disguise Supports Xite Labs at LA Philharmonic’s Concert

disguise 4x4pro media servers used by Xite Labs at LA Philharmonic's 100th Anniversary Concert 2018

The Los Angeles Philharmonic kicked off its 100th anniversary season with a free concert for 18,000 fans at the Hollywood Bowl. The celebration marked the first project for Xite Labs, which used two disguise 4x4pro media servers to map the Bowl with dynamic projections and real-time visual improvisation performances.

LA-based Xite Labs is a design studio focused on creating immersive visual and auditory experiences. Xite Labs projection mapped the Bowl’s iconic proscenium with colourful, high-energy visuals that moved in real-time with the music. LA Philharmonic Music Director Gustavo Dudamel’s body and hand motions were captured by a Microsoft Kinect cameras so the tempo and pace of the music were actually reflected in the projections on the Bowl’s structure.

Xite Labs crafted dynamic geometric projections to accompany Herbie Hancock’s Rockit guest performance. Katy Perry’s cover of Queen’s Bicycle Race featured images of turning wheels and her performance of Firework made the Bowl light up with pyrotechnic projections that enhanced the real thing illuminating the night sky. A surprise performance by composer, John Williams led the orchestra in the Star Wars theme showcased projections that transported the audience far, far away to a scene evocative of Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon.

Xite Labs were the Creative Directors and Art Directors for the entire Hollywood Bowl experience. “We were very interested in the music of the orchestra driving the visual compositions and the LA Philharmonic’s long history with various genres of music in their 100 years,” said Visual Artist Vello Virkhaus. “We met with each artist team, and the creative process evolved based on our original ideas and their feedback. The visuals were influenced by a convergence of sight, sound, touch, movement and music. We used disguise in pre-pro for projection studies and projector placement, it worked great; we love the ability to look at different views and cruise around the Bowl.”

Content Creator Greg Russell noted: “I like how you can change mapping methods track-to-track – perspective mapping, a UV-wrapped model – that flexibility is pretty amazing.”

They also cited that the collaborative mapping feature was critical to the project’s tight schedule. “We were running out of time and rushing to finalise the mapping onsite,” Virkhaus recalled. “To be able to have Greg working with one operator and me with another, at the same time, was an amazing feature of the software. It was the coolest thing ever to have a collaborate mapping workspace.”

He stressed: “This was not a time coded show. We could not push ‘go’ and synch to time code. So the real-time tools we worked with to produce visuals at this level without a rehearsal were a testament to the both our development and the tools we had at our disposal. All the real-time flexibility of Notch and disguise were really central to being able to pull this off.”

Gear Tech in Los Angeles supplied the disguise 4x4pro media servers for the Hollywood Bowl concert.