The Insect Concerto

By Scholz & Friends - Berlin

For Berlin Philharmonics

Winner in category Advertising

In subcategory Radio

Audio 1
Project Description
Insects are probably the least popular animals. They are perceived as annoying. Nevertheless they are as important to our ecosystem as they are fascinating – we only have to take a closer look. Therefore we decided to bring one of the insect’s most fascinating features – their fascinating sound world – to the big stage and give the insects the attention they deserve.
Usually, animal welfare campaigns focus on popular animals like polar bears or dolphins. But we had a more difficult task: Create awareness for “the insect Armageddon” (New York Times), a worldwide decline of insect populations and raise donations for the World Wildlife Fund to support projects dedicated to saving the insects. But how do you evoke sympathy for insects, the least popular animals? That’s why we decided to show the world the amazing sound world of insects – live on stage. And not just any stage! The “Insect Concerto” premiered in the iconic Berlin Philharmonie and was received with standing ovations by the audience of the Berlin Philharmonics, one of the toughest crowds in classical music.
Agency Solution
Like many insects, crickets chirp to communicate. We used this insight to turn classical instruments into a trigger to make the insects join in with the music. By imitating their chirping with string instruments, the musicians compelled the insects to „sing“ along with the orchestra. To achieve this effect, the renowned composer Gregor A. Mayrhofer developed unique playing techniques, which resemble scratching. We even introduced an all new instrument to the orchestra: The Pergamentrassel.
The Berlin Philharmonics, one of the most renowned orchestras in the world, performed together with insects. The original composition “Insect Concerto” featured 42 live bush crickets and was broadcast on several radio stations – in order to advertise the download of the piece on iTunes and other platforms. The radio journalists of popular stations like Klassik Radio or Deutsche Welle explained the musical piece and the idea behind it: To make the insects sing to help themselves: Each download of the musical piece became a direct donation to the WWF and their work to stop the “Insect Armageddon” (New York Times).
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