Although many people think about facemasks as a necessity nowadays, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ivan Fischer, a Hungarian orchestra conductor, thinks differently about them.
As Channel News Asia reports, he saw in it a possibility, and according to him, everyone should “make a virtue of necessity”. His idea was to combine the function of a face mask – as it is compulsory to wear them indoors – with another one: to help the audience enjoy the music more.
His idea originated from the fact that if someone cups their hands behind their ears, they not only hear the music better, but the sound of the music also becomes – as he put it – “warmer, richer, and more energetic”.
The end product uses the plastic frame of glasses as its base. The ‘ears’ are clear plastic, and they are shaped like real hands. These hearing-enhancing plastic cups are attached to the frame and rest on your ears. A special facemask is also attached to the frame at the nose, but it still uses the mask’s bands to attach to your ears.
The mask and frame are beautifully adorned and perfectly match the style of classical concerts.
According to Channel News Asia, the gadget is quite popular among the audience, and they have positive feedback about it. Zsuzsa Hunyadi-Zoltán said to them that she could “clearly hear the performance better” and that she was “more focused on the music”.
The mask can be pre-ordered via e-mail and can be collected at the office of Budapesti Fesztiválzenekar (Budapest Festival Orchestra) or before concerts in Müpa at the booth of Budapest Fesztiválzenekar. You can also buy it at the orchestra’s office in person or at the bookstore or during the break of any concert in Müpa.
If pre-ordered or purchased at their office, the mask is 8.000 forints (€~22,5); otherwise, it is 10,000 forints (€~28)