Conducted tour: trying out the Universe of Sound

April 26, 2013

Ahead of the opening of the Universe of Sound in Canterbury tomorrow, we sent third-year music student and trumpeter, Josh Thorne, to try out one of the Conducting pods which is already in place. Here, he gives us the low-down on conducting Holst, coughing machines and reveals his familiarity with Wi gaming technology…


As many may have seen, small black pods are appearing all around Canterbury. Yesterday, I decided to have a look.


After three… Image credit: Helly Copter (no, really…)

As I entered the pod, I found a pair of yellow feet to stand on and three TV screens in front of me with a camera / sensor set up above them; similar to a Wi console. After selecting my first piece, Mars, by using my hands, I started to conduct the Orchestra.

Even though I am a conducting student, this was a lot harder than I anticipated, and needless to say there was lots of coughing made by the machine to inform me that I wasn’t doing a very good job! One thing which I did find useful was how it helped you to develop a use for the left hand in conducting, and how it can be used to change the dynamics of the piece.

After a slightly failed attempt at Mars, I moved on to Jupiter with a 90% success rate compare to my 20% previously! All in all, great fun.

Try your hand at conducting the Philharmonia, when the Universe of Sound opens tomorrow, running until May 12 at Augustine Hall.