Škola Crew, a group of classical musicians and contemporary artists from Moscow, perform a blend of multimedia technologies and music with classical music recitals accompanied by background animations. The backgrounds are projected onto the walls around both the musicians and audience, making the whole visual and audio experience an immersive work of art.

In June, these talented artists were due to stage their immersive multimedia performance in the classical music venue, Zaryadye Concert Hall.

The state-of-the-art concert hall, which opened in the Russian capital in September 2018, already had a Christie Digital Systems Boxer 4K30 projector (30 000 ANSI lumen) installed above the stage but the group needed two additional projectors for the concert hall side walls to create the fully immersive visual experience around the audience. These additional projectors needed to be relatively small and inconspicuous while being powerful to create the huge imagery needed to cover the side walls. 

Alexandra Stefanova, pianist and the team leader at Škola Crew, says, “Projecting the imagery onto the three walls creates a feeling of immersion in music and space. It also conveys the idea and mood of the music, not only through performance, but also through powerful visuals. It is a great joy and great responsibility at the same time to perform at the Zaryadye Philharmonic. We had to ensure it looked and sounded perfect.”

Classic performance

Škola Crew chose two of Optoma’s high brightness projectors to beam the vibrant imagery across the side walls. These were the ZU506 laser projector and the 6,000 lumen WUXGA large venue projector – WU515T.

The group selected these models largely due to the high flexibility of projection settings. Their wide optical zoom range and lens shift meant it was possible to position these in the optimal spot to be inconspicuous yet guarantee the imagery was projected to exactly the right place.

Optoma says the WU515T large venue projector boasts a brightness of 6,000 lumens, produces super-sharp WUXGA resolution imagery and is equipped with a large zoom range, lens shift and a built-in geometric adjustment feature – ideal for image stacking, uneven walls or where a projector placement is awkward and needs to be installed at an angle.  Its built-in HDBaseT simplifies cabling requirements and reduces installation complexity saving both time and costs.

The cost-effective ZU506 laser projector boasts a brightness of 5,000 lumens, WUXGA resolution and offers flexible installation with a generous zoom, vertical lens shift, four corner adjustment and portrait mode, says its creator. Part of Optoma’s DuraCore laser range, the projector delivers 30,000 hours in full brightness mode and offers continuous 24/7 operation. Additionally, IP5X certification ensures total reliability even in the most demanding of environments.

The Results

The concert on June 15 was a huge success. Alexandra reports, “We showed the program in full mode: projected animations on the back stage wall and on the sides. The projectors’ combination of compact chassis, low noise and high brightness allowed Škola Crew to achieve bright, vibrant imagery, while the projectors did not attract attention or distract the audience from the performance.

“For our musicians, it is essential that their performance is not disturbed by extraneous sounds. The Optoma projectors operated silently.”

Valeria Sanchillo, the chief artist of the team, adds, “For the artistic part it was very important the largest possible area of the wall was covered with projections. This was achieved and allowed us to work freely with the image.

“We were very pleased with the clarity of the image and the projectors’ zoom capabilities. We were pleasantly surprised by their colour and brightness. The difference in colour between the two models was minimal and able to be adjusted to match perfectly with the fine correction.

“The walls in the hall are of a complex design, but this was also easily adjusted in the projector settings.

“Another challenge was that the hall has strict design restrictions for installations and requires equipment to be in-keeping with the overall style of the hall as a whole. The projectors were essentially located directly next to the audience but because of their compact design, they fitted in perfectly to the modern space and we did not have the additional task of trying to hide them.”

All images courtesy of Škola Crew, Varvara Philippova

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