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Symphony Interruptus

Cell phones are the natural enemy of any live performing arts organization. An accidental ring is extremely annoying to the performers and everyone else in attendance. The unexpected sound causes audience members to wonder, “Was that my phone?” before pulling them out to make sure they had indeed remembered to turn it off prior to the performance. It is a precarious relationship between audience member and cell phone technology and one that adds drama to any live situation.

It is within this context that Fort Collins resident, artistic “Mad Scientist,” and community treasure Charlie Hatchette developed the concept for an original performance art project titled Symphony Interruptus. This short-form video documents what Hatchette describes as a comedic narrative depicting dozens of rogue cell phones that ring in the most inopportune moment and collaborate to take over a Fort Collins Symphony performance. Hatchette wondered how the cell phones would respond to being turned off before every performance. Would they riot and create chaos or would they decide to work together to create order? The result is an initially awkward moment that turns to humor then surprise in a genuine live situation.

Hatchette’s vision was put into action with help from many of Fort Collins’ leading artistic visionaries in this 100% local production. Jim David, CSU Professor of Composition & Music Theory, and several of his students turned the concept into a working piece of music appropriately titled “iCannon.” The piece was performed by the Fort Collins Symphony at the Lincoln Center on May 10th, 2014, and conducted by FCS Music Director Wes Kenney. The setup, the score, and the audience reaction was wonderfully captured on film by video Producer/ Director, Chris Bell of Advanced Media Services. In addition to his creative vision, Hatchette developed a boombox speaker technology to spread the rogue cell phone tones around the theater to the unsuspecting crowd. Symphony Interruptus is primed for viral success with over 3,200 views in the first several days.

For more about how this video was created visit: