8 Songs for a Mad King

“Long established as a classic of music-theatre, the work is an extravagant, disturbing and poignant portrayal of madness. The king is George III of England - or maybe another madman who believes himself to be that monarch - vocalizing weirdly as he bemoans his fate and tries to teach his instrumentalist-birds to sing. The string and woodwind players are the captives of his insanity, intended to play from within giant cages, while the percussionist is his keeper, holding him within the confines of a maddened musical sensibility. But all the musicians are essentially projections from within his own mind. The focus is always on him, and on his wild vocal performances, which include various kinds of Sprechgesang, chords and a range of over four octaves. The virtuosity of the instrumentalists is no less, nor that of the composer in playing spikily over a range of eighteenth-century references.”

The THINKlab developed a fully interactive virtual environment to support the play story. This included modelling the virtual scenes according to the play script and mixing real video (using chrome keying) from the play actors. The interactive elements let the user explore informative videos portraying the play musicians and contextualise with the current scene. The user can roam freely around the environment while listening to the actual musical play.

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Psappha Eight Songs for a Mad King Psappha Eight Songs for a Mad King