The AniMotion Show Brings St. Giles Cathedral Edinburgh Alive Powered by Panasonic


The AniMotion Show, hailed as “ground-breaking” by The Scotsman and “an inspired collaboration with Panasonic ” by the Financial Times, was embraced by an enthusiastic audience from all walks of life who filled the magnificent St.Giles Cathedral, the High Kirk of Edinburgh and one of Scotland’s foremost iconic landmarks.


Translated onto architecture, the AniMotion Show is a pioneering vehicle for art, music and digital technology. The AniMotion Show unites art and music in real time. Paintings unfold in front of the audiences, akin to a live storyboard in which music plays the role of the script.  This mix of live painting combined with the technical wizardry of projection mapping and live music from some of the world’s top virtuosos created an incredible feast for all the senses.


When artist Maria Rud approached projection and digital art specialist Ross Ashton with the concept of AniMotion, he immediately saw the possibility of taking the project to a new level by mapping it to buildings and architecture.


This was the second collaboration between Ashton and Rud, following the worldwide launch of AniMotion on architecture at Cambridge, UK, in September 2013.


At St. Giles Cathedral, the giant images appeared live on the striking stained glass windows of the east transept wall behind the altar as the show unfolded. The 16 metre tall by 9 metre wide projections were created using a Panasonic PT-DZ21K WUXGA projector mounted vertically.


Says Ashton, “We are very keen to expand this idea and elaborate on how it can work in numerous locations and environments both indoors and outdoors also encompassing many different genres of music”.


The projection ‘screen’ – the large stained glass window – was installed together with most of the rest of the impressive stained glass in the building during the 19th century.

Glass is a challenging surface on which to project, but with the power of the projector, the detailed mapping and the intricate lighting of the painting set-up, the images were crystal clear and absolutely stunning.


Thanks to Ashton’s expertise and Panasonic’s technology, Rud’s ‘canvas’ for the event was the architecture of the entire wall complete with the window as its centrepiece, from where her seven unique and ‘momentary’ AniMotion sequences could be appreciated by the capacity 400 audience seated in the nave.


During the show, the light-box painting surface was evenly top lit and an AG-HPX250 high definition camera recorder placed directly overhead with its output fed into a laptop running Millumin  – a software originally developed for VJs – which can also edge blend, map and has a number of other cool and useful functions.


Maria Rud comments, “I love Panasonic’s technology! For an artist, the true colour translation delivered by the camera and projector is absolutely vital. Thanks to Panasonic’s incredibly powerful and sensitive technology, the show was beyond our expectations, and the collaboration demonstrates that art and technology can be combined to produce new art form.FACE ]


Soprano Rebecca Tavener commented that she was “Amazed” by the virtually silent running of the Panasonic PT-DZ21K WUXGA, which was specified for the event by Ross Ashton.


Dame Evelyn Glennie – the world’s first solo percussionist, composer, and one of the most significant virtuosos of our times, is a frequent creative collaborator with Maria Rud, and “The AniMotion Show: Evelyn Glennie and Maria Rud” was first launched in 2012 by the National Museum of Scotland.


The carefully selected collage of music played out at St Giles cathedral included ‘Dark Matter’, a dynamic experimental piece by composer and virtuoso flautist David Heath, vocalist Fay Fife (lead singer of influential 1970’s Scottish punk / new wave band The Rezillos) and DJ / music producer Dolphin Boy (Andy Levy) that was composed especially for that inaugural AniMotion architectural event in Cambridge.


The other pieces of music at St. Giles Cathedral were ‘Nostalgia’ composed by Vincent Ho and ‘Prim’ by Askell Masson, both performed by Dame Evelyn Glennie;  ‘Laude’ by Gavin Bryars / Hildegaard von Bingen and premiered in Scotland by soprano Rebecca Tavener; and Improvisation by Evelyn Glennie and David Heath.


Panasonic UK was pleased to sponsor AniMotion, as they understood this new concept and its potential benefit to art, technology and the public. Panasonic UK supplied the PT-DZ21K WUXGA projector and two AG-HPX250 cameras. Ross Ashton designed the projection system and oversaw the full technical installation. Technical support was delivered by Metro Ecosse and Warehouse Sound, both from Edinburgh.


The St Giles Cathedral event was supported by Creative Scotland, with thanks to St. Giles Cathedral and Jo Penney.


Photography: Douglas Robertson.

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