Gardens of Illucium

Gardens of Illucium

Gardens of Illucium.

A live audiovisual odyssey, a collaboration between Spontaneous Fantasia and the Hutchins Consort.

We performed this ambitious, futuristic work on March 17, 2011.

Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, CA. (site)
Thursday, March 17, 2011, 7:30pm

Adults: $30
Students and seniors: $25

Gardens of Illucium: A live visual and musical performance collaboration between the Hutchins Consort and J-Walt’s Spontaneous Fantasia. The performance is a ninety-minute structured improvisation which will take the audience into a virtual world of imaginary and semi-imaginary species — a garden of improvised plants and mythical spices, evoking the desires for the exotic, mysterious and the slightly dangerous.  As the musicians of the Hutchins Consort weave a sensuous tapestry of tonal color on their various violins, plucked strings and percussion, J-Walt will draw a computer-generated 3D virtual world populated with fantastic other-worldly flora, creating a garden of unearthly designs. A common theme for the creation of the music and images is the Golden Ratio and the related Fibonacci Sequence: mathematical concepts which have been discovered in the growth patterns of life forms and which have also been an organizing principle in art and music from antiquity.

The music is a structured composition by Joe McNally, artistic director of the Hutchins Consort. The Hutchins Consort is the only ensemble that plays on the scaled violins of the New Violin Family designed and built by Dr Carleen Hutchins (1911-2009), and has been praised internationally for their exceptional musicianship, invigorating programming and daring-do.

J-Walt’s Spontaneous Fantasia performances extend live performance into the realm of virtual reality. His technology allows him to draw animated figures and organic 3D sculptures with the strokes of his digital pen. Worlds of color and imagination flow from J-Walt’s fingertips onto a large projected video screen, providing illustrated animated counterpoint to the music and enveloping the audience in an integrated paradise of sight and sound.

As the final notes from the strings drift into silence, the digital cybergarden dissolves into its constituent bits and bytes. People are invited to visit and linger in the Gardens of Illucium and behold the wonder of a reality that exists only for the duration of the concert.

Production Images

Gardens of Illucium production stills (updated 8/6/2010)

3D Concept Imagery

When Gardens of Illucium was still in the concept stage, I created some concept images for it in 3D stereo.
The images were created in real-time, or near real-time in some cases. To create these images, I spent some time riffing on the theme of branching fractals: drawing the core gesture; choosing the colors, textures, lighting; and playing with the parameters that determine how each figure branches.

How to view these images:

You’ll need a pair of anaglyphic (red/cyan or red/blue) glasses.  Make sure red lens is over your left eye.

3D viewing adds information to these forms.  You really get the sense of volume more than viewing a flat image.  If you are wearing glasses, close one eye to see what I mean.  The image will flatten, and you will lose the space and volume that the form appears to occupy.

2 Responses

  1. Joel Mariano says:

    I like how your work seems to be evolving into animal life. Your use of 3D fractal structuring like that of an instrument is quite refreshing! Revelation of fractals have conventionally been represented like mining, whereas your technique lends itself to more organic fluidity.

  2. Doug Graves says:

    John, this show sounds and looks great. I’m in Oxnard now but with no transportation and no job yet. But I will come and watch it as soon as I can. Break a leg.

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