This essay is based on my working experience with the metaverse platform.
One day, I got a phone call from one soprano, whose artistic practice is based on classic baroque music, and during the phone call, she was talking about how classic music is getting less popular among the general public. She wants to find different ways to perform her music rather than having a concert at the concert hall. She wants to find a way to reconnect classic music with audiences.
“Concert hall is intimidating, and we need different ways to interact with people about music”
The formality of the music concerts hall is intimidating.
What does it mean? we discussed it during the phone call.
firstly, how much it costs is often not affordable for many people, since usually, the concert costs around 30 euros as the cheapest.
Also, when you go to a classic concert, and if you don’t have any background knowledge of classic music, it is hard to get into the music.
When classic music was contemporary, people knew the context behind the music. For instance, as the lyrics of Baroque music were usually based on stories, many people listened to Baroque music as entertaining story telling at the time. Often Mello drama, and often tragedy.
However, nowadays, how we encounter baroque music concert is different from those of the time. Many audiences don’t speak the language of what Baroque songs were written, therefore, it is not able to comprehend the story that the lyrics tell us. Also, we have different forms of entertainment nowadays. We have pop songs and other genres of music that are considered more pop culture.
At the conclusion of our phone call, we said, “maybe we should have a concert on the metaverse platform.”
Since everyone can access the platform easily and cheaply (usually for free) no matter where they are, and also it has visual effects (avatar and virtual settings) that we can use to convey the context of the music, we said maybe the metaverse platform is where she wants to perform her music at!
What is Metaverse?
But wait! What is metaverse? and why we were talking about having a concert in the metaverse?
Metaverse is the term referring to any kind of virtual space in which people can interact with each other. In a form where the real world and the virtual world is mixed up together. It creates its own universe and it invites people to explore its universe.
There are so many metaverse platforms in the world. At the beginning of our meeting, we were talking about making our own metaverse platform that would fit into a Baroque music setting. Such as, building up the baroque building and making baroque costumes so that when people come to concerts they can feel they are in the era when the music was written.
Metaverse concert, was it good?
As much as we wanted to create our own universe for this concert, we realized that is not realistic. Firstly, it would take so much money, even over 100000euros. Also, the time we had is limited. Then we decided to use the existing platform. Yet, the problem that occurred here is most of the metaverse platforms are not sufficient for having a music concert. Every metaverse has different functions and visual aspects, which can limit our concert.
Based on much research about which platform we want to use, we chose IFLAND as a platform for the concert. It was not the perfect place, but that was the best cheap platform that we can get at the moment.
What was in our criteria were….
first, how many people can access the room at the same time
secondly, if they have a place where we can post our presentation file in a lifetime?
Here, we can go back to the question, “Was it good to have a concert on the metaverse platform?” Although it was an interesting experience to have a classic concert at the metaverse platform, there were some unexpected situations that occurred during the concert.
Since we intended to open this concert for everyone, which means everyone can access the concert anonymously, there were a lot of interventions from random users during the concert. Even during the time when the performer was singing.
Everyone(here everyone meant by avatar) was moving around during the concert, and even sometimes people talked (The platform IFLAND allows people to use the microphone for interacting with people).
At the beginning of the concert, staff members try to restrict them by muting them or by banning them to enter again, However, we ended up asking the questions like “Can we expect the same attitudes from the audience as if they are in the music concert hall? this is a metaverse platform that is already quite gamified.”
Music concert in the metaverse, would you come?
Metaverse becomes more embedded in our daily life.
I liked the idea of having a classic concert at metaverse, especially since the concert that we organized was more about hoping to revive classic music with a different approach than having a concert at the concert hall.
However, I also do think a music concert is more like a physical experience. Firstly, the sound system is limited in the metaverse platform (due to its frequency limit). Secondly, with the current existing metaverse platform, it is hard to make any interaction except for chatting and talking together. Although some pop singer makes the interactive part more active by making their whole concert a game, most of the small metaverse concert happening doesn’t have that much interaction.
As a trail to revive classic music, for us it was important to have easy accessibility and other fun elements that can attract people (Sorry for overgeneralizing classic music as a not fun thing, but here what I meant by fun is more as a gamified element). The metaverse platform we used IFLAND doesn’t offer a few of the things that we want. Except for having an avatar, and using the virtual setting, it was not that much different from a real concert hall as the platform doesn’t allow us to have more interaction than that.
However, it was a fun experience to watch concerts on my bed and, from time to time, I could move around my avatar and chat with people about the music that we are hearing.
Here, I was curious, would you go to the metaverse concert? Also, do you think can metaverse be the alternative platform for reviving classic music?