Conductor invents ‘music-enhancing’ face mask for orchestral concerts

15 September 2020, 17:10

Iván Fischer acoustical mask
Iván Fischer acoustical mask. Picture: YouTube / BFO

By Kyle Macdonald

Metacarpal enhancement for your Mahler? This invention is proof that 2020 is bringing *some* good things.

A new invention allows COVID conscious concert-goers to protect their nose and mouth, while bringing acoustical benefits to the ears.

We’ve all cupped our hands behind an ear to pick up a little more audio detail. This gave conductor Iván Fischer, the founder and music director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, an idea – and the mask-wearing normality provides the perfect platform for his entrepreneurial endeavour.

In his invention, a facemask is fitted with two hand-shaped protrusions that sit behind the ears, improving the acoustics for the listener. The second pair of hands is pleasingly transparent for all-important concert dress aesthetics, and so not to disturb those sitting behind you.

Read more: Watch Iván Fischer completely tear apart ‘Happy Birthday’ and make it a million times better >

Iván Fischer about the acoustics-improving mask

The maestro believes this “improves acoustics” and makes an orchestra sound richer and warmer, and more beautiful especially in dry concert halls. We’ll let him explain with a helpful demonstration (watch above).

Fischer is one of the world’s finest conductors. We 100 percent trust his judgement, and would look forward to sitting for an hour-long Brahms concerto with a bonus pair of transparent hands.

The orchestra is selling the masks to eagle-eared concert-goers for 8,000 Hungarian Forints (about £20). If you’re wanting to give it a try, you can get yours here.