This year’s BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall will feature the first ever virtual reality Prom.
The production, Five Telegrams, commemorates the centenary of the end of the First World War by bringing some of the lesser known stories and history of the Great War to life.
Created by composer Anna Meredith and 59 Productions, video designers for the 2012 London Olympic Games opening ceremony, it explores the various means of communication during the conflict, encompassing everything from news and propaganda to code-breaking efforts.
At the heart of the production is a seven-minute movement called Nothing To Be Written, inspired by the multiple-choice postcards sent home from the trenches.
These pre-written cards allowed soldiers to choose one of three options: ‘I am quite well’, ‘I have been injured’ or ‘I am in hospital’. They were allowed to sign their name and date it – but if they wrote anything else, the cards would be destroyed, the BBC explained.
The VR experience puts viewers in the shoes of the soldiers and their loved ones, contrasting the horror of the trenches with the quiet dread of their families as they waited for news to arrive.
Accompanying Nothing To Be Written, a full 25-minute, immersive experience places the user in the centre of the Royal Albert Hall.
Lysander Ashton, director of 59 Productions, said: “You find yourself alone in this spectacular space. There is a reverent hush alive with possibility. The space feels real, but heightened. As the music begins, the hall begins to transform in response to the music. The architecture around you shifts and changes, becoming a canvas on which the music is painted.”
The film premieres to a live audience on 21 August. Later in the year it will be released on platforms including Oculus VR and the BBC website.
Tags: Virtual reality