Rob Mientjes[ˈmiːn-chəs]

ContraClassics

There is fierce competition between a handful of music streaming services. Spotify and Wimp are the leaders in Norway, and neither of them care much for classical music. The model doesn’t seem to fit so easily, the quality and diversity are low, and if you want anything more than just the music, you’re better off using other sites.

“ContraClassics is dedicated to the work of the living musician”

We partnered up to revamp the original ContraClassics, a site much more structured like a news site rather than a music service. I branded the service more thoroughly, made all new font choices, designed the features and the user interface and helped implement this into a fully-featured web app. Now, ContraClassics is finally a humble home to beautiful music.

We start the user off right in the middle of some of the best works on the site. Historical and modern recordings live side by side, easily accessible, found through many ways. If you prefer to search by composer, that’s easy. Do you prefer searching by a leading instrument? Obviously useful, and so a leading feature of ContraClassics.

Among my proudest achievements is the segmented player, which gives a more meaningful overview not just of a ‘track’ but of an entire piece, with all its movements.

Knowledge of classical music is a huge benefit when designing a system for consuming it. The complexities are overwhelming at first, and when you think you’ve solved one part, another rears its head to show you that your shortcut won’t work. But slowly, with the help of a group of experts and lovers, we narrowed down the right basic feature set. Some of those experts have also written about classical music, and love to discuss it. The magazine is the place for that.

The ContraClassics magazine features articles on unsung heroes, niches and core beliefs.