Produced by BBC VR Hub, Nothing to be Written has been created jointly by contemporary composer Anna Meredith and the multi award-winning company of artists 59 Productions. The first ever VR Prom receives its world premiere on Tuesday 21 August.
The seven-minute experience is a contemporary response to the First War World and takes the ‘field postcard’ as its inspiration. As one of the primary modes of communication used at this time, the piece marks the festival’s continued commitment to bringing lesser-known stories and the history of the Great War to life in this important centenary year.
The VR Prom is a further iteration of the Five Telegrams project which formally launched the BBC Proms 2018 season. A co-commission for Anna Meredith and 59 Productions by the BBC Proms, Edinburgh International Festival and 14-18 NOW (the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary), this major new work for orchestra, choir and projections explores the varied forms of communication from the front lines.
Nothing to be Written takes the viewer on a highly emotive journey, positioning them as the main protagonist in the narrative: civilians transported on the same journey fared by their loved-ones during World War I. The piece merges two worlds – the hallways across the country with families and friends waiting quietly for news, with the unrestrained violence of the trenches. Throughout the piece, an image of a field postcard remains the central thread.
Produced by the BBC’s VR Hub and 59 Productions and featuring spatial sound recording and mix by the BBC’s Audio Research & Development team, Nothing to be Written receives its world premiere at the BBC Proms. It then travels to 14-18 NOW-linked events throughout the Autumn, followed by an international premiere at Raindance Film Festival. The experience has been developed for Oculus Go and will be available on public release to other major VR and BBC platforms later this year.