A Performance Built to Capture “Sound and Vision”

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Singer and songwriter Beck Hansen kicked off an event that challenged the very idea of a concert by reimagining David Bowie’s “Sound and Vision” into a fully immersive live sensory experience that included over 160 musicians.

Alongside the artist was music composer and arranger, David Campbell, who has worked on over 450 gold and platinum albums in his career. Campbell and Beck restructured Bowie’s “Sound and Vision” into a nine minute song that cross-pollinated a variety of musical genres including the highs and lows of a traditional ballad; electric guitar solos which transitioned into a harmonious build from a Swedish yodeler, a xylophone, a Theremin, and a full string orchestra.

Chris Milk joined them as the director. Milk is responsible for creating the concert where the performance experience is immersive for the musicians and the audience, both live and recorded. To achieve this vision, Milk designed a performance space as unique in its layout as it is in its recording equipment.

The physical space consists of concentric circles where Beck stands in the center, encircled by a rotating ring of audience members. The audience is further surrounded by 167 musicians from across the globe. Helping him bring his vision to life is renowned concert designer Antony Randall of Willo Perron Associates, who has sculpted performances of major artists recognized worldwide.

The architectural design of this reinvented stage creates a special surround sound experience, while the binaural microphones capture the real audio experience digitally, allowing online users to feel as if they were actually at the concert.

To translate this event onto the web, Chris Milk invented a new tool to record 360-degree axis binaural sound: the “Sound as Vision Head”. Advising was Jeffery Anderson, designer of his own state-of-the-art binaural microphone system, The Free Space microphone by 3diosound.com. The recording of the 360 video experience was supervised by Michael Kintner, creator of the 360 Heros camera. The director of photography for the project was Bradford Young, winner of the 2013 Excellence In Cinematography award at Sundance.

Together, these talented artists and engineers have created a new concert space with a technological combination that enables people to experience a fully immersive performance.

Prepare yourself to be part of a digital experiment that may change the way people interact with music.

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