This paper describes a variety of audio technologies under the neologism “the virtual orchestra,” their relationship with neoliberal capitalism, and four electronic music works that utilise these technologies to highlight this relationship. The virtual orchestra comprises digital technologies that emulate orchestral performances, ranging from the ersatz sounds of General MIDI in the 1990s (often used in computer game soundtracks), to orchestral sample libraries, which can be virtually indiscernible from a well-recorded orchestral performance. It is suggested that the virtual orchestra emerged as part of a cultural movement that privileges individualism and control, and that this has precedence in the structure and hierarchies of the symphony orchestra. The four works discussed—by Lana Del Rey, Oneohtrix Point Never, Elysia Crampton, and Steven Warwick—utilise virtual orchestras in unconventional and ambivalent ways that refer to the lived experiences and effects of this condition.
Fake It ‘Til You Make It: The Virtual Orchestra in New.
Sound Scripts, 6(1).
Retrieved from https://ro.ecu.edu.au/soundscripts/vol6/iss1/7