Our first experiments culminated in a deck that included visuals communicating the idea of the conductor’s movements becoming like sculptures or art pieces. We worked on different interpretations of the movement (one was with ink for example), for each season. And then another route was more abstract, capturing the emotional qualities of the music. Conceptually the LSO really liked this last route, but they were also fans of a more contemporary approach, so we built on the idea with a more modern angle.
In June 2016, we were able to get some time with Sir Simon Rattle, and we’d decided to record his movements using motion capture techniques. We managed to hook him up to all this gear during a rehearsal at the Barbican, with cameras surrounding him in 360, recording an hour’s worth of movement, with some very accurate tracking data. One of our issues was that this was obviously quite an ambitious idea, and the technology is not cheap, so we managed to partner with Portsmouth University, who have an amazing motion capture department and a brilliant partner company, Vicon, who own all of the equipment. It turned into a real collaboration, and they volunteered a lot of their time to set everything up, program, then clean up the data once we had selected the clips we wanted to work with – it was an invaluable partnership.