Octave 9

Seattle Symphony

The Future of Music is Here

Octave 9 is a new kind of concert hall, with 360-degree wrap-around graphics, visualizing the sound and motion of the performance.

Belle & Wissell, Co. 2019 100,000

Infinite Animations

Early in the design phase, we collected pages of graphics for inspiration. These images were visually striking in different ways. I remember sitting in a meeting, when the "lightbulb moment" struck: I realized we could implement a generalized system to render all of these graphics, and many more, smoothly morphing between them.

The visualizer uses OpenGL shaders. The "particles" are meshes, capable of changing size and shape, and blurring in-and-out of focus, producing an immersive feeling of three-dimensionality.

I created a motion framework, which composites different "flow" patterns, to produce rich animations. For example: a ring of particles, blended with a slow tumble in 3D space, produces an undulating sphere. A physics engine smooths the overall motion, and can be adjusted to relax (or energize) a scene.

Easy to Control

I developed a content management system (CMS) for users to create new animations, and compose visual playlists for live performances. With one click, users can push their creations to the screens at Octave 9, and edit the visuals in real-time.

The visualizer also has an API. Artists can edit visuals using their own software, during a performance. This feature was used extensively during a 24-hour electronic music event.

I also developed software which tracks movement within the space, and streams the motion vectors to the visualizer. Performers and guests can wave to disperse clouds of particles, and throw particles around the circumference of the screen.