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Carmina Burana-rama

The classic gets a more mind-expanding presentation than ever before, say show directors.

Devon Green October 2nd, 2013

Canterbury Choral Society Presents: Carmina Burana
8 p.m. Friday
Civic Center Music Hall — Thelma E. Gaylord Performing Arts Theatre
201 N. Walker Ave.

Chad Mount

In Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, Oklahoma City will witness projection mapping, an emerging technological art form that turns objects, often irregularly shaped, into a surface for video projection.

For the first time in the metro, local artist Chad Mount presents his visual art form in conjunction with a live Canterbury Chorale Society performance.

“The arts are always looking for ways to collaborate with other artists, and looking for ways to attract a different audience,” said Randi Von Ellefson, creative director of The Canterbury Chorale Society.

Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (OVAC) was approached and Mount recommended, as he had experimented with “live painting” as well as projection mapping at Coachella, a music and art festival in California.

When asked about making a physical painting with the chorus performing in the background, Chad told the group, “I don’t think you’re thinking big enough.”

What he suggested was more exciting than they had even imagined. “I’m continually trying on new hats, trying new things. With the idea of being on stage, with conventional paints and a rectangular painting, [in] such a large venue, it didn’t make sense, it didn’t appeal to me,” he said.

He had experimented with projection mapping in its infancy, when it was prohibitively expensive for a self-employed artist. Coachella was a chance to explore how far the technology has evolved. Rather than simply make a painting on stage, he was ready to use projection mapping to transform the entire space in which the chorus performs into a three-dimensional canvas. Mount teamed up with Cory’s Audio-Visual, and the images projected will be a painting that Mount creates in real time, right along with the chorus’ performance.

Mount has also been working for several years using sound waves to manipulate the movement of the paint. This will be an aspect of the painting being created during the performance — a synergy between the sound of the performance and the painting being created before the audience’s eyes — all while the chorus is performing the much-beloved Carmina Burana. The opening and closing piece, “O Fortuna” is one of the most ubiquitous pieces of music in the world.

Mount is excited to bring something technologically cutting-edge to Oklahoma City, especially for the first time, he said. He feels it has potential of and is just now starting to be explored thanks to software innovations making it accessible to individual artists. He hopes this is the beginning of a fruitful relationship involving many collaborative efforts among various art forms. The finished product of Mount’s live painting will be auctioned off to one lucky sponsor by raffle.

What the audience has to look forward to is “more exciting than anyone could have imagined,” Von Ellefson said. “I just feel like people are going to be very stimulated and excited.”

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