2016 has swept me into the immersive world of VR, deeply inspired by attending Sundance back in January. I did the sound design for a video installation Inextinguishable Fire which had its national premiere at Sundance, so I made my way to Park City to celebrate with director Cassils at the New Frontiers headquarters located right on Main Street. New Frontiers is the experimental wing of the festival, curated by the visionary Shari Frilot, and showcasing inventive installations and films from around the world. As is often the case in multi-installation exhibition spaces, the sound for Inextinguishable Fire was set at too low of a volume so I took matters into my own hands by locating the Mackie mixer and turning up the master 5-6db. I could then relax and enjoy the fruits of months of meticulous sound design I crafted under the scrupulous and mindful direction of Cassils, in the stimulating company of all the festival artists and attendees.
What I didn't expect was to be blown away by the numerous VR projects. I ran into composer Terry Dame and we partnered up to experience the Immersive Explorers piece in which our avatars were visible to one another in full body virtual attire within a space craft, put to the task of locating crystal wands which, once loaded into a station post, beamed us into alternate virtual locales where we could explore precarious walkways and rooms. I was so moved by this all-encompassing experience I literally felt a wave of emotion pass through my being that can be summarized by the word AWESTRUCK. I came home with one goal: to launch into VR sound design. I put the word out to a couple colleagues and was connected to Infosys, where I worked with an awesome team on a flight simulator project for the 2016 Infosys Confluence in April. It had been a while since hooking up sounds in Unity, but with more recent experience using the game engine Wwise all ramped up quickly, further cementing my passion for creating immersive worlds through positional audio cues and richly crafted ambiences. Thank you Sundance for this new direction in 2016, you never cease to leave a lasting impression!
Stay tuned for updates on VR projects in the works with Pleymax and other exciting ventures!