Dragon Creative

Light Odyssey

Light Odyssey - a spectacular, one-off live experience with BBC Philharmonic.

BBC Philharmonic | 7pm, 18 October 2018

Empress Ballroom | Blackpool Winter Gardens

90 musicians – 20 international animators – a one-off spectacular live experience to transform the ballroom’s magnificent interior in jaw-dropping 3D.

Debussy | Barber | Saint-Saëns | Bernstein | Copland | Vaughan Williams | Britten
Light Odyssey
Light Odyssey


What is it

On Thursday 18 October, Light Odyssey will bring the iconic Empress Ballroom in Blackpool’s Winter Gardens to life with 3D animation, to push the boundaries of light, space and sound.

Partnering with BBC Philharmonic, this spectacular and one-off performance will transform the ballroom’s magnificent interior with an explosion of light, as international teams of animators project bespoke visuals onto the stage, sides, and ceiling.

The 90-minute performance will include 90 musicians, led by acclaimed Norwegian conductor Eivind Aadland, in his first UK engagement with BBC Philharmonic. Live performances of Copland, Britten and Saint-Saëns, and classical favourites such as Barber’s Adagio for Strings, will fill the air with music that invokes the sea and a sense of place, experienced anew with light.

A 3D model of the ballroom has been especially created to enable tailor-made projection visuals that will interpret the music and the architecture in a new way. And following an international call-out with close to 50 applications, we have selected 6 artists to each create sections of the visual show, all choreographed to music chosen by BBC Philharmonic. In partnership with London Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the next generation of animators complete this epic journey.

The jaw-dropping building transformation will require extraordinary technical vision, made possible by utilising the very latest in laser projection technology.

Light Odyssey launches the Lightpool Festival 2018, an international showcase of light and fire celebrating the world-famous Blackpool illuminations.



Debussy | Prelude de l’après midi d’un faune
Animators: Matt and Rob Vale

Saint-Saëns | Danse Macabre
Animators : Nick Azidis and Rose Staff

Barber | Adagio for Strings
Animator : Joe Mason

Bernstein | Symphonic Dances from West Side Story


Copland | Fanfare for the Common Man and Simple Gifts (from Appalachian Spring)
Animator : Dan Shorten

Saint-Saëns | Bacchanalle from Samson et Delilah
Animator: Florian Rabl

Vaughan Williams | English Folk Songs Suite

Britten | Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes : Dawn/Sunday Morning
Animator : Ruth Taylor
Animator: Students from GSMD


The Animators

Following an international call-out with close to 50 applications, we have selected 6 teams of artists to each create sections of the visual show, all choreographed to music chosen by BBC Philharmonic.

Matt and Rob Vale


Illuminos are brothers Matt and Rob Vale, creating visually inventive, memorable artworks and experiences. Across all projects and scales they seek to create work unique to location and viewer, with a particular interest in early animation techniques reimagined for contemporary mapping technologies.

They have exhibited internationally in France, Cyprus, USA and Ireland, recently with Les Troyens for Lyric Opera of Chicago, and for the European Capital of Culture closing ceremony in Paphos..


Phil Holmes

Producing this event has involved extraordinary technical and logistical challenges – over 12 months in the making, it has been made possible with the skills of remarkable people.

The theme is ‘sea and a sense of place, experienced anew with light’. The journey included taking scans of the Empress Ballroom to make a 3D model of the venue. This was used for six lead designers and a team of 20, from the UK, Australia, Germany and the Netherlands – selected from around 50 international applicants – to create bespoke animations.

An epic production in scale and size the likes of which has never been seen before, Light Odyssey will be a first for the resort and audiences are in for a visual treat and sound sensation as the BBC Philharmonic perform classical music favourites under a kaleidoscopic wonderland of animated graphics and stunning 3D light projections.

Light Odyssey presents a unique challenge that requires precision planning and execution to produce a truly outstanding event, as each individual animation and projection mapping feature has to be precisely aligned with BBC Philharmonic’s set musical pieces.

Projection mapping is the technique for video projection that can make use of any surface and turn it into a dynamic visual display and is used to bring buildings to life and create immersive environments.

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