Iván Fischer, artistic director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, introduces his latest invention: a music-enhancing face mask.
‘One of Mozart’s favourite ideas was to turn necessity into a virtue,’ says the Hungarian conductor. ‘Now people are wearing masks and it’s a necessity but it’s also an opportunity to improve acoustics.’
He continues: ‘When you put your hands [behind your ears] you hear the orchestra warmer, fuller, especially in halls with dry acoustics,’ Fischer explains.
Accordingly, his new mask has two plastic cups shaped like palms, which are attached to the mask’s strings and designed to fit around the wearer’s ears. The aim is to allow concertgoers to enjoy improved acoustics during the time of COVID-19.
Fischer insists that his masks create something similar to church acoustics, with warmer undertones and clearer, sharper contours.
The mask can be ordered through the orchestra’s website and costs 8000 forints (£20).