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Technology embraces the visitor at the new Music Museum Fame

by Jere Jäppinen

The Finnish Music Museum Fame in Helsinki will open in October 2019. Featuring art music and popular music side by side, this museum makes ample use of the latest technology to offer immersive sound universes and virtual landscapes.

At the core of the new music museum being built in the Pasila district in Helsinki is the Finnish Music Hall of Fame, to which a handful of musicians and music makers loved and respected by Finns will be elevated each year. The concept of both the Hall of Fame and the museum around it is unique, as it will feature top names in all genres of music, from conductors to rap artists, from heavy metal to folk and from symphonies to schlagers.

Modern technology plays a central part in Fame alongside items and images, and indeed one of the stated aims of the museum is to showcase and export the expertise of Finnish high-tech companies. Immersive sound universes are being developed with Genelec. With the latest in loudspeaker technology, the museum features for instance an opening collage, a video work that packs key developments in Finnish music from the 1890s to today into five minutes – with a few sour notes along the way.

Modern audio technology has a particularly strong presence in a room that demonstrates the role of various instruments and sounds in the sonic image and harmonic-rhythmic texture of art music. Built in cooperation with Professor Tapio Lokki from Aalto University and Genelec, the room allows visitors to listen to a symphony orchestra, a choir and a wind band in an acoustic emulating the real thing. Visitors are able to pick out various instruments and parts from the texture with the aid of animated images and musical scores.

The museum also offers virtual landscapes, where musical phenomena are translated into spatial experiences. 360 video and VR goggles allow visitors to visit various musical locations in Finland and look at them from perspectives that are off limits to ordinary concertgoers.

The virtual technology in the music museum karaoke turns visitors into singers at some of Finland’s best-known venues, such as the Hartwall Arena and the Savonlinna Opera Festival.

The Music Museum Fame will open in October 2019. 

Translation: Jaakko Mäntyjärvi
Featured photo: The Finnish Music Hall of Fame at the core of the music museum. Conceptual illustration made by Choice & Franz Design.