Issue 27

Hippotizer Harmonises Wraparound Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra Visuals

Sweden’s Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra performed a ‘musical adventure’ at the imposing Göteborgs Konserthus recently, enveloped in video projections driven by Hippotizer Boreal+ Media Servers


22 March 2022

Stockholm-based Pixelfield Studios – styled PXLFLD – was commissioned by the Gothenburg Symphonic Orchestra to design a visual concert experience based on ‘The City’ as an overarching concept. The PXLFLD team responded to the brief by considering what defines a city, taking in architecture, communications, culture, and people. Over two nights of performances, audiences were treated to sweeping cityscapes, eerie urban scenes and flashes of abstract colour and patterns.

The 90-minute orchestral performance, entitled The Crescendoing City, immersed the audience in a ‘visual flow’ designed to perfectly complement the piece. “We needed a reliable and flexible media server solution that had the power and capacity to drive super high resolution imagery via the six projectors rigged at the concert hall,” says PXLFLD’s Anders Granström. “In order to maintain the flow of the visuals alongside the musical score, the media servers needed to offer flawless playback of multiple layers of high resolution content, and enable geometric fine tuning and colour correction. The right servers for the job were a mixture of Hippotizer Boreal+ and Taiga+ media servers, with two stand-alone Zookeepers FOH and Backstage. We made good use of Hippotizer’s ScreenWarp, LiveMask and PixelMapper features.”

All of the visual content was produced by PXLFLD Studios artists Andreas Skärberg and Per Rydnert, alongside Granström. This was projected across the stage, enveloping the rear, left and right walls in a seamless blended visual. The visuals were beamed into the space using five Barco HDX-4K20 projectors, which were placed outside on rolling podiums by the section entrances to the concert hall, and one Barco UDX-4K40 projector positioned in a custom isolation box inside the hall itself. The architecture of Göteborgs Konserthus is clean, open and offers a seamless ceiling, lending itself to beautiful, wraparound projected visuals.

“Hippotizer played a huge part in the final composition stages, because everything was anchored to the music and the dynamics of conductor Johannes Gustavsson and pianist Víkingur Ólafsson,” Granström continues. “The ability to remain flexible and free for on the spot adjustments was enormously beneficial.” Granström and the team controlled the show using AKAI APC40 MKII MIDI controllers and an Elgato Stream Deck XL.

“We had two absolutely amazing concerts and the reaction from the audience was overwhelmingly positive. Working with Gothenburg Symphonic Orchestra, mezzosoprano Karin Torbjörnsdóttir, pianist virtuoso Víkingur Ólafsson led by Johannes Gustavsson was an absolute thrill from start to finish.”

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Issue 27