It’s the dawn of a new decade and we here at Noctvrnal wanted to take the opportunity to look back on the past year and look ahead towards the future. Pardon our brag, but 2019 was a big year for us, full of big moves and exciting changes. We moved into a new office, branched out past traditional audio engineering into installation art, event planning, and education, and even picked up a few awards along the way. Join us as we look back at the year behind us and look forward to what is to come.
Last year we had the opportunity to work with a variety of collaborators on some great 360° film and VR/AR experiences. In the realm of immersive video, we designed the audio for Embodied Labs’s Dima Lab, an immersive training experience, Infectious Disease Detectives, an immersive video highlighting the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative’s IDseq technology, and worked with a team of artists on Dark Shapes, which was displayed at Seattle’s Wing Luke Museum as a part of their “Worlds Beyond Here” exhibit. We also participated in a few hackathons, working with a team to create award-winning AR applications, with HighAR Ground winning ESRI prize at MIT Reality Virtual Hackathon 2019 and SAR5G winning Best 5G Hack for AR/VR at the AT&T Shape Hackathon 2019.
We jumped head first into installation art, creating immersive, location-based experiences all across the country. In Los Angeles, we worked with the LA Philharmonic on Noon to Midnight, an immersive theater experience put on as part of their Fluxus festival. We created the soundtrack for Amator Montum, a single-channel installation by artist Amara Untermeyer that explored connection that locals of Mammoth, CA have with the Eastern Sierra mountains. Across the country, we worked with Eye Q Productions on Garden Party Lights, a massive projection mapping show displayed at the Missouri Botanical Gardens.
In Greeley, CO, we worked with Denver-based Alt Ethos on an interactive installation in a pedestrian tunnel that lets people create their own electro-swing song as they pass through.
One of our favorite memories of 2019 was producing Cerebella, a pop-up art show in Downtown Los Angeles. We featured work from seven female and/or POC-identifying artists, performances from six all-female acts, and debuted our interactive sculpture “Ethereum.” Ethereum’s interactive audioscape was constructed using infrared sensors and projection mapping, using TouchDesigner, Arduino, and MadMapper as our main tools.
Finally, we dove into education with talks at conventions and guest lectures at CalArts and Orange Coast College. Anna and Helena had the pleasure of being featured on Deity Microphones’s Audio Academy Youtube series and 1.618 Digital’s immersive Audio Podcast. We also started this Medium blog as a place to put case-studies, mini lessons, and recaps of our work! In the new year, we will be teaching semester-long courses at Chapman University and Orange Coast College on immersive audio engineering and look forward to expanding our educational efforts.
Throughout 2019, we were able to work on a large variety of projects that pushed us out of our comfort zone. For 2020, we hope to maintain that same energy. We’re looking forward to working with companies bringing XR into enterprise; creating more tangible, immersive experiences; and diving back into the academic world as professors. We are also cooking up a couple more exciting projects that will bring binaural soundtracks to audio-only narrative experiences, so keep an eye on this space.
2019 was a year full of pivots and exploration for us, and we know that 2020 is going to be even bigger and better. Cheers to the New Year, to our existing and continuing partnerships, and to making new works and new connections. Happy 2020!