Sign of the times: How Canon technology is breathing new life into one of music’s most iconic pieces

Canon Europe supports immersive exhibition starring inclusive choir by using elevated printing technology

London, UK, 20 February 2024 – Almost two centuries on from its first ever performance, one of music’s most iconic pieces is set to be revitalised for a whole new audience, thanks to pioneering Canon technology.


Original images by Mariko Tagashira


Canon’s Elevated Print technology

Beethoven’s legendary 9th Symphony was first performed in Vienna in May 1824 and now, two hundred years later, it returns to the city as part of “An die Freude”, an inclusive and experimental photo exhibition which runs from 20 February to 17 March.

As part of its commitment to making the arts more accessible, Canon is supporting the exhibition which will see inclusive choir The White Hands Chorus Nippon (WHCN) take centre stage for a visual interpretation of “An die Freude/Ode to Joy” from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. The choir, founded by Artistic Director Erika Colon, brings together children with and without physical disabilities, with deaf members conveying sound and emotion through sign language, movement and facial expression.

Professional photographer Mariko Tagashira has accompanied the choir for several years and identified a unique way to capture the children's gestures as poetic traces of light in her pictures using long-term exposures. These photos were developed to create a visible, tactile interpretation of the “An die Freude” experience.

The exhibition features a series of photographs, with several of the images printed in relief, using the Canon PRISMAelevate XL printing technology and Arizona printer series. The principle of Elevated Printing is layering multiple layers of ink on top of each other. The result is a fully tactile and immersive experience for visitors to conjure vivid mental representations of the works. In addition, explanations printed in braille support visually impaired visitors to fully understand the story behind the music.

Canon’s elevated printed imagery is produced and exhibited with the experience of the visually impaired community in mind. This is a continuation of Canon’s efforts to make art more accessible, using technology to pioneer how those with disabilities can create and experience the arts. 

The exhibition will take place at the WestLicht Museum for Photography in Vienna.

“The arts should be accessible to everyone, and music and photography are right at the heart of this. We are proud to use our imaging technology to allow more people to experience the powerful emotions and stories told by the White Hands Chorus through Mariko Tagashira’s photography. Our Elevated Printing technology creates an alternative sensory experience which we hope can create a truly accessible exhibition that everyone can interact and engage with.” Dirk Brouns, Vice President Large Format Systems at Canon Production Printing.