Ensemble U: 'Audience orchestra'

In 'Audience orchestra' U: investigates and plays around with the idea of 'democracy in making music'. The audience of the event gains unusual power – they can control how the concert develops.


'Audience orchestra' is an interactive experiment developed by ensemble U:. The main purpose of this experiment is to investigate and play around with the idea 'democracy in music-making'. The audience of the event gains unusual power – it can control how the concert develops, what music is played, and give instant feedback of people's opinions. In some sections they can play along with the performers and are turned into a kind of orchestra. But unlike a normal orchestra that is based in strict hierarchies and rules, the audience orchestra acts on the bases of democracy – everybody has a vote, and decisions are made when the majority is in favour. What is it that the audience really wants and expects? If the public controls the concert, does that make the majority happy?

The public can take part using a smartphone, tablet or laptop. The only thing people need to do in order to participate is log in to a local wifi network (created by U:), log into the relevant website, and follow further instructions.

Ensemble U: 'Audience orchestra'
Musik Teater Tage Wien 2017
July 1 at 5 PM and July 2 at 3.30 PM
Oswaldgasse 35A, Viin

Created by: Ensemble U:
Software: Tarmo Johannes, Tammo Sumera
Performers: Ensemble U: (Tarmo Johanns – flute, Helena Tuuling – clarinet,Vambola Krigul – percussion, Taavi Kerikmäe – piano, Merje Roomere – violin, Levi-Danel Mägila – cello); Tammo Sumera – computer and visuals
Photo: Tarvo Varres
Première: 23.10.11, Festival NYYD 2011 (Tallinn, Estonia)
Première of new version (using smartphones): 21.05.15, Classical: NEXT, Rotterdam
Duration: 60 min
In collaboration with Eesti Kontsert.


Ansambel U:

Ensemble U: is currently the most active and renowned contemporary music ensemble in Estonia. It has gained recognition for its ability to perform even the most demanding works without conductor, openness for bold experimental ideas and sensitivity for sound. Next to Estonia U: has performed in important international festivals like Time of Music (Viitasaari, Finland), GAIDA (Vilnius, Lithuania), Sounds New (Canterbury, UK), Nordic Music Days (Helsinki, Finland), Nuova Consonanza (Rome, Italy), Third Practice (Richmond, USA) , Biennale di Musica Venezia (Italy) etc.