Understanding Mozart in a new way and exploring listening visually – that’s what the inter-university project Spot On MozART is all about. Together with a student from the Mozarteum, the Research Studio PCA of the RSA FG developed Mozart Contained!, an interactive musical experience that takes Mozart’s music out of the concert halls and makes it possible to experience it in a new way.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: His music is world-famous and especially in his native city of Salzburg it is hard to get past him. This is often accompanied by a certain self-evidence – Mozart? We already know him.
The project Spot On MozART of the Mozarteum University Salzburg wants to change that: Under the motto “what do you see when you hear?” it is dedicated to the visual exploration of listening and thus to a (new) understanding of Mozart’s music in the 21st century. The interactive combination of Mozart’s music and digital technology is intended to create a new, intensive experience of Mozart’s works.

The focus is on interdisciplinarity: the project not only links music and visualization, but also connects art with research and innovation. With the “Spot On”, the presentation and positioning of the developed projects in public space are also considered. Over a project duration of three years, actors from different disciplines and with different expertise from the Mozarteum Salzburg, other Austrian universities and universities of applied sciences, and research institutes such as the RSA FG cooperate.

If two people are standing in the room, all four voices of the dissonance quartet can be made audible. Their movements influence volume and speed. (Photo: Christian Schneider)

Project initiator Anna-Sophie Ofner from the University Mozarteum Salzburg and Christian Thomay, who implemented the project for the RSA FG (Photo: Christian Schneider)

Out of the concert halls, into the container

As part of Spot On MozART, the Research Studio Pervasive Computing Applications (PCA) of the RSA FG supported Anna-Sophie Ofner from the Mozarteum Salzburg in the implementation of her idea: Mozart Contained! is an interactive music experience that takes Mozart’s music out of the concert halls and packs it into containers.

Entering the container through a light barrier, four light sculptures appear representing the four voices of Mozart’s Dissonance Quartet (KV 465). The music is driven by the presence and interaction in the space: Approaching each of the sculptures activates sound tracks that make the voices of the quartet – played by the Hagen Quartet – resound. If two people stand between the sculptures, all four voices can be made audible. The movement in space influences volume and speed.

Project presentation of “Mozart Contained!” in front of an audience (Photo: Christian Schneider)In a project presentation on July 28, 2021, Mozart Contained! was presented to the public for the first time. For the participating researchers of the RSA FG it was particularly exciting to see how the people in the container interact with the installation and Mozart’s music.

The Mozart Contained! project was a unique opportunity for us at RSA FG to combine technologies from the field of human-centered computing with an exciting, interdisciplinary art project,” said Christian Thomay, Key Researcher at the PCA Research Studio.