One isn't quite sure what to expect going into ACO Virtual, the "virtual orchestra" created by multimedia company MOD Productions alongside the Australian Chamber Orchestra. The lights dim, the spotlights fall, and one by one, panels on the wall are populated with 15 string instrumentalists sweeping out the first movement of Bach's "Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G."
These aren't, however, the musicians themselves, but virtual representations being simultaneously streamed from 15 projectors strung from the ceiling. In the middle of the room, MOD Productions Director Michela Ledwidge stands in front of an iPad mounted on a stand. As she taps the screen, musicians fade in and out, allowing visitors to hear the music of specific players in focus.