In this video, Iván Fischer, artistic director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, describes his new invention: a music-enhancing face mask.
‘One of Mozart’s favourite ideas was to turn necessity into a virtue,’ says the Hungarian conductor. ‘Now people are wearing masks and it’s a necessity but it’s also an opportunity to improve acoustics.’
His new mask has two plastic cups shaped like life-size palms attached to the mask’s strings, designed to fit around the wearer’s ears, with the aim of allowing concertgoers to enjoy improved acoustics during the pandemic.
‘When you put your hands [behind your ears] you hear the orchestra warmer, fuller, especially in halls with dry acoustics,’ Fischer explains.
He insists that his masks create something similar to church acoustics, with warmer undertones and clearer, sharper contours.
The mask costs 8000 forints (£20) if ordered through the orchestra’s website, and comes in glittery and black and white versions.