Los Angeles, CA (September 12, 2018) – The Los Angeles Philharmonic has commissioned award-winning media artist Refik Anadol to create unprecedented, breathtaking, three-dimensional projections onto the steel exterior of Walt Disney Concert Hall to signal the commencement of the LA Phil’s 100-year anniversary celebrations. Free and open to the public, nightly performances are scheduled to occur every half hour, with the first performance at 7:30 p.m., and the last at 11:30 p.m., September 28 to October 6.
To make Walt Disney Concert Hall “dream,” Anadol utilized a creative, computerized “mind” to mimic how humans dream – by processing memories to form a new combination of images and ideas. To accomplish this, Anadol worked with the Artists and Machine Intelligence program at Google Arts and Culture to apply machine intelligence to the orchestra’s digital archives – nearly 45 terabytes of data – 587,763 image files, 1,880 video files, 1,483 metadata files, and 17,773 audio files (the equivalent of 40,000 hours of audio from 16,471 performances).
The files were parsed into millions of data points that were then categorized by hundreds of attributes, by deep neural networks with the capacity to both remember the totality of the LA Phil’s “memories” and create new connections between them. This “data universe” is Anadol’s material, and machine intelligence is his artistic collaborator. Together, they create something new in image and sound by awakening the metaphorical “consciousness” of Walt Disney Concert Hall. The result is a radical visualization of the organization’s first century and an exploration of synergies between art and technology, and architecture and institutional memory.
To actualize this vision, Anadol is employing 42 large scale projectors, with 50K visual resolution, 8-channel sound, and 1.2M luminance in total. The resulting patterns, or “data sculptures” formed by the machine’s interpretation of the archives will be displayed directly onto the undulating stainless-steel exterior of Walt Disney Concert Hall.
WDCH Dreams’ accompanying soundtrack was created from hand-picked audio from the LA Phil’s archival recordings. Sound designers Parag K. Mital, Robert Thomas, and Kerim Karaoglu augmented these selections by using machine-learning algorithms to find similar performances recorded throughout the LA Phil’s history, creating a unique exploration of historic audio recordings. Viewers can access the soundtrack at the LA Phil’s website (laphil.com/wdchdreams).
Inside Walt Disney Concert Hall, in the Ira Gershwin Gallery, is an immersive and interactive companion installation, offering a unique, one-on-one experience for each gallery visitor. The exhibition presents the entire LA Phil digital archives in a non-linear fashion. The visitor, via a touchscreen interface, can interact with the archives in multiple ways: via a sunburst timeline; through curated moments highlighting milestones in the LA Phil’s 100-year history; and by delving into to the entire data universe that can be uniquely manipulated by each gallery visitor. The space will be re-imagined as a mirrored U-shaped room with two-channel projection. Visuals will be projected onto the mirrored surface giving the visitor a truly immersive, 360-degree experience.
The Ira Gershwin Gallery opens to the public on September 28 and will remain open throughout the Centennial season. Visitors can reserve times to access the gallery via The Music Center’s self-guided tour schedule weekdays from 10am – 3pm. Ticket holders to any concert during the Centennial season can access the gallery 90 minutes prior to performances.
As a part of the Centennial celebrations, the LA Phil will make a selection of its archives, and online exhibitions, available on Google Arts & Culture, exploring how WDCH Dreams was made, with behind-the-scenes footage and a short film about the development of the project.
For more information about WDCH Dreams, please visit: http://www.laphil.com/wdchdreams
More about Refik Anadol:
Refik Anadol is known for transforming architectural spaces and façades into giant canvases for live media arts. Born in Turkey, he founded the Istanbul-based design studio Antilop; he also operates a studio in Los Angeles and teaches media arts at UCLA. His renowned site-specific works have been presented at the Digital Arts Biennial Montreal, the Ars Electronica Festival in Austria, and the Outdoor Vision Festival in Santa Fe. He also has contributed unforgettable work in previous LA Phil seasons, including real-time projections for a 2014 performance of Edgard Varèse’s Amériques led by LA Phil Conductor Laureate Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel and directed by Peter Sellars.
More about the Artists and Machine Intelligence program at Google Arts & Culture:
Artists and Machine Intelligence (AMI) is a program at Google Arts & Culture that brings together artists, philosophers, and machine-learning researchers to realize projects using machine intelligence. Google Arts & Culture is a new, immersive way to experience art, history, culture, and world wonders from over a thousand organizations worldwide. Google Arts & Culture has been created by the Google Cultural Institute, and it is available for free to everyone on the web and on iOS and Android. Read more here.
Editors please note:
September 28 – October 6, 2018
Every half hour, starting at 7:30pm, with the last performance at 11:30pm
Walt Disney Concert Hall
Free and open to the public
Early in the 21st century, machine intelligence advanced beyond the memorization and analysis of data as a basis for prediction. The next phase was creation – data made beautiful. Pairing a computer’s “mind” with a building’s structure transformed both, giving the neural networks of the machine a canvas on which to create and architecture a “consciousness” with which to dream.
Chapter I: Memory
Archival Upload, Remembering the LA Phil’s Past
Chapter II: Consciousness
Radical Visualization, Mapping the Present
Chapter III: Dream
Imagination, Envisioning the Future
Soundtrack accessible starting on September 28, at: laphil.com/wdchdreams
High resolution renderings, for press purposes only, can be found here.
Credit: WDCH Dreams, renderings by Refik Anadol Studio
LA Phil 100:
In its Centennial year (September 2018 through October 2019), the LA Phil is inviting people from Los Angeles and around the world to join them in envisioning a future that music can help create. Major initiatives include presenting the orchestra’s most ambitious artistic season to date, featuring over 50 commissioned works and the LA Phil’s largest roster of artistic collaborations; investing in the future of young people by creating a permanent YOLA center, The Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen YOLA Center @ Inglewood, designed by Frank Gehry; establishing the LA Phil Resident Fellows Program, which will provide musicians representing or serving historically underrepresented populations opportunities for professional advancement; welcoming all of Los Angeles to Celebrate LA!: LA Phil 100 x CicLAvia, a free, massive, street festival featuring performances by hundreds of musicians, dancers and visual artists, stretching from Grand Avenue in front of Walt Disney Concert Hall all the way to the Hollywood Bowl, and concluding with LA Phil 100 at the Bowl, a free concert at the Hollywood Bowl; the “100 for the 100th: Be Our Guest” free ticket initiative, which will invite thousands of new listeners into Walt Disney Concert Hall; and a $500 Million Centennial Campaign to fund the future.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under the vibrant leadership of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, presents an inspiring array of music from all genres – orchestral, chamber and Baroque music, organ and celebrity recitals, new music, jazz, world music and pop – at two of L.A.’s iconic venues, Walt Disney Concert Hall (laphil.com) and the Hollywood Bowl (hollywoodbowl.com). The LA Phil’s season at Walt Disney Concert Hall extends from September through May and throughout the summer at the Hollywood Bowl. With the preeminent Los Angeles Philharmonic at the foundation of its offerings, the LA Phil aims to enrich and transform lives through music, with a robust mix of artistic, education and community programs.