Musicians expected to perform on large stages are set to receive help developing their stage skills with the assistance of noisy virtual audiences. Leading providers of professional instrument bags, Fusion Bags, commented on the news.
A new form of virtual reality technology is now being used to help prepare musicians for big nights on the stage. The system has previously been used to train the likes of doctors and athletes, but now the virtual reality technology is being used to help simulate a number of on-stage situations. Coughing observers, unsolicited interruptions from mobile phones and even booing audiences have all been integrated into the program to help prepare performers for possible issues during their performance.
The performance simulator was developed by the Royal College of Music in London and it even includes realistic back stage and on-stage areas, complete with lighting and signage. The virtual audience are projected on to a large screen, putting them in a life-size format for performers.
The audience sway, fidget and even close their eyes as they listen – all characteristics that musicians may find distracting whilst playing. The audience are interactive too, which means that they can react appropriately to the musicians on-stage with polite applause and even cheers.
Aaron Williams, a professor of performance science at the Royal College, observed that the increasingly high costs of hiring concert venues meant musicians were receiving fewer opportunities to improve their performance skills.
He added: “(Musicians) are learning all too late – or not at all – how to manage performance stress and the demands of their audiences... But we want to get them prepared for the different eventualities and to give them a space in which they can experiment, but with very little risk involved.”
As leading providers of gig and concert bags, Fusion Bags takes a keen interest in news stories such as this. A spokesperson from the company made the following statement. “It is unfortunate that the high costs of concert venues have left some musicians incapable of developing their performance skills. However, the introduction of this new technology could be highly beneficial for professionals and students alike to refine their skills and boost their confidence.
“One of the best parts of being a professional musician is being able to travel to different gigs and concerts and perform in new and exciting venues. Anything that can be done to make it easier for professionals to perform, from practicing to travelling, should be done. Hopefully musicians will be able to benefit from this intelligent technology and therefore receive increased opportunities to perform on stage more frequently in real life.”
Fusion Bags is a British based company based in West Yorkshire. Established in 2008, they have been designing and manufacturing gig bags especially built for travelling and commuting musicians around the world. Fusion Bags is a registered trademark of Fusion Products Company Limited.
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