Ruben van Leer

Sacred Environment

Ruben van Leer
Sacred Environment

Sacred Environment is a live VR performance for the concert hall exploring the changing meaning of sacred ground in our demythologised society.

 
sacredenv_logos_1.jpg
sacredenv_logos_2.jpg
 
To make the VR portion of Sacred Environment, Moore invited Van Leer to Australia, where they took a three-hour drive north from Sydney, along the Great North Road into the Yengo mountain area, a place of great spiritual significance to indigenous Australians.
VICE
 
 

ancient songlines & virtual reality

Sacred Environment is a ground-breaking work by the Dutch-Australian composer Kate Moore and visual artist Ruben Van Leer, commissioned by the Holland Festival and NTR Radio, premiered in 2017 at The Concertgebouw Amsterdam. The oratorio was performed and sung by the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, the Netherlands Radio Choir and soprano Alex Oomens. VR performer Esther Mugambi goes on a virtual reality dream-track towards the Hunter Valley in Australia, originally the territory of the Dharug, Darkinjung and Wonnarua people. The audience will follow her on a big screen in search of the stoneless temple. In this piece, the changing meaning of sacred ground in our demythologised society is being explored.

 
Premiering at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Holland Festival Proms 2017

Premiering at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Holland Festival Proms 2017

Capturing digital scans of parts of the Australian bush with spiritual significance

Capturing digital scans of parts of the Australian bush with spiritual significance

Ruben Van Leer making lidar scans

Ruben Van Leer making lidar scans

 
In her epic post-minimalist style, Moore suggested grand vistas. On a giant screen, Ruben Van Leer’s pointillist laserscan images of Hunter Valley in Australia formed an eye-catching visual counterpart.
NRC Next
 
Lidar scan of a dead Eucalyptus tree

Lidar scan of a dead Eucalyptus tree

Lidar scan of honey comb cave scan

Lidar scan of honey comb cave scan

Sound reactive point cloud VR visualiser tool

Sound reactive point cloud VR visualiser tool

 

respecting the bush spirits

“With great privilege Uncle John and Uncle Phil took us on a hike along The Great North Road 3 hours drive from Sidney and the place where composer Kate Moore’s family once settled when they arrived in Australia.

 
VR performer Esther Mugambi standing in the middle of the audience

VR performer Esther Mugambi standing in the middle of the audience

Soprano Alex Oomens, didgeridoo player Lies Beijerinck and conductor Brad Lubman

Soprano Alex Oomens, didgeridoo player Lies Beijerinck and conductor Brad Lubman

POV projection of realtime VR environments

POV projection of realtime VR environments

 

credits

composer: Kate Moore

VR installation: Ruben Van Leer

 

filmmaker & media-artist