. Interchanging Idioms: Is there Still Interest in Playing with a Symphony Orchestra? TwtrSymphony Says YES

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Is there Still Interest in Playing with a Symphony Orchestra? TwtrSymphony Says YES

From the first conversations in early March to the end of April, queries from musicians wanting to join the ranks of TwtrSymphony have poured in.


The demand for opportunities to play in a symphony orchestra is obviously strong world wide. TwtrSymphony is a volunteer orchestra. At this early stage we are unable to pay musicians and composers anything for their talents or hard work. We don't have a concert hall to publish pretty pictures of our ensemble on stage. We don't have any of the trappings of a normal symphony orchestra. What we do have is the chance to play music with an orchestra. But even that is limited as all the musicians are recording their own parts in remote recording sessions. So, we don't even have the thrill of hearing the entire ensemble play together. And yet...

Within the first week we had so many requests from musicians wanting to join TwtrSymphony, we had to hold auditions. By then end of the first month over 250 musicians had applied, where a core group of 53 were finally accepted. The trend didn't stop there. All through the month of April we've been approached by musicians wanting to play in our ensemble. Over a hundred new musicians asked to be a part of the process in April, even though we don't have anything to show for our efforts yet. Our first track is still in the process of mixing the parts together, with the second movement of the symphony just getting to the musicians.

So, what's the enticement?

Part of the thrill is getting to work with musicians from around the world.

"The primary reason I play in the TwtrSymphony is the ability to connect with musicians who share my interest in a new way to perform and a new way to reach audiences." - Sarah Richardson

TwtrSymphony is all about connecting musicians regardless of location. Not only are they making music together, but many of them have become Twitter friends, sharing thoughts and ideas on other projects as well. A couple of our musicians met in person and are playing together this weekend.

"As soon as I heard about the opportunity to play great music and connect with musicians from all over, I jumped on board. It's so exciting that we are creating art in the virtual world, and one musician at a time records and forms an entire orchestra." - Manoela Wunder

The technology is also interesting for a number of the musicians.
"I am really interested in the possibilities presented with the concept of a remote orchestra - Something that wouldn't have been technologically possible five or ten years ago. Music is meant to be heard and @Twtrsymphony is a creative approach to getting good music performed and better yet, heard." - Sean Greene

We are creating a sound that is 100% live and yet, 100% virtual. The process we're using is still in the infant stages of development, as we're making changes all the time to try and get a more cohesive sound, while allowing musicians the flexibility of location and working around their other commitments. While the first two tracks were recorded using a midi generated click track, the third will likely use a live drummer creating the initial pulse. The fourth and final movement is still under discussion as to how it will be approached, in an attempt to get a more responsive feel to the music.

Some musicians are using the process to stay in shape. Performing to a click track is demanding as precision is imperative. Recording yourself is also very revealing. All the little flaws come glaring out in a recording. Many of the musicians have commented on how illuminating the recordings have been in terms of improving their day to day playing.
"These days I make mostly electronic dance music, so this orchestra is a way for me to keep my chops in shape, and also have fun." - Robert Perlick-Molinari

"...anybody claiming to play the first take correctly is pulling your leg." - Matt Erion

TwtrSymphony is a lot of work. Though some of the musicians can accomplish their recordings in one day; no one gets through it with just one take. The music is challenging with mixed meter and odd time signatures, but it's more than that. The precision required by remote sessions means several musicians have been asked to redo one section or another because of slight timing issues. There have been no complaints. Everyone has been the consummate professional about the process, jumping right in to re-record wanting to get the music right. It wouldn't be worth all the pain if it wasn't also fun.
"The main reason is that I love to play, and the music represents a leading part of my life." - Ettore Rivarola

If you want to know more about our musicians and what they're staying about TwtrSymphony follow this Twitter List.


As a composer, I'm thrilled to be working with TwtrSymphony. While I have pieces being performed around the world, I seldom get the chance to compose for a specific group of this size --a full orchestra.
"Composers today face the challenge of getting their music played, I want to be a part of this." - Elyssa Gilmar
Orchestra commissions are rare as symphony orchestras are pressured to play the classics for a bulk of their concert season. TwtrSymphony was created to explore new orchestral music. Right now my music is being featured. The future is wide open and I hope what we create with TwtrSymphony can eventually benefit composers around the world the same way it is now benefiting musicians.








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