Monday, 23 December 2013

Abstract in Amiens - La Création du Monde

In July 2013, I was lucky enough to work as a Creative Lead on an animation project like no other. Together with Tom Beg, we produced 16 minutes of abstract animation to perform live alongside Darius Milhaud's 1923 ballet, La Création du Monde.

The animation originated from a multi-participant collaboration in response to ACT- A Common Territory, a project funded by the European Union's Interreg IVA Channel Programme, which aims to engage the creative and cultural industries in the UK and France. Over a period of ten consecutive week days, the students, staff & alumni of BA (Hons) CG Arts & Animation were challenged to produce abstract digital paintings in synesthetic response to segments of Milhaud's ballet. The CGAA community were asked to listen to each musical extract and then respond to it visually through the creation of original digital paintings in Photoshop.

After the success of the July performance, we were asked to show the animation again with the Ochestra, this time at the Maison de la Culture in Amiens, France. A little after 9.30pm on December 19th, after a very long day of set-up and back-stage preparation, the house lights dimmed and the musicians of the Orchestre de Picardie began to play the first, melancholy notes of Milhaud's ballet. Behind them, rear-projected onto the theatre's pristine twelve metre screen, our animation began to play too - with an audience of 600 people looking on.

It was an incredible experience. A trip filled with helpful and polite people who consistently aided us as we bumbled through our broken French. The live performance was smoother than ever before and synced beautifully with those parts that needed emphasis. It was a true joy and a spine tingling moment. Standing backstage behind a giant screen, our work projected large for the audience, attempting to control the timings of the animation in sync with the music was a strangely moving moment. It was a pleasure to show the animation again, and alongside such incredible music and performance felt truly special and magical in it's tonality. A rare moment on synchronisation and mixed media. I am sure I will be posting more on this and similar projects in the future, but for now, I shall just leave you with the animation in it's entirety. Joyeux Noël!

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