vRSP is developing outputs which are exemplars of a wholly new genre of art work, designed for virtual space but based on notable and rare historic places for which music will be written to integrate musical and social memory, and exploit unique architectural and acoustic environments. Live performances of newly composed works will be captured and disseminated to viewers and listeners as VR content through the application of a series of novel production techniques. These will enhance and address specific difficulties presented by current technologies, as described below, by applying interdisciplinary knowledge combining research from human perception, neuroscience, musical composition, animation, visual surface-mapping techniques and visual signal processing, stereoscopic 360 degree video and three- dimensional audio recording and reproduction methods. The network draws together experienced practitioners from all fields to inform the creation of a new work that will portray the intrinsic qualities of the historic performance space through site specific live performance and a combination of contemporary video- and animation-based techniques for VR generation.
The core project team includes Michael Price, one of the UK's most sought-after composers, known for Emmy-winning compositions for BBC's Sherlock and Unforgotten as well as work on films including Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Richard Curtis' Love Actually, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and Alfonso Cuaron's Children of Men. Alongside his Film/TV work, and signed with the label Erased Tapes Records, Price is releasing a new album recorded on six locations across the UK, ranging from a Tudor mansion to tunnels within the White Cliffs of Dover. Each piece was composed in response to the site and its history, and recorded onsite. After enquiring with industry colleagues about methods of recording and reproducing immersive audio, Price began consulting directly with equipment manufacturers in search of solutions, becoming an associate member of the BAFTA-VR Advisory Group, and working closely with BAFTA on development of future VR audio standards. vRSP will allow Price to work together with University of Surrey academics Kirk Woolford and Tony Myatt. Woolford is an expert on interactive media content creation with more than 150 interactive works created, 30 years' experience developing immersive performances, including 20 years of VR performances, and 8 years' work with AR. Myatt is the head of Music and Media at the University of Surrey, founding director of the University of York's Music Research Centre, one of the foremost authorities on spatial audio. All three core partners are active creative practitioners and perform their works world-wide.