ACO Virtual

"ACO VIRTUAL proved popular with all ages. Visitors said they wanted to bring it home."
Maggi Solly
Director, Yarra Ranges Regional Museum

A creative collaboration with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, ACO Virtual is a world-first interactive experience that lets the audience take control and play with the musicians.

Audiences and visitors step ‘inside’ the performance, immersed in a 360-degree cinema experience, surrounded by the musicians. Currently touring Australia, the installation is flexible enough to be staged in various venues including galleries or museums. Inside the installation fifteen ACO musicians appear as projections on walls or screens, while each musician's sound is heard from the direction of their image.

A touch-screen app in the centre of the room lets visitors spotlight sound and visuals, highlighting one musician, a section of instruments or their own mix of players. Visitors can also choose to display or hide the musical score below each musician’s image.

The project evolved through extensive research and development, beginning with a pilot interactive video installation, where just four ACO musicians were filmed. The success of the pilot saw the project expand in 2011 to feature 15 musicians in a ground-breaking 13-camera, 3D film shoot.

Using state-of-the-art video technology, the musicians were filmed against green-screens to capture audio and three-dimensional images of each artist, which means venues can choose to stage the work in either 2D or 3D.

Mod Productions' benefited from the contributions of a talented team of international experts brought together for the project including Simon Lear (bSound), Paul Nichola (Cinematographer and 3D expert), iCinema Centre (UNSW) and Derivative (Toronto).

ACO Virtual launched mid-2013 and continues to tour. As at December 2014, it has had over 26,700 visitors. Visitor response has been overwhelmingly positive and media coverage has included Time OutCNET Australia, The Guardian, The Telegraph (UK), IT Wire & the Sydney Morning Herald. See the ACO Virtual tour on Google Maps.

Musicians, including members of the Gold Coast Philharmonic Orchestra have been diving into the experience, playing along with the ACO.

The installation brings amazing artists closer to audiences who do not normally have access to such music and performance. It's a fantastic format for performance that would also suit other genres.

In 2016 we released a VR edition of the (virtual) show which is also available for booking. Things can only get meta!

Contact us for demo and staging enquiries on our 2017 US dates around SIGGRAPH in LA and Impact Conference in NY.

A free augmented reality smartphone app adds layers to the experience, including visuals and information on each musician, their instrument, the musical pieces and composers, as well as a take-home track of each piece of music featured in the work.


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Further reading



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Project Credits

Producer: Mish Sparks
Artist and Director: Michela Ledwidge
AIMIA Awards 2014: Nominated - Best Use of Video award
SXSW Interactive 2014: Nominated - Music award
Australian Directors Guild Awards 2014: Winner - Best Direction in a Cross-Platform Project
AVIA 2014: Winner - Best Application of AV in Production
SPA Awards: Nominated - Interactive Production