When Benedict Mason was invited to compose and perform a piece of music for the Royal Albert Hall in London, he took a fantastic opportunity to try something a bit different. Utilising the architecture and layout of the building, the artistic composer created an astonishing and submersive experience for those present.
Having worked in film in his early years, then moving onto music in his 30s, Benedict Mason has always been an experimenter. The first signs of his flair came with his use of poly-rhythmic music, then moving on to spacial awareness principles after. Some of his works have been described as conceptual art, which shows how his use of the Royal Albert Hall as an instrument makes a bit more sense.
By choreographing musicians alongside their music notation, Mason was able to instruct the orchestra to walk around the building along the weave-work of corridors feeding the stands and the main floor, to create what could only have been a magical and soul absorbing sonic experience. The show comprised of 144 musicians, all with unique instructions which they had to commit to memory.
Assigning an active role to the layout and architecture of the Royal Albert Hall was a natural choice for Benedict Mason, he's used this technique before with other well known buildings. This huge effort took three years to perfect, with experts from the Aurora Orchestra and the Chantage Choir playing their part in the delivery of the performance. Called MELD, the multi-sensory spectacle was enjoyed in 2014 as part of the BBC proms.
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