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Surreal musical journey Fantasynth wins virtual reality arts award

Posted on Wed 10 Jan 2018
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Image from Fantasyth by HelloEnjoy

Surreal musical journey Fantasynth wins inaugural virtual reality arts award

The surreal VR journey Fantasynth, created by Brighton based studio HelloEnjoy, has been selected by the jury for the Creative VR Award - a celebration of the innovative work from last year’s sellout virtual reality arts festival, the Limina VR Weekender, at Watershed, Bristol (1-3 Dec 2017). Fantasynth’s success highlights the creative potential of musical VR - it's a surreal journey through a geometric audio-reactive environment that comes to life with the music. Featuring the song “Chez Nous” by French producer N’to, it was designed by HelloEnjoy, made up of the creative duo Carlos Ulloa and Libertad Aguilera.

The judges were looking for the virtual reality experience that demonstrated the most creative and effective use of the medium, as well as a careful consideration and awareness of their audience. The panel consisted of Verity McIntosh (Watershed), Emma Hughes (Limina Immersive), Dan Page (Bristol VR Lab) and Sharon Clark (Raucous).

The judges said,

“Fantasynth is an accomplished and euphoric piece. It lifts you in a way that could only be achieved in VR, demonstrating the transformative power of VR in relation to mood in a slick and compelling format. It has impact and gives audiences a sense of wonder, providing a fantastic portal into the world of virtual reality for those who may not have experienced it before. Seven minutes of pure joy.”

Hugely popular with festival-goers, Fantasynth provoked physical reactions from awestruck audience members who found their heads bobbing and bodies spinning, fully immersed in the visceral landscapes created by HelloEnjoy.

Creators HelloEnjoy commented on winning the award:

“We're thrilled Fantasynth has won the Limina Creative VR Award. We were already very excited to be part of the VR Weekender, a great honour to be among such fine selection of VR pieces. The main creative idea behind Fantasynth is to look for the intense sensory experience that takes place when visual effects are in perfect sync with wondrous sounds. You can visually play with the music and take great joy from it. We see a new form of interactive entertainment in this activity, mid-way between a music show and an art installation."

Fantasynth was featured as part of the UK’s first VR-only public arts festival, the Limina VR Weekender, a co-production between Limina Immersive and Watershed. The sell-out event aimed to demonstrate the creative potential of virtual reality as an art form in its own right and to present a wide range of VR content to the public. The festival featured a range of world-class, artistic VR experiences, including work from Aardman, The Guardian, BDH and Bristol-based natural history VR studio, Biome Productions. The selection was curated by VR pioneer and founder of Limina, Catherine Allen.

About Limina Immersive

Limina is a UK-based VR curation and exhibition company founded by BAFTA award-winning producer Catherine Allen (@_catherineallen). Through its unique curatorial style and pop up VR theatre format, Limina frames creative virtual reality experiences as an everyday cultural activity, something for people to do in a day or for an evening out. Limina’s approach is based on an ongoing process of extensive audience research and testing, working with leading universities and cultural venues. The team work closely with some of the world’s most talented VR producers, giving them access to the most pioneering and meaningful content currently available.

About HelloEnjoy

HelloEnjoy is an interactive studio based in Brighton, UK. They make games, music visualisations and creative apps, all in beautiful 3D.