Orchestra conductor’s handy mask invention boosts music enjoyment

Budapest, Sep 16 (efe-epa).- The director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra has invented a facemask that increases the wearer’s appreciation of live music thanks to two plastic hands that cup the ears.

Iván Fischer said he was inspired by Mozart’s idea that necessity could be turned into a virtue.

His design has already garnered interest as far away as Asia and the Americas.

Adél Tossenberger, a spokeswoman for the BFO, told Efe on Wednesday: “The mask has generated international interest from Japan to China, to European countries and American ones like the United States and Mexico.”

In his official presentation of the innovation earlier this month, Fischer said: “Now people are wearing masks and it’s a necessity, but it’s also an opportunity to improve acoustics.”

The hand-shaped plastic moulds are attached to a modified glasses frame and sit just behind the ear, making the orchestra sound warmer, richer and “much more beautiful,” he explained.

Customers who want to improve their orchestral experience while taking precaution against the global pandemic can pick up a pair of the modified facemasks for $26 at the BFO’s office in the Hungarian capital.

Tossenberger added jokingly: “We have received a message from someone who believes the invention is genius and that Iván Fischer should be nominated for a Nobel Prize.”

She added that some people regard the object as a symbol of the pandemic, while others appreciated its decorative value.

“One customer who bought the mask had been looking for something similar for some time because their hearing was bad and they always had to put their hands behind their ears to enjoy the concerts,” she said.

The BFO resumed public performances in September after almost six months.

All audience members must wear protective face masks at all times.

In a separate video, Fischer set out the health and safety protocol for those wishing to attend a concert.EFE-EPA


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