Is it possible to produce the same effect here on Earth? With this talk-performance, we invite you to have a glimpse into inner space through an auditory experience. Guided by Paul Bulencea, Dr. Barbara Neuhofer and the extraordinary crew members Thomas Mertlseder, Michael Riemer and Bartosz Nowak, you’ll explore whether we can create awe-inducing experiences here on Earth for a global mindset shift and a long-lasting transformation.
Paul Bulencea is an experience designer, entrepreneur, and author. He is the co-founder and CEO of The College of Extraordinary Experiences, one of the world’s top experience design conferences and a community of global immersive experience designers. Paul is also the co-author of Gamification in Tourism: Designing Memorable Experiences and has visited eighteen countries to-date to speak about, design, or implement transformational experiences. He was a lead designer helping IKEA Centers implement its strategic shift from a shopping-center format to a more experiential model. Abu Dhabi awarded Paul’s team the opportunity to transform the legendary Yas Waterworld into a fully immersive Live Action Role Play experience “Legends of Arabia: The Quest of the Pearl Tribes”, allowing visitors to become part of the show instead of just watching it. In 2018 he was selected by Forbes Romania on the 30 under 30 list. Paul holds a Master’s degree in Innovation in Tourism from the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, where he was awarded the Best University Graduate by the Austrian Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Barbara Neuhofer is a Professor and Head of Experience Design at the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, Austria. As a scientist, educator and keynote speaker, Barbara researches, writes, teaches and speaks about experience design as a philosophy, mindset and toolset to guide human and business transformations across the physical and digital realms. Barbara has published over 30 scientific articles, book chapters and conference papers, and has shared her work at over 60 conferences and industry events around the globe, from Austria as far afield as Australia. Barbara’s work has been recognized with more than ten international scientific awards, and in 2013 she received the ITT PhD Student of the Year 2013 Award at the House of Commons, the British Parliament. University-educated in the UK, Barbara received a BA and MA in Tourism Management from the University of Derby and a PhD in Services Marketing and Management from Bournemouth University, where she coined the notion of Technology Enhanced Tourist Experiences.
Currently, Barbara and Paul are co-writing a book that focuses on how to design and guide transformational experiences.
Thomas Mertlseder is a composer, educator and sound artist working in film, games, and media-based in Austria. Currently, he is scoring a game for Activision and a horror movie for Blumhouse Productions with the London based composer Walter Mair. Under the alias „Embarking Horizons“ he is working on a solo album premiering at the event series „Performing Sound“ in June 2020. His sound can be described as cerebral sceneries painted by aleatoric gestures performed by modular synthesizers accompanied by orchestral textures. Contrasted by doomy amplifier feedback systems being mangled by digital tools like M4L or Reaktor. Kaleidoscopic states on the edge of beauty and pain. He is currently doing his Masters in MultiMediaArts in Salzburg researching perception of sound and its stimulus processing on the brain. His vision is to build bridges between disciplines by translating and interpreting ideas into transformational experiences.
Michael Riemer fell in love with music listening to the works of Johannes Brahms, AC/DC and Metallica. He learned to play the violin and electric guitar before studying classical guitar in Berlin. Getting influenced by the music scene there, he also started playing the double bass and produced electronic music with various analog gear. He wrote and performed music for theatre plays, and got an education as a personal coach and practical healer. All this acquired knowledge now flows into his musical performances.
Michael co-founded the multi-instrumentalist duo Wild Strings (an ensemble that uses music as a powerful tool to connect different cultures in a mind and heart-opening experience) and the STEGREIF.orchestra (an Improvising Symphony Orchestra) and touring with both ensembles has been his main occupation ever since.
Bartosz Nowak was born in Wrocław, Poland in 1995 and began his musical training at the age of 7 at the Karol Szymanowski Music School, from which he graduated with highest honors in 2014. At the age of 12, he began concurrent studies at the University of Music in Würzburg, Germany in a pre-college class under the tutelage of Prof. Michal Szykulski. Bartosz is currently in the final year of his master’s degree in Würzburg. In addition to this rigorous classical training, Bartosz forges his own path and seeks out individual musical experiences. This drive has led him to experiment with different instruments — udu, cajon, hand pan, amongst others — as well as to play a multitude of genres, including improvisational, experimental, and electronic music. For the last few years, he has been a member of Stegreif, “The Improvising Symphony Orchestra” from Berlin. Thanks to the innovative ensemble’s success, it has quickly become Bartosz’s primary musical outlet.