Elbphilharmonie gives Hamburg a spectacular light show

Beethoven himself would have been stunned by the beauty of this performance!

You may have heard of the popular and award-winning Amazon series ‘Mozart in the Jungle,’ (which released its second season recently) … but now you can experience Beethoven in the city, or should we say on the city? Hamburg, Germany’s brand new concert hall Elbphilharmonie, is earning some well-deserved worldwide recognition as the grandiose and innovative hall celebrated its opening this January, after 10 years in the making.

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This wasn’t any ordinary concert hall opening, though. The #Elphie (as the hall is affectionately being referred to on social media) decided that in addition to the attendees who would hear Beethoven’s 9th symphony on the inside, it would treat Hamburg residents who weren’t lucky enough to score tickets to an incredible light show, displayed on the building’s facade. The display, which was perfectly coordinated to the music, was created by a series of algorithms, and resulted in a stunning light show that could be seen all over downtown Hamburg. Not only was the show brilliant and inspiring—using all sorts of moving shapes, changing colors, and dancing lights—it lasted the entirety of the performance, almost 2 hours! You can watch a powerful 1-minute chunk of the performance here:

Beethoven’s 9th is recognizable to just about everyone—it contains the well-known Ode to Joy theme we can all hum along too. But perhaps the amazing aspect of this display is how this centuries-old musical work is still inspiring modern creativity and alternative expressions of art today, almost 200 years after it was composed. Rather than take us back to the mindset of the 1800s completely, the music promotes new artistic pathways.

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Music truly does change our brains, but also our souls. It opens our minds to new experiences, and causes us to deepen our thinking, to consider our circumstances and ourselves in a spiritual light. After all, you’d be hard-pressed to find a church service that had no musical aspects involved. A true gift from God, music elevates our spirits and revives our hearts, almost bringing an other worldly quality to our lives. The glory of music—and all the possibilities it inspires—is on exhibit in new and fascinating ways all over the world if we look for it, just like this amazing tribute to Beethoven and his most beloved symphony.

Ashley Jonkman
Ashley Jonkman
Ashley is a freelance writer and editor. She lives with her husband, two sons and two rambunctious dogs in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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