Orpheus' Journey

Virtual reality

This virtual reality film uses the 360° technique. For the time being, few poetic or scientific attempts exist on this medium. The film’s originality stems from an immersion into Rilke's Sonnets to Orpheus, without resolutely seeking the playful activity or the didactic relationship. The film reveals two Rilke manuscripts in a new format. Instead of standing, forehead pressed up against a display window, the spectator finds himself facing a massive scale which immediately illustrates the poem’s sheer breadth.  Multimedia techniques aim to bring the spectator before these archives, while telling the main facts surrounding their writing. The film departs from Morges and ‘flies’ the viewer to Raron in the Canton of Valais. Despite being filmed (not modelled), the whole offers a “derealisation” which establishes a symbolically built ‘in-between’. The visual and sound effects notably seek to increase the relaxing forms of consciousness – and, especially, bring the brain into an alpha wave state – enabling it to better feel the immersive and symbolic phenomena. This project also contributes to promoting the Swiss territory as a place dotted with poetic high places.

Technique

Using Unity software, a 360° film was created in two stages. A Go Pro 5K camera was used to capture images inside the tower and of the forecourt of Raron Chapel in front of Rilke's tomb. Vincent de Vevey handled this filming using a fixed camera, as well as the processing of the manuscript insets and inclusions. For the drone part (above Morges and Raron), the team from Scenic View – specialised in this kind of filming – was hired.  Editing was first carried out on the film, with Pierre-André Aebischer then providing the ambisonic immersion, which enables the spatialization of the sounds. Knowing that ambisonic binaural sounds actively participate in the feeling of immersion, the Oculus Quest headsets are each equipped with external audio headphones to offer sound insulation and quality. The integration of the audio-visual elements is done in Unity and distributed as an app in “Oculus Player”.

Concept and scenario:
Antonio Rodriguez, UNIL

Production and editing:
Vincent de Vevey

Interaction:
David Hodgetts
Vincent de Vevey

Actors:
Isabelle Caillat
Yves Raeber
Michel Voïta

Drone footage:
ScenicView SA

Sound production:
Pierre-André Aebischer

Digitisation of manuscripts:
Martin Bodmer Foundation, Cologny (GE)

Extras:
Marie Thorimbert
Sandra Willhalm

Translation:
Jeanne Wagner

Acknowledgements:
Rilke Sierre Foundation, Raron Municipality, Morges Municipality, Morges Castle