Past events

[The Brain] 24 Nov 2018 at 20:00

Discover what it’s like to be part of a collective brain: a self-organizing, complex system that generates autonomous output.

Doclab Live: Jacco Gardner’s Somnium 23 Nov 2018 at 20:00, 22:00

Sensory live performance in the ARTIS planetarium of Jacco Gardner’s new album Somnium and the kinetic installation Volverium by Thijs Biersteker.

DocLab Academy: Workshop Day at Lava Lab 20 Nov 2018 at 9:30

A full day of hand’s on workshops by several professionals, taking place at design and technology innovation lab Lava Lab.

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Music and its source of inspiration converge in this mesmeric VR recording of Giacinto Scelsi’s notoriously difficult orchestral work about an ancient Mayan sacred place.

Uaxuctum is a prehistoric Mayan sacred place in modern-day Guatemala. The temple city was rediscovered in 1916, and it has appealed to the imagination ever since because the Mayans apparently destroyed it themselves for religious reasons.

The Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi, whose work and life are also the subject of Giacinto Scelsi. The First Motion of the Immovable by the same director Sebastiano d’Ayala Valva, took the story as the inspiration for his orchestral work Uaxuctum (1966). The music is among the most complex he ever wrote, and it was 21 years before the piece was even performed. The unusual instrumentation includes six double basses, an oil drum and a vast array of wind instruments. The musicians don’t just play conventionally, but they also gasp as they blow or rub their instruments. Meanwhile, the choir and solo vocalists make wordless guttural or nasal sounds.

The performance by the Radio France Choir and Philharmonic Orchestra was filmed with VR cameras to encourage us to enter the trancelike state that Scelsi envisioned. We’re sometimes among and sometimes above the musicians, immersed in sound. The grand concert hall dissolves and the temples of the ancient Mayan city appear—music and image converge.

Project details

Year of development :2018
Created by:Sebastiano d'Ayala Valva
With:Nicolas Lesoult

Available formats