experience will be available to anyone who would like to participate via the app Gesso which will be available on iOS and Android.

This “Emerald Futures” project will create music and storytelling experience using the walk to give listeners a multi-sensory experience while they explore the city immersing themselves in the sounds of original compositions. The scripted audio sound walk will lead listeners on a path through the city from New York’s Central Park to the Lincoln Center using a GPS trigger to create site-specific concert experiences. The experience come to a close with Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya’s “We Belong Here” mural as a moment of reflection and response to ending AAPI hate. This augmented reality concert experience will be accessible to the public at any time after it’s release on July 2, 2021. 

“We Belong Here” mural

The Chromic Duo is made up of Lucy Yao and Dorothy Chan. They both are first and second-generation Asian Americans themselves care greatly about reflecting and responding to ending AAPI hate that has been growing during the COVID-19 pandemic which is the reasoning behind ending the experience at the “We Belong Here” mural. 

The duo hopes that this reflective music and narration will allow people to immerse themselves in an experience that brings to light the stories and perspectives of people and communities around them so that they can be inspired to respond based on empathy instead of biased judgment. Lucy Yao spoke about the project saying, “We also hope to inspire the young composers of this program to lean into their curiosities, and always be questioning and challenging the norms of how things came to be. We often ask ourselves, ‘how can we use music as a positive force and tool to bring people together?’ Music has the power to take your perceived biases and understanding of the world and challenge them.” 

For more information on the “Emerald Futures” project visit the New York Philharmonic Very Young Composers website.

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