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"The Five Elements" concert tour

Award category
Reconnecting with nature
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NEW EUROPEAN BAUHAUS AWARDS: existing completed examples
Project title
"The Five Elements" concert tour
Full project title
"Drop Down Community: The Five Elements concert tour"

"The Five Elements" concept was developed in 2020, when the young musicians from Drop Down Community decided to create a music video cycle of five miniatures regarding five different ecological topics. The main goal of the project is to provoke an emotional reaction in the audience and inspire them change. The project already had it's successful premiere in Bulgaria Hall 2021 and we want to make the next step of spreading the message internationally, so we want to plan a concert tour. 

What was the geographical scope of your project?
Does your project address mainly urban or rural issues?
Mainly urban
Does your project refer to a physical transformation of the built environment or other types of transformations?
It refers to other types of transformations ('soft investment')
Has your project benefited from EU programmes or funds?
Has your project won an EU prize?
Your project is fully completed?
When was your project implemented?
How did you hear about the New European Bauhaus Prizes ?
Social media
On whose behalf are you submitting the application?
As a representative of an organisation, in partnership with other organisations
Please provide a summary of your project

Drop Down Community’s “Five Elements” is an innovative conceptual art project which was created to inspire and provoke it’s audience to really make changes in their daily routine so they could start living more eco-friendly.

Drop Down Community is an independent strings orchestra, established in 2019. In 2021 the talented young Bulgarian composer Ivo Paunov has composed the instrumental cycle “Five Elements” – a musical minimalistic piece, built on five short pieces, each named: Earth, Water, Air, Fire, Plastic. Each movement is dedicated to a different ecological problem such as deforestation, water pollution, air pollution, global warming and plastic waste production. We have recorded and released the album in the spring of 2021 and it's available on Spofity, iTunes, Deezer and all social platforms. 

In the summer of 2021 with the help of the famous Bulgarian director Vassil Karkelanov we have made the five video clips that go with the album. In those video clips we are exposing all the ecological problems spoken of above in unique way, where we are mixing shots of the beautiful nature with the frustrating results of human impact. Our message is clear - we do not have any time to lose.

The culmination of the project was realised in November, 2021 in Bulgaria Hall, Sofia, where we did the live premiere within "Live in Concert" concept - we have built a big cinema screen and we have performed "The Five Elements" acoustically, synchronised with the big screen picture behind us. The result was astonishing. Right now "The Five Elements" are uploaded in our social networks.

We believe our message deserves to be spread internationally, and for that we need your help. We want to realise an international concert tour in Bulgaria the neighbouring country Greece . We are planning the tour in the beggining of 2023. 

Please indicate the main themes of your project with 5 key words
Lack of water resources
Air Pollution
Global warming
Please give information about the key objectives of your project in terms of sustainability (including circularity) and how these have been met.
Please highlight how the project can be exemplary in this context

The project "Five Elements" is focusing on different problems regarding the future of our planet. We have created a cycle of five different pieces, each one dedicated to different ecological problems. 

Part I - Earth is all about deforestation, the goal is to inspire the audience to minimize their paper usage and plant at least one tree. Within the shooting of the video for Earth Drop Down Community joined a massive afforestation campaign, organized by one of the team's official partners -
Part II - Water is dedicated to various problems regarding the water - Water pollution, the global shortage of drinking water and the excessive use of water resources.
Part III - Air is all about air pollution. The goal is to inspire our public to get on a bike, public transport and minimize their negative impact regarding the city air that we breathe everyday. In Sofia we have a huge problem with air pollution, because the city is surrounded by mountains and we often have air pollution clouds covering up the entire valley. Within the shooting of the video for Air we have climbed on the rooftop of on one of the highest buildings in Sofia at sub-zero temperatures so we could perform the piece with the polluted air of Sofia as a back ground. 
Part IV - Fire represents Global warming and also about all the cases of causing involuntary fires in nature by humans. All the footage in this video is real, our operator Vassil Karkelanov has beeng chasing fires all summer long. We shooted the orchestra in the middle of a soon burned forest in the Thrace region.
Part V - Plastic is the final movement in the cycle. It sends a message that we need to stop using disposable plastic materials and turn to recycling.  


Please give information about the key objectives of your project in terms of aesthetics and quality of experience beyond functionality and how these have been met.
Please highlight how the project can be exemplary in this context

One of the main goals of the project was to find an innovative way to mix different forms of art in a beautiful way in order to reach maximum impact on the audience on the highest possible emotional level.
This is why we chose to combine the power of music and motion picture.
The “Live in concert” concept taking the whole expirience on higher level – that innovative concept has attracted the young public in the concert halls across the world for over a decade now. It is really beautiful to see how soundtracks are being performed live from real musicians while synchronized with a movie on a cinema screen behind the orchestra.
Other interesting element of the concert is the stage dressing of the orchestra – usually, as we know, classical orchestras are supposed to comply a certain dress code such as black/white suits for the gentlemen and concert dresses for the ladies. While playing the first part we are dressed as normal classical musicians, but before the second part of the concert, as the trailer goes along, we are changing costumes backstage so we enter the stage with black t-shirts, jeans and sneakers, which is revieled not before the finale of the concert.

The subliminal message that we want to express with this trick is firstly that we are all the same, we are all on the same side and the responsibility of saving the planet is general for every human on earth.

Please give information about the key objectives of your project in terms of inclusion (equal opportunities, public participation, citizen engagement, co-design, universal design, accessibility, affordability, etc.) and how these have been met.
Please highlight how the project can be exemplary in this context

We believe that it's really important to make this concert expirience as affordable as possible. Taking in mind that this project is meant to attract mostly younger audience we want to set low prices for the concert tickets with exclusive discounts for students. The whole design of the project and all the art work that's representing our concerts are made by the artist Iva Seferova - one of the finest and most promising artists in Bulgaria, age of 24. Our vision and the way that we present our message goes hand in hand with the most common trends among the youngsters in our generation. 

Please explain how these three dimensions have been combined in your project.
Please highlight how this approach can be exemplary

We believe that with our example we will inspire all of our public to make efficient changes in their daily routines. We speak about some of the most critical global problems such as the lack of clean water, air pollution, climate change, deforestation and much more.

The way that we present our message is innovative and exciting, and the quality of work of the musicians in "Drop Down Community" puts this orchestra on international level.  We have put much effort already to take this project that far and right now we need help to spread this message to larger audience. 

We wanted to build this project to be suitable for all ages, but most importantly we want to attract more young people to our cause, because we believe that the young generation is the one that holds the true change in their hands. 

Please give information on the results/impacts achieved by your project in relation to the category you apply for

We have achieved a huge success regarding the project's realization. We believe we have made an A-class product, which is ready to be presented in front of international audience. The feedbacks that we got from our first concert were really emotional, there were many people that told us that we have inspired them to change many habits in their daily routine. We have also developed a website - 

The project has been included in a presentation regarding ecological problems from the Goethe Institute, Sofia. 
We have received attention from the International Business School in Sofia, who invited us to present the concert in front of their students in 2022. We have gained the attention of the Greek embassy, we keep in touch and they ready and open for collaboration in terms of organizing the part of the tour that would happen in Athens Concert Hall, Greece. 

Please explain how citizens and civil society were involved in the in the design and/or implementation of the project.
Please also explain the benefits that derived from their involvement.

The main idea of ​​our project is to spread our position on several issues related to the protection of the planet by relying on the provocation we produce, using the contrast in the shots we show. In the videos themselves, the lack of textual information frees the viewer's imagination, the shots, enhanced by the emotion of the music, make the viewer think deeply about very serious issues related to the choices he faces in his daily life. Does he know what the final destination of all the garbage he generates is? Does he need all this water he uses? Get on a car on the way to work, or use a bike, or public transportation? And so on. It would be an honor for us if you could take the time to take a look the videos yourself in order to have a clearer picture of the project that we are promoting. This playlist includes the final trailer, a short teaser and the five videos and it does take not more than 25 minutes.

It is no coincidence that we chose a musical form that has the function of being divided into five miniatures, which can be presented independently - in this way we allow our videos to exist and be distributed separately. We live in a fast-paced world and a target group we aspire to would find it difficult to find time in the context of their daily lives to watch a 20-minute short film. Therefore, we believe that this approach helps us to spread our message not only in concert halls, but also on social networks. Naturally, the greatest effect can be achieved with the "Live in Concert" concept, where we play live in front of a movie screen, fully synchronized with the picture behind us. For that we use "in ear" monitors, that provides us with a metronome click. That gives the audience has the feeling that it is a 4D projection with real sound. The first time was really unique and the reviews were stunning. We wish we had the opportunity to repeat this concert in front of a bigger audience

Please explain what kind of global challenges the project addressed by providing local solutions

At the end of each part there is a text that is coming out in the form of a question. In the original version, that was meant for our local audience the texts are in Bulgarian and they are imposing ecological problems I have already mentioned that the message we send is rather subliminal and the form of contact that we use gives the audience freedom to choose what solution he could find for themselves individually. For our tour we will change the text in English so they would impose the same problems, but in a way that they could be felt globally. I believe I have explained in details the kind of global challenges this project is addressing in the previous paragraph, therefore I wouldn't repeat myself. The key idea is that the true solution is hiding deep down in each human on this earth, It's hidden behind all those small choices that he would take everyday. That is what we truly want to achieve, to inspire our audience to find the real change in themselves and unlock it.  

Please highlight the innovative character of the project as compared to mainstream practices in the field of the project.

The "Live in concert" concept is taking the concert experience to a whole new level. I wouldn't repeat myself, as I mentioned earlier, this is an original and innovative way to approach the audience. This project is a pioneer in it's genre, because of it's minimalistic aesthetics. "The Five Elements" Can be experienced in different ways - They can be combined in a short film; The audio can be enjoyed as a musical album in all the digital music platforms; The five videoclips can be enjoyed individually in our social platforms and they can be performed live. The composer Ivo Paunov, who has created the music has put much effort to use all kinds of composing techniques to draw pictures within the melodies that express ocean waves in "Water", the hot burning forests in "Fire",  the tree roots and the human machinery in "Earth" and much more. 
Lately is really common to speak about global enviromental issues, but we have found a new way to raise awareness - by combining classical music to spread a strong message.    

Please explain to the potential of transferring the projects’ results or learnings to other interested parties and contexts.
Please provide clear documentation, communication of methodology and principles in this context.

The digital visual and audio form of our project "The Five Elements" can be enjoyed and shared for free all over the world via our social channels - Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, iTunes, Google Play Music, Youtube Music and much more. Our message is strong and our biggest goal is to reach as much people as possible. 

We believe that trough the power of art we can really make a change. 

Thank You for Your attention!

Alex Atanassov
Manager of Drop Down Community

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