Roger Water – a VR experience to accompany Niagara’s music

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Roger Water is another project to add to the ever-growing number of experimental music videos. This piece of work elaborates on the interactive video format, which has been explored by musicians such as Arcade Fire, Santigold, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Azealia Banks and Light Light. Roger Water is a track from Hyperocean, the most recent album from Italian post electronic band Niagara. Niagara has been embracing the visual element as part of their performances. They have devised a special live performance of their album. HYPERLAND is a live VR show that uses music played by the band to produce generative visuals that can be viewed as a projection on stage, on a smartphone, or using a VR headset.

Roger Water is a web-based VR experience derived from HYPERLAND. This version of the experience is not live, and can therefore be viewed at any time. Upon entering the website, the viewer becomes immersed in an infinite, ever-changing landscape. The generative environment is dominated by a large body of water, with rocky islands emerging from its depths. You float above this scene, having the ability to change direction and speed up. A set of keyboard keys triggers objects to be launched into the space. These include bombs and airplanes. You might see the odd whale drifting by, if you are lucky. The landscapes are generated, animated, and populated in real time. Apparently, secret discoveries await a special few who belong to particular time zones, or visit at specific times throughout the day.

Launching the site on my desktop, I found Roger Water surprisingly immersive and engaging. It’s a peaceful experience, offset by the anticipation of meeting new and unexpected creatures. Roger Waters is built by Stefano Maccarelli using the Three.js framework. Check out more about him here, and be sure to find out more about Niagara here. You might even get to experience their performance live.