By Neehar Mishra
Photography: Uldis Lapins; courtesy the Didzis Jaunzems Architecture
Read Time: 2 mins
Incorporating science, art, dramaturgy and music into one magnificent installation, Nature Concert Hall shows immense potential to change the way music and theatrical performances are held…
Music is often called the universal language, but through Nature Concert Hall 2016, the latest installation by Latvia-based Didzis Jaunzems Architecture (DJA), the firm has elevated the art form and the very act of performance to a medium of interdisciplinary learning. Every year since the last decade, this unique initiative has been attracting people from wide-ranging backgrounds and interests to partake in an informative yet entertaining journey into aspects of nature, brought to life by a scintillating play of music, science, visual art and poetry as well as the performance’s interaction with its surroundings.
The theme for Nature Concert Hall 2016, held at Luznava and Zalenieki manors, Latvia, was Plecotusauritus or the brown long-eared bat, a native of Latvia that is known to have adapted well to humans. As is with all other installations in the annual series, everything - from the location and design to the music and the interactive workshops conducted by a team of researchers was based on this theme. Elusive and fascinating, the dark world of the bat was brought to life in the form of a canopy comprising 10,000 bats made from laminated paper spread-eagled over an area of 1,000 sq. m.
This canopy not only lent the performance an air of natural mysticism, but also served as a perfectly fluid canvas for the black-and-white video and light projections accompanying the show. The most alluring feature of this cloud of fluttering bats, however, was that it seemed to support and levitate over the stage at the same time - an illusion created by suspending the installation through three paired wooden vertical electricity columns far away from each other.
Magical, entertaining and informative, Nature Concert Hall 2016 proved to be quite the memorable experience for the 10,000 people, who attended it. Needless to say, the innovative installation has raised the bar quite high, when it comes to performance scenography.