Behind the scenes: Bringing music to life
- Published: Wednesday, 19 September 2018 15:05
Last summer Greg Felton joined the LPO in the newly created role of Digital Creative. He fills us in on how he’s helping the Orchestra share its music with audiences worldwide.
During our 2017/18 season, over 135,000 people came to hear the LPO live at Royal Festival Hall, and on tour we played to audiences in 28 cities across 11 other countries. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg: last year our recordings received more than 50 million listens on Spotify, over 4.5 million people watched our videos on Facebook, and our website receives thousands of visitors daily. We’re constantly innovating to find ways to share the wonder of orchestral music with people worldwide and build ever-wider audiences for our performances and recordings. But just how easy is it to shed new light on well-known repertoire? In summer 2017 Greg Felton joined the LPO Marketing team in the newly created role of Digital Creative. His brief is to produce engaging digital content that helps draw in new audiences by showcasing the Orchestra’s activities on the concert stage and on tour, as well as its many Education and Community projects and fundraising campaigns. Over to Greg ...
Starting at the LPO last year, one of my first priorities was to learn what kind of content our existing online and social media audiences wanted to see. One of my first projects was an interactive comparison video on our Facebook page, where viewers could listen to excerpts from our recordings of Night on the Bare Mountain by Mussorgsky and the Rimsky-Korsakov arrangement alongside scrolling-score animations. We asked: ‘Which version do you prefer?’. Over 319,000 viewers watched the post and over 4700 commented and shared it: the success of this video proved that our audience was eager for more engaging content and enjoyed interactive animations.
However, of course it’s the musicians who are the real stars of the Orchestra, so our next step was to create some player-led content. I asked our Principal Trombonist, Mark Templeton, if he would be interested, and he suggested the trombone section make a video about the orchestration in Bruckner 8. Before a rehearsal in October 2017, we filmed some glorious performance material, along with an interview. The scrolling-score animation gave the performance an innovative edge, and the video was loved by trombone fans all around the world, receiving an incredible 400K views and 5.9K reactions.
With this success, we had a foundation for our future video content. Principal Bassoon Jonathan Davies made an excellent video about his opening solo to The Rite of Spring, Principal Trumpet Paul Beniston performed the opening of Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, and we were able to illustrate our interviews with violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja with satisfying scrolling-score animations to promote her Stravinsky Violin Concerto performance.
One of the biggest hits this season has been our animated interactive series, ‘Tap-along Timpani Moments’, which made use of various clips from our own record label and created plenty of lively discussion and debate on our Facebook page. However, it was our ‘game-ified’ Rite of Spring clap-along video that was the first to ‘go viral’ and reach the golden 2-million-views mark. More importantly, 75,000 people actively watched the entire way through, shared or commented on it. This level of engagement is incredible compared with other arts organisations. By the end of the season our levels of engagement had caught the attention of Classic FM, who are now regularly sharing our video content on their Facebook page and website. Our engagement and online presence is growing rapidly, and we’re aiming for even greater heights for the next year.