A creative collaboration with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, ACO VIRTUAL is a world-first interactive experience that lets the audience take control and play with the musicians.
Audiences and visitors step ‘inside’ the performance, immersed in a 360-degree cinema experience, surrounded by the musicians. Currently touring Australia, the installation is flexible enough to be staged in various venues including galleries or museums. Inside the installation fifteen ACO musicians appear as projections on walls or screens, while each musician's sound is heard from the direction of their image.
A touch-screen app in the centre of the room lets visitors spotlight sound and visuals, highlighting one musician, a section of instruments or their own mix of players. Visitors can also choose to display or hide the musical score below each musician’s image.
A free augmented reality smartphone app adds layers to the experience, including visuals and information on each musician, their instrument, the musical pieces and composers, as well as a take-home track of each piece of music featured in the work.
The project evolved through extensive research and development, beginning with a pilot interactive video installation, where just four ACO musicians were filmed. The success of the pilot saw the project expand in 2011 to feature 15 musicians in a ground-breaking 13-camera, 3D film shoot.
Using state-of-the-art video technology, the musicians were filmed against green-screens to capture audio and three-dimensional images of each artist, which means venues can choose to stage the work in either 2D or 3D.
The video, The Making of ACO VIRTUAL has further background on the project.
Mod Productions' benefited from the contributions of a talented team of international experts brought together for the project including Simon Lear (bSound), Paul Nichola (Cinematographer and 3D expert), iCinema Centre (UNSW) and Derivative (Toronto).
ACO VIRTUAL has been receiving extraordinary public response with almost 3,000 visitors in its first 23-day season at the Arts Centre Gold Coast. Over 90% of respondents to the gallery's survey said they would recommend it to a friend. Coverage of its Gold Coast season can be found at The Australian newspaper and ABC radio. Over 5,000 visitors saw the show at The Studio, Sydney Opera House during its 40th Birthday week in 2013.
Musicians, including members of the Gold Coast Philharmonic Orchestra have been diving into the experience, playing along with the ACO.
The installation brings amazing artists closer to audiences who do not normally have access to such music and performance. It's a fantastic new format for performance and Mod Productions is excited to be working with the ACO on a related touchpad educational app.
- A Virtual Double (AV Magazine cover story issue #36 on the recording technology)
- The Australian Chamber Orchestra Goes Virtual with Mod Productions (derivative blog - Feb 14 - 2014 on the real-time installation)
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