A Contrasting Experience in the December Darkness2023-12-11
Would you like to escape the daily routine for a few minutes and shut out the outside world? Experience an installation where music and technology blend visually and auditorily on December 13th at Musikhögskolan Ingesund and on December 14th in the lobby of the auditorium at Karlstad University. This creative vision is crafted by Mats Gustavii, a teacher at Musikhögskolan Ingesund, located on Karlstad University's second campus in Arvika.
Mats Gustavii has composed two pieces to be performed: Allegria, representing joy, and Elegos, exploring the theme of Affectus Doloris, symbolizing sorrow. In the installation, each musical piece is performed individually through 14 speakers placed in an embracing circle. As a visitor, you have the freedom to wander between different listening points and choose which elements to focus on. For those seeking an even more immersive experience, there's the option to sit in the center of the circle, put on VR glasses, and visually and auditorily experience the musicians as if they were right there.
"At first, my plan was to create several pieces of music that could evoke different emotions for the same film sequence to illustrate how powerful an impact music can have on our perception of moving images/films," says Mats Gustavii. "However, I encountered a problem: it was challenging to find a suitable neutral scene that could work for this purpose. The idea was to use well-established musical and film clichés to create these emotional effects—from the most upbeat and happy to the deeply sorrowful, covering the entire spectrum of emotions that music's affect theory offers."
Exploring New Ground with VR Glasses
The project took an unexpected turn when Mats Gustavii met Gorki Glaser-Müller, a filmmaker and project manager at Visual Arena, Lindholmen Science Park in Gothenburg. Gorki introduced him to virtual reality technology and its potential. With the help of sound technician Thorbjörn Andersson, also a teacher at Ingesund, and filmmaker Gorki Glaser-Müller, Mats Gustavii's vision has become a reality. Glaser-Müller has filmed the musicians and created the VR film that provides visitors with a unique visual and auditory experience. Here, a symbiosis is created between specially composed music for a string ensemble of 14 musicians, in this case, Camerata MHI, and advanced technology.
"Inspired by this, I got the idea to tailor the music for VR, where the musicians are not only heard but also seen through VR glasses, creating an enveloping and immersive experience with the help of 14 speakers placed around the audience. Gorki was enthusiastic, mainly because something similar had never been done before, and there was excitement in exploring new ground."