Virtual Reality project “Look around you, look inside yourself”
U: is working on a noteworthy project which aims to bring together the extraordinary nature of Estonia, top rate contemporary music and cutting edge technology: four composers write site-specific compositions for chosen places in nature, the sounds of those places and U:. The spots will be filmed with 360-degree technology and surround audio recording techniques. The material will be made into carefully crafted virtual reality artistic videos. The videos can be watched at home with a VR headset but the primary goal of the project is to prepare very special concerts where audience has VR headsets and visually they can enter to the nature while music is played live by members of U: and prerecorded materials, if necessary.
In 2016-2017. U: had chance to collaborate with St. Cloud State University Visualization Lab (USA, Minnesota) and realize the first work in the series – "Raba" by Scott Miller. „Raba” for instruments and fixed electronic sounds was inspired by the Marimetsa Raba, Estonia. In summer 2017 the material was 360-filmed at the bog, director Rein Zobel, and the sound material was recorded by the ensemble, sound master Tammo Sumera. In the autumn months the first mobile app for starting and playing the video was created at St. Cloud State University by Mark Gill.
In October 2017 U: arranged first closed testing session, the first public concert took place in Tallinn, December 29 at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. The interest of the audience was intense and the feedback deeply positive, including statements like "my best contemporary music experience ever!"
In 2018 three further works will be composed and films shot. The composers are: Liisa Hirsch, Märt-Matis Lill, Tatjana Kozlova-Johannes. The full concert representing all the new works takes place on Novermber 8, 2018 in the Estonia Concert Hall in cooperation with Eesti Kontsert.