Visitors to this year’s Holland Festival will be able to experience a truly trailblazing premiere with Eight, Michel van der Aa’s latest work of ‘mixed reality’ music theatre. Created with the designer Theun Mosk and virtual reality company The Virtual Dutch Men, ‘Eight’ is a unique fusion of music, theatre VR and visual art, in which audience members wear VR headsets to walk through and manipulate an installation of physical and virtual objects. As they do so, they piece together the story of a woman whose memories are spread across the walls.
The music that plays throughout the installation has been written by Michel Van der Aa and is performed by Kate Miller-Heidke and the Nederlands Kamerkoor. After ‘Sunken Garden’ and ‘The Book of Sand’ (on which the Nederlands Kamerkoor also appeared), ‘Eight’ is the third collaboration between Van der Aa and Miller-Heidke, and the Australian singer and actress will appear on a new album featuring the music of ‘Eight’ alongside new tracks, to be released this autumn.
‘Eight’ is also the first production of the doubleA Foundation, launched by Van der Aa in 2018 to support the production and touring of new and existing works that stretch the boundaries of music theatre, opera, concerts, audiovisual exhibitions, digital art, multimedia and film. Future projects for the Foundation include a film opera, a large-scale work of music theatre and a visual art collaboration.
As well as the Holland Festival, ‘Eight’ is a co-commission of Festival Aix-en-Provence, Beijing Music Festival, KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen and the Helsinki Festival, and after June it will tour to those festivals in 2019 and 2020. A full list of dates, tickets and more information about Eight can be found at eightvr.net.