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Music charity thinks inside the box to create tiny concert hall

Sheila Dainton uses Aldeburgh Music's Concert in a Phonebox

Sheila Dainton uses Aldeburgh Music's Concert in a Phonebox

There have been some novel uses for the much-loved but sadly disappearing red telephone box – including a book exchange in Ufford, a wifi hotspot in Lavenham and storage for a lifesaving defibrillator in Southwold.

But imaginative thinkers at Snape Maltings have managed to shoehorn an entire ‘concert hall’ into the 8ft by 3ft space.

Visitors can experience an orchestral concert using a virtual reality headset after Aldeburgh Music turned a phonebox into a tiny personal venue.

Viewers can control their own perspective of a concert by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, recorded at Aldeburgh Festival 2015 and filmed using a 360-degree camera rig.

The view changes as the user moves their head – look straight up and see the roof of Snape Maltings Concert Hall, look down to focus on conductor, Martyn Brabbins. You can event turn round to see the audience from the orchestra’s perspective.

The Concert in a Phonebox is one of Aldeburgh Music’s schemes to open up the site at Snape Maltings and make it more accessible. It enables casual visitors to experience an orchestral concert from a perspective closer than any normal seat.

Matt Jolly, digital manager at Aldeburgh Music, said: “We are trying out a number of ways that digital technology can help us make our venue and our work accessible to more people.”

Anyone can watch the video on YouTube’s 360 video viewer for computer and mobile devices, which enables viewers to change angles by clicking and dragging the video.

Mr Jolly added: “We hope that the Concert in a Phonebox and online 360 video will give visitors to the site and viewers at home a fun and immersive introduction to Aldeburgh Music and Snape Maltings Concert Hall.”

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