It’s hard to imagine, once you’ve seen My Virtual Dream in-person live, “how in the world they do that.” We are asked that question a lot. The short answer is that it’s a lot of work. And that’s true, but it takes a lot of very talent audio-visual engineers, computer programmers and neuroscientists to bring the whole show to life. From a carefully placed lighting system to a hand-crafted sound system, the visual and audio effects from My Virtual Dream are projected in full 360 degrees on a dome-shaped screen, in real-time live.
In My Virtual Dream, each Dreamer uses a neuroheadset (BCI) to affect what they are seeing and hearing. The Dreamer can react to images and sounds produced by their own brainwaves, thus continuing to affect them in some direction: relaxation with calm imagery and focus with dramatic imagery. The direction the show takes is created by the brain waves of the dreamers, these closed loop signals are called neurofeedback.
MVD is different from the typical neurofeedback setting. Dreamers will interact with the other Dreamers and the environment. Thier state as a group, either Deep Relaxation or Focus, will change the outcome of the dream. “It’s a complex scenario rich with the unknown, which is very exciting and progressive,” says Dr. Petra Ritter, co-leader of My Virtual Dream and one of the principle investigators for The Virtual Brain initiative. “What makes MVD so exciting for the dreamers, audience and our team is that no one is never certain what the dreams will be like,” adds Dr. Ritter.
The entire show, the BCI and the Audio-Visual–is made possible by the magic-like genius of our programmers and engineers. Each of them brings an art and craft to the creative process deftly combining the science with the art and music into a finished performace that leaves the audience in awe.
by Richard Tavener, Executive Producer, My Virtual Dream