The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) have always put on a good show with their eight-week long summer season of daily orchestral music concerts dubbed The Proms. Now, the BBC have announced that they will be broadcasting a performance during the Proms in virtual reality (VR) for the very first time.
The experience will be premiered during the Proms, and will see attendees put on Oculus Go VR headset in order to experience a short film titled Nothing To Be Written. This film take place between families at home waiting for news of their loved ones, and the trenches of the frontline. Nothing To Be Written will run for about seven-minutes and was inspired by the field postcards sent from the frontlines of the First World War, which will be included in the film.
Nothing To Be Written has been created by composer Anna Meredith and creative content company 59 Productions, along with First World War centenary arts programme 14-18 Now and Edinburgh International Festival. It will features the BBC Proms Youth Ensemble and the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, alongside the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
“I’m totally delighted with 59 Productions’ beautiful story telling in ‘Nothing to Be Written’ – to me it mirrors the music I wrote by allowing you to experience the texture both at a distance or really zooming into the detail of the Field Postcards and the stories they tell beyond the prescribed text.” Said Composer Anna Meredith.
The seven-minute film will premiere on August 21st at the Metric Bar of Beit Venues Imperial College Union, with free tickets available for the event via the BBC Proms website. Nothing To Be Written will then be released later this year for VR headset owners to download and experience for themselves at home.
A second VR experience will also be previewed at the Proms – the 25-minute film will place viewers inside the Royal Albert Hall as the score from Nothing To Be Written, Five Telegrams, plays and the building and its geometry morph and change around the user.
“This extraordinary piece is a brilliant example of the BBC’s cutting-edge work in virtual reality.” Said Zillah Watson, the commissioning editor at the BBC’s VR Hub: “It’s the most exciting new technology in media today, and we’re using it to give viewers a new perspective on music and art with the BBC Proms. The experience helps the viewer understand the terrible gap between families at home and soldiers on the front line by putting them right at the heart of it.”