Lost in classical

London creative agency Firedog has designed a dreamy series of Tube posters for the Barbican that aim to capture the feeling of listening to classical music live.

London creative agency Firedog has designed a dreamy set of Tube posters for the Barbican that aim to capture the feeling of listening to classical music live.

Each poster features an image of someone immersed in classical and the strap line ‘Where will the music take you?’. To capture the range of music on offer at the Barbican, and the varying responses each piece of music evokes, the agency has laid a “dreamscape” over each photo – a multiple exposure image made up of shots of urban buildings and rural landscapes in shades of blue, brown and lilac. Subjects were shot with their eyes closed to emphasise a sense of being ‘lost in the music’.

“The Barbican wanted us to capture the act of listening to [classical performances] and transcribe this into a visual, relatable form…The dreamscape encompasses the notion that when we listen to music, our imagination continually flits from one image to the next…as the classical genre is so rich and diverse, it stands to reason that the more tranquil pieces might evoke a different visual reaction to a more upbeat piece,” explains Firedog’s Hannah Franklin on the company’s website.

The subjects are not professional actors or models but ‘real people’ sourced by the agency. Dressed in hoodies and t-shirts, they were selected to appeal to a younger audience, says Firedog founding partner Clifford Boobyer.

“We had to be quite resourceful with our budget, so this was one of the ways we could do this…The Barbican wanted to target young professionals interested in the arts, but who wouldn’t prioritise a night at the Barbican over a night at the theatre,” he adds.

The project is the first in a three-year partnership between Firedog and the Barbican, and Boobyer told CR that the agency will be releasing “a fresh take on the posters” in early 2014. “The concept will be different, but the visuals will retain elements of this campaign. The Barbican is also thinking about transforming our work into moving imagery/animation,” he says.

Design agency North has also produced a new set of visual identity guidelines for the performing arts venue, which will be released on September 23 to coincide with the opening of this year’s AGI Open.

Firedog’s campaign is the latest in a series of projects launched this year hoping to dispel notions of classical as stuffy or elitist (Studio Output has produced some great work for classical music site Sinfini and for the BBC Concert Orchestra with the same intent). It’s a lovely design and one that would work well as a moving image or animated campaign, if coupled with the right soundtrack.

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