Vodafone and colour blind artist Neil Harbisson ‘conduct choir using colour’ for first time

Vodafone has teamed up with Colour blind artist Neil Harbisson as part of its 'Firsts' campaign, to conduct Spain’s Palau Youth Choir and Catalan Quartic String Quartet using colour for the first time.

Harbisson, who was born with achromatopsia, a condition which made him see the world in black and white, wears a bone-anchored antenna that enables him to experience colour through sound.

For the event, Harbisson composed a piece of music based on the colours of Barcelona’s Palau de la Musica concert hall, and taught the 42 orchestra and choir members to ‘hear’ colours in the same way as he does. They performed the musical score, playing and singing notes based only on the colours they saw on the tablet devices in front of them. The tablets were centrally controlled, or ‘conducted’ by Harbisson using mobile technology.

Vodafone's involvement comes as part of its own-brand engagement strategy 'Vodafone Firsts,' which will see the telecoms company aim to create a deeper interaction with its 400 million strong customer base.Vodafone group brand director Barbara Haase said: “Vodafone Firsts is about personal innovation and inspiring people to think in a new way. What I love about Neil’s First is that it takes mobile technology and uses it in a way no one has ever done before. It’s exactly that kind of innovation that we are celebrating with Vodafone Firsts.”The scheme began In December 2013 with a New Year’s multisensory firework display that enabled revellers to ‘taste’ the event thanks to flavoured mist, snow and confetti.Harbisson spoke about his colour blindess and the technology he had developed to overcome it using tone at The Drum's 4 Minute Warning Event last year.

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