I decided to give some more thought to the Liverpool Philharmonic’s Second Life adventure. One of the questions at the post concert Q&A was if the orchestra had made any money with this concert. The short answer was a no. I can only imagine it actually cost the orchestra quite a bit to produce the Second Life portion of the concert. But although it didn’t amass any ticket sales, the Second Life concert was well worth its expenditure. It put, at least for me, the Liverpool Philharmonic on the map of orchestras. The Guardian’s Guy Dammann writes:
“From a PR standpoint, the virtual concert idea was an unprecedented triumph – can you remember another time when an otherwise routine concert announcement made the news pages of the all the main UK dailies?”
(I’m the avatar on the right, with the black suit, in his snapshot from the concert). Guy Dammann writes more:
“It was the much-vaunted community feel of Second Life, whereby an event is marked more by its fostering of a kind of virtual being-together than by the actual quality of what is currently on offer, that was in many respects the main victor on the night.”
I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Dammann. As I wrote in my previous post, I ended up talking, unknowingly, to a New York Times reporter. I also briefly spoke to a Dutch man who lived in Australia. Would this happen at a real-life concert? I usually don’t see much discussion among total strangers after a concert, unless it is maybe gently forced upon them by a post concert activity. In Second Life, however, spontaneous discussion erupted immediately after the concert.
Community is the key word. One of the reasons I believe church life in the United States is so much more active than in Europe, is because there is a much greater emphasis on community (but that statement warrants a post of its own). Creating communities for classical music aficionados online is a wonderful development. And, getting back to the question I wanted to ask at the Q&A, such communities can be utilized in endless possibilities for arts education.
Here’s what other journalists and bloggers had to say: