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      Beyond the Audience Seat: The recording and production of immersive opera and interactive concerto programmes for VR experiences


      Proceedings of EVA London 2019 (EVA 2019)

      Electronic Visualisation and the Arts

      8 - 11 July 2019

      Opera, Virtual reality, 6DoF, Volumetric, Ambisonics, Recording

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          New modes of expression have always defined a central attribute within the ambitions of classical music. The extended realities (XR) hold the potential to expand this expressive repertoire by transporting audiences into the middle of the action within an immersive music performance. We argue that implementing these innovative formats in contemporary opera performance, composition, production, and recording opens up new aesthetical paradigms that can reciprocally inform the artistic disciplines and reach a wider demographic of audiences. To our knowledge, this paper presents the first ever interactive virtual reality (VR) production of an entire opera, “She” (2017) and “Croak” (2018). The recordings devise 3-dimensional 360-degree high-resolution video and 3rd-order Ambisonics audio from multiple perspectives within a bespoke software interface. Following a discussion of both operas from the composer’s and engineer’s perspective, the paper will present an enhanced rendition of “CroakVR”, a 6-degrees-of-freedom (6DoF) volumetric simulation of its corresponding opera, that raises the bar of interactivity by enabling audiences to freely explore various mimetic and diegetic perspectives of its staging. Furthermore, we discuss on-going work on “Climb!VR”, a 6DoF volumetric VR production devising multiple Ambisonics recordings of an interactive electro-acoustic piano concerto “Climb!” based on ludonarrative structures. It is argued that VR recordings can amend the life span of musical compositions by offering listeners a concert experience that can extend beyond the walls of the physical concert hall.

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          Most cited references 10

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          The Role of Agency in Ludoacoustic Immersion: Experiencing Recorded Sound and Music in Situational Context

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            Under Construction – Contemporary Opera in the Crossroads Between New Aesthetics, Techniques, and Technologies

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              An Augmented Reality Interface for Piano Instruction


                Author and article information

                July 2019
                July 2019
                : 409-416
                Aalborg University

                Dept. of Communication & Psychology

                Musikkens Plads 1

                9000 Aalborg, Denmark
                Hong Kong Baptist University

                Rm AST801, Sing Tao Building

                Hong Kong Baptist University

                Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
                © Gasselseder et al. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. Proceedings of EVA London 2019, UK

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit

                Proceedings of EVA London 2019
                EVA 2019
                London, UK
                8 - 11 July 2019
                Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
                Electronic Visualisation and the Arts
                Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
                Self URI (journal page):
                Electronic Workshops in Computing


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