LAST WHISPERS

Oratorio for Vanishing Voices, Collapsing Universes and a Falling Tree

http://lastwhispers.org

IMMERSIVE ORATORIO
(a video and audio installation and a virtual reality experience)

Conceived / Directed / Produced by Lena Herzog

With sound design and compositions by Marco Capalbo and Mark Mangini
Visualization by Amanda Tasse, video by Tomas Van Houtyryve and Aziz Lechgar
Images by NASA, Bryan Nash Gill, Lena Herzog

EDITION 1: INSTALLATION & CONCERT (completed, premiered at The British Museum 11. 2016)

simultaneously a film projection and a choral pre-recorded composition with immersive (either 8.1 or binaural*) sound design, resulting in a 46-minute long visceral experience—an immersive oratorio. The video consists of 3D animation, video drone footage and stills (all in black-and-white) poetically linking image and sound. The audio in the Oratorio is a chorus of extinct and endangered languages, both spoken and sung, composed from the historical recordings (speech, recitatives, incantations, songs and ritual chants) punctuated by the sound of interpreted (made audible) gravitational waves of the collapsing stars and supernovae recorded by LIGO “The Listening Ear.”

Last Whispers is, in essence, an immersive experience of film and spatially designed sound composition of extinct and endangered languages (spoken and sung) .
Running time: 46 minutes.

Museum / Concert Hall / Cathedral Installation and Concert

  • Last Whispers plays on a loop as an installation at the top of the hour or

  • Last Whispers plays as a choral concert and film event at a given time

  • Video screen projection of animation, stills and drone footage in black-and-white (1920 x 1080 resolution / 2K)

  • Audio projection (8.1 or binaural*) either via an 8.1 PA sound system or via headphones for binaural

EDITION 2: PUBLIC / LAND ART (completed)

Public Spaces

  • Public and land art installation via a weatherproofed 8.1 sound system

  • Large scale video projection

» Download technical specifications for Edition 2 

EDITION 3: VIRTUAL REALITY (1 completed, 2 in progress)

an immersive virtual reality (VR) experience made in collaboration with Emblematic Group.
Running time: 7 minutes.

VR platforms

  • Last Whispers plays as a VR (7 minutes) on various VR devices and platforms

  • Last Whispers, as a VR, is conceived as An Immersive Oratorio In Three Parts, 7 minutes each,

  • each part can be viewed as a stand-alone, but best—as a suite.

  • one part has been completed and is ready to be uploaded on the VR systems and shown at the VR theaters

  • two remaining immersive experiences are still being built

* Last Whispers was created and mixed in two ways: as an 8.1 public spatialized sound projection and as a binaural individualized sound projection. Both mixes mimic a sound environment the way human ears hear it live, unrecorded. They are perceived as a genuine 360° sound, registered by the mind as distinctly present and alive.

Premiered at the Living & Dying Gallery at The British Museum in October 2016.

Stop-motion video (by Mark Mangini) of the Last Whispers installation at The Living & Dying Gallery of The British Museum. Sound set up provided by the generous support of Meyer / Autograph Sound.

Lena Herzog worked with a team to create an original work (sound design, composition, animation, drone footage) based on the archival recordings of extinct and endangered languages (40 in total). Screen shot ( 1 ) from the video of the installation (with original animation, video and composition)

Lena Herzog worked with a team to create an original work (sound design, composition, animation, drone footage) based on the archival recordings of extinct and endangered languages (40 in total). Screen shot ( 1 ) from the video of the installation (with original animation, video and composition)

Screen shot ( 2 ) from the video of the installation (with original animation, video and composition)

Screen shot ( 2 ) from the video of the installation (with original animation, video and composition)

Screen shot ( 3 ) from the video of the installation (with original animation, video and composition)

Screen shot ( 3 ) from the video of the installation (with original animation, video and composition)

Screen shot ( 4 ) from the video of the installation (with original animation, video and composition)

Screen shot ( 4 ) from the video of the installation (with original animation, video and composition)

Screen shot ( 5 ) from the video of the installation (with original animation, video and composition)

Screen shot ( 5 ) from the video of the installation (with original animation, video and composition)

Screen shot ( 6 ) from the video of the installation (with original animation, video and composition)

Screen shot ( 6 ) from the video of the installation (with original animation, video and composition)

Screen shot ( 7 ) from the video of the installation (with original animation, video and composition)

Screen shot ( 7 ) from the video of the installation (with original animation, video and composition)

Opening reception at The British Museum, Last Whispers team: Marco Capalbo (left), Mark Mangini, Lena Herzog, Mandana Seyfeddinipur, Margaret Morris (right)

Opening reception at The British Museum, Last Whispers team: Marco Capalbo (left), Mark Mangini, Lena Herzog, Mandana Seyfeddinipur, Margaret Morris (right)