VIX Sound+Light+Motion

2. What Makes This Project Unique

translator

The Immersive Environment Instrument (IEI) goes several steps beyond existing installations and performances by combining the most compelling features of contemporary works with newly available technologies.

My goal is to bring the cinematic experience of film into live performance within a virtual reality simulation. Exploring a non-linear narrative that references three time periods — past, present and future, to construct a communication that is open to individual interpretation. Resonating with an audience on an emotional level, the performer improvises each show as a unique construct. Using a sensor array, events are triggered with dance-like motions that communicate emotional intention through gesture.

Once the Immersive Environment Instrument is constructed, an on-line version will be created. This will enable mixed reality performances where a performance may be including a live audience and simultaneously be replicated virtually to an audience on-line. Pauline Oliveros is my inspiration for the concept of mixed reality concerts as I was involved in one while I was in Banff in 2009.

Existing features used by contemporary performers with examples – see 1. Inspiration and Research posts for details

  • Surround Audio
  • Performance Stations in different areas
  • Combination of Music with Visual Media and Dance
  • Non-linear Narrative
  • Improvisation

Four unique features of the IEI are:

  1. The IE combines Sound+Light+Motion into one installation/performance that surrounds the audience with moving audio and video events conducted by the motions of a live performer.
  2. The audio and video events are paired into one Immersive Event controlled by a single system
  3. The Sensor array that triggers and modifies Immersive Events by dance-like gestures of a live performer facilitates improvisation and non-linear narrative.
  4. Cinematic Virtual Reality (CVR) is constructed as the narrative can move from past memories to present projections to future imaginings. All of the tools of cinematic film presentation, including surround audio, are brought into the realm of live performance.

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Sound + Light + Motion

To create the illusion of traveling to an inner world where emotion can be shared without barriers to communication and a return to tribal experience can be realized.

The audience must be immersed in the sensory input that allows them to suspend disbelief in the experience of transcendence. The performance presents a rich feast for the senses that entices the audience to embark on a journey through inner space to connect with a common child-like wonder and belief in magical events.

The coordination of sound+ light+ motion makes this illusion seem like a waking dream that invites exploration into an unfamiliar landscape of non-linear Immersive Events. Individuals interpret the experience to relate to their own life experience and share emotion and engagement in a fluid, improvised timeline.

The Immersive Event

Projections have become an expected part of any spectacle or sophisticated show. In my experience, there is often a disconnect between the audio and the video. A recent installation at the Vancouver Library informed passersby that “The Words Don’t Fit the Picture”, an all too common experience.

My idea is to pair visual and audio into one Immersive Event, this will insure that the audio and the video are matched in the way the composer intended. It also gives greater scope for non-linear narrative and improvisation as the pre-fabricated Immersive Events can be arranged to suit the emotion of the moment without loosing their individual identity.

Dance-Like Gestural Control

The gesture of the live performer remains the energetic center of the experience. The sensor array enables triggering and modification of Immersive Events and improvised new material with the use of dance-like motions. When an audience watches a musician play a conventional instrument, they are able to see the cause and effect relationship between the motion of the musician and the resulting sound. A conga player, for example, may move in a very dance-like way while playing on the drums. As a guitarist, vocalist and percussionist, I was used to moving rhythmically to produce audio material. As an electronic musician, the tiny control gestures required are unrecognized by the audience and the sound looses the connection with the player.

Gesture is a major avenue of communication as emotion intent can be conveyed with the motion of a hand or the stamp of a foot.  By positioning appropriate sensors to trigger Immersive Events, this connection is restored.

Research and experimentation will be required to design appropriate interfaces, but many sensors are commercially available that are currently used in contemporary dance and musical performance. In addition, there are sophisticated motion, heat and proximity sensors that have been developed for the security industry that may be able to be adapted.

Cinematic Virtual Reality (CVR)

Surround sound is commonplace in live performance and in cinemas, but the concept of surround video is tricky. I propose to set up separate nodes, the same way panoramic photos are really separate photos. This will also give me more flexibility in using lights to soften the edges of each node to aid in blending or to use the nodes a unique, distinct images. I do not expect surround video to be available soon as large studios are having enough of a challenge with Imax, Omnimax and conventional 3D films.  I think that it is more cost effective and realistic to project each node independently and let the instrument create a Cinematic Virtual Reality (CVR) illusion. Cinematic Virtual Reality is a term I created for the visual component to the Immersive Environment Instrument.

Return to Immersive Environment Main Page

Continue to IEI 3.  Surround Sound and Video

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