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Starless

Tell us about your event. You’re chatting to Ben Andrews, Director. Starless combines virtual reality with live sound and multi-sensory exhibition space in an immersive out-of-body experience. This is our second live-scored VR for Melbourne Music Week, after the sold-out experience allthestarstheybleedtogether in 2016. It’s supported by an unparalleled live performance from The Convoy.

How do you use music to compliment VR? Starless uses visceral quadraphonic sound to push the virtual experience into a much more physical domain. It enhances what is experienced inside the headset, and also attempts to dissolve boundaries of interior/exterior, mind/body, virtual/reality. Live sound allows each performance to be intimate, unique and responsive to the participants.

What sparks your interest most within VR? VR is an experience machine. Its capacity to bypass our expectations and habits for constructing “reality” is incredibly exciting. In multi-sensory VR, there’s alchemy to this process, with different stimuli producing very different results. Treating the senses doesn’t just heighten the visual world, it reconfigures it.

What do you hope attendees walk away with? A feeling that lingers. There’s no finite outcome. Each immersant responds differently: for one it might be deeply meditative, for another quite psychotropic, and for others evocative of a completely personal time. The breadth of experience is what really counts.

Why is it important to activate and explore our senses through art? Art’s essential quality is affective, and multi-sensory VR is no exception. VR is also unique. It engulfs our vision in entirely convincing three-dimensional space, splitting our body between two worlds.

Starless will take place at Dark Studio, Kensington from Friday November 17 until Tuesday November 21, as part of Melbourne Music Week.