Immersive design for cinema & visual music. Introducing Ron Arad’s Curtain Call

Ron Arad and his team reveal the ideas behind Curtain Call – an interactive 360 degree installation at the Roundhouse in London, 9-29 August 2011. Ron, Julian Gilhespie (architect) and Michael Castellana (industrial designer) talk about the journey so far and what you can expect.

A modern panorama-like setup, Ron Arad’s “Curtain Call” will be the heart of “An Evening At The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari” with Henrik Schwarz, Ame & Dixon

Bespoke agency SPL welcomes the illustrious Berlin based electronic music label Innervisions to join forces with one of the most influential designers of our time, Ron Arad. Presenting a spellbinding evening of film, music and artistic installation for ‘An Evening with Dr Caligari’ as part of Curtain Call at one of London’s oldest and most revered live music venues, the Roundhouse.

Ron Arad, renowned for combining playful forms and experiments with advanced technologies has designed and produced a large-scale interactive curtain, which will be suspended in the centre of the Roundhouse Main Space for one month only.

This event provides a wholly immersive experience, with the curtain will initially project the epic 1920’s silent horror film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, whilst Innervision’s Henrik Schwarz, Ame and Dixon perform a live score they’ve written to accompany the picture. Innervisions will then go onto undertake an exclusive live performance within the space, collaborating with the technical and aesthetic expertise of Arad’s studio to project a range of alluring visuals providing a completely unique experience fusing music, film and performance in a one time experience for the audience.

The Innervisions inner circle are a renowned ensemble consisting of the highly acclaimed musicians, producers and DJs Henrik Schwarz, Âme (Kristian Rädle & Frank Wiedemann) and Steffen Dixon Berkhahn. Their regular and highly celebrated performances at Berlin’s superclub Berghain and countless international festivals have acquired a prodigal status and a deep global respect for the collective throughout the electronic music scene. They have been credited with initiating a renaissance of house music through their forward thinking sounds and energies and when playing together they always provide an enthralling performance.

The Innervisions collective first wrote the score for “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” for a performance as part of the Jetzt Musik Festival 2010 in Mannheim, Germany, a sibling to the biggest German techno festival TimeWarp. One of the most influential of German Expressionist films and often considered one of the greatest horror movies of the early times, ‘Dr Caligari’ is a truly dark and gripping story cited as having introduced the twist ending to cinema.

Innervisions embraced the opportunity to create a piece of music that pushed them beyond the dancefloor and captivate their audience through a sensitive perception of a different type of media to their norm. Combining classical composition with electronics, Innervisions have written a musical theme for each character of the film, which is based essentially on the letters contained in the character’s name. Thus they created distinct scales – neither minor nor major – whose range shapes the entire music for the film. The production process was a combination of bricolage and musique concrète composition. With the help of various devices such as keyboards, striking surfaces, and rotary knobs, the musicians improvise and modulate sounds and moods in real time and in accordance to the film plot.

Ron Arad stands out in the design world with his daredevil curiosity towards technology and his range of alternative materials he employs for the versatile nature of his work. He has worked on multiple projects using a plethora of objects for a range of ventures, from carbon fibre armchairs, to polyurethane bottle racks as well as larger scale and more sensuous endeavours such as memorable spaces, some plastic and tactile, others ethereal and digital. A technical aspect tends to feature throughout his work demonstrating his dependency on the computer and its rapid manufacturing capabilities as much as he relies on the soldering apparatus in his metal workshop. His iconic furniture has created inbuilt technology to receive and display SMS and Bluetooth messages from mobile phones. Idiosyncratic and surprising, Arad’s designs have consistently communicated the joy of invention, pleasure, humour, and pride in the display of their technical and constructive skills.
For his latest undertaking he, along with his talented studio have worked to the strength of their technical design expertise, marrying it with their fascination with alternative materials to produce something visually and sonically supreme. For the first project within the Bloomberg Summer at the Roundhouse series they’ve created a unique installation for the iconic London building – Curtain Call. Roundhouse’s spectacular Main Space will temporarily house a curtain made of 5,600 silicon rods, suspended from an 18 metre diameter ring – forming a completely unique and engaging canvas for film, live performance and audience interaction.

“Walk in, penetrate, cross the moving images to get inside the cylinder. You’ll be engulfed by images – a captive, but also a creator. It’s amazing what exciting things happen on both sides of the curtain. I can’t wait.” Ron Arad

Having already worked with some of the most dynamic artists and musicians in a series of intimate soirees in the capital, SPL introduce their most enticing event yet. Innervisions presenting the Curtain Call is designed to inform and inspire throughout its captivating journey.

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