Sensorium will show Vysotsky’s VR with Leps and Dzhigurda

The Sensorium project, in which businessman Mikhail Prokhorov invested, plans to organize a virtual concert in memory of Vladimir Vysotsky, in which Leps, Dzhigurda and other artists will sing. Their digital avatars are being prepared now.

Vladimir Vysotsky’s speech, 1979
(Photo: Sergey Metelitsa / TASS)

A source in the augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) market told that Mikhail Prokhorov’s Sensorium project plans to organize a concert dedicated to Vladimir Vysotsky in virtual reality. According to another source close to one of the artists participating in the event, digital avatars are being created now, the work may be completed by the end of this year.

In early May, composer, sound engineer, producer, multi-instrumentalist musician Yevgeny Kobylyansky also spoke about such plans in an interview with the Ulyanovsk portal “Media 73”. He called this project “The Digital Immortality of Vladimir Vysotsky” and pointed out that performers Grigory Leps, Nikita Dzhigurda and Diana Ankudinova are working on it together with Sensorium. Kobylyansky noted that work is underway with digital avatars, video images are being made for each composition. In addition to the version for users of VR platforms, it is planned to make a TV version, a video version and, possibly, a concert tour. Kobylyansky stressed that this is a long project, but he expects to “sort out the music within a year — not earlier.”

This interview also appeared on the blog of singer Diana Ankudinova with confirmation that she is taking part in the project.

The representative of Diana Ankudinovo noted that the artist signed a non-disclosure agreement with Sensorium, and refused to comment on any. Nikita Dzhigurda’s representative declined to comment. Representatives of Sensorium and Mikhail Prokhorov declined to comment.

What is Sensorium

According to the information on the website, Sensorium Corporation was founded in 2018 by billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov. The company is engaged in VR technologies. From earlier statements, it follows that since the foundation of Sensorium, it has attracted at least $ 100 million in private investment.

The company is registered in the Cayman Islands, it has offices in Moscow, Zurich, Los Angeles and Montreal. In 2021, Sensorium planned to open a Sensorium Hall concert hall for 8 thousand people in Moscow City worth more than $ 200 million, Vladimir Kedrinsky, CEO of Fan Generation (engaged in complex investment and construction engineering and implementing the project), told Forbes. The venue was supposed to be a concert hall, event hall or exhibition space. However, at the moment there is no information in the information system for urban planning in Moscow that the building has been put into operation. The portal of the Moscow construction complex indicates that the building will be built in 2023.

One of the products of Sensorium Corporation is Sensorium Galaxy — the so-called metaverse, which can be accessed using a virtual reality helmet. A metaverse is a collection of digital worlds. Instagram Facebook Inc., which owns the social network of the same name, as well as Instagram, WhatsApp, etc., announced a name change to Meta Platforms in October 2021 (recognized in Russia as an extremist organization, its activities are prohibited) and introduced a new product Metaverse, which should allow users to visit various places in virtual reality, interact with other users, including using digital objects in the real world, etc.

The musical direction should be the first to appear in the Sensorium metaverse. It is assumed that these will be concerts in the virtual space of real artists or artists created with the help of artificial intelligence. Being present at the concert in the form of a virtual avatar, users, as representatives of the project say, will have the opportunity to interact with each other and with artists, influence the development of events. The music direction was launched in beta testing in April 2021.

At the end of April this year, a representative of Sensorium talked about the imminent launch of the PRISM project, which unites virtual DJs controlled by artificial intelligence who can create music in more than 60 genres. Each virtual DJ has his own style of performance and appearance and is “ready” to communicate with fans through the Sensorium mobile app at any time.

Back in 2019, Sensorium Corporation released its SENSO token, with which users will be able to purchase tickets to events in the metaverse, customize their avatar and make various purchases in the virtual space, for example, items of clothing or the ability to dance a certain style. The company planned that by the end of 2022, more than 1.8 million users will pay exclusively with SENSO tokens.

What can a virtual concert be like

Virtual concerts gained wide popularity during the pandemic, when the opportunity to hold regular events disappeared. “Ariana Grande’s concert was a great success on the site of the Fortnite computer game (78 million people watched it) and Travis Scott — there (11 million people). Concerts are held regularly at a similar Roblox venue. Paris Hilton, Lil Nas performed there, the Grammy ceremony was held,” said Pavel Ivanov, CEO of the AR and VR technology development studio BlackVR. French composer, multi-instrumentalist Jean Michel Jarre performed several times in the VRChat computer game, and the Japanese organizers held a three-day music festival there with a paid entrance, at which both real people and virtual performers performed, he recalled.

According to Ivanov, for a successful virtual concert, it is important to create a beautiful world that will work stably. “It is important to develop a high-quality avatar of the performer. The specifics of virtual concerts are such that you definitely need some kind of interactive, otherwise the performance looks boring. At some VR venues, guests can physically dance with a helmet on their head, while others have animation of visitors dancing, mini-games, changing scenery, special effects,” he said.

Ekaterina Filatova, President of the Association of Augmented and Virtual Reality AVRA, also stressed that in preparation for the Vysotsky concert for the organizers, it is necessary not only to create an avatar of the artist, but also to recreate the atmosphere of the hall, the user’s immersion and his interaction with the virtual world and other viewers.

“Avatars of Vysotsky and other artists can be created with different tools. Now there are more and more new programs for creating avatars with artificial intelligence, digitizing a person using a phone and creating a real-time avatar with embedded animation, as well as avatars for VR platforms based on photography. But, most likely, Vysotsky’s avatar will be created using a motion capture system and computer graphics, drawing details manually or partially automating with the help of special programs”

EKATERINA FILATOVA NOTED

According to her, it is possible to show a concert with an avatar both on a desktop, TV channel or YouTube, and on a VR platform. An important component is not the fact of the concert itself and the artist’s avatar, but “the incredible atmosphere and actions of the viewer that he can perform during the concert as in real life.” For example, when Jean Michel Jarre performed, the digital environment around him changed depending on his game, and the audience could interact with each other. It was not just a concert hall where the audience sits and listens to music, but a constantly changing schedule, Ekaterina Filatova added.

Back in 2019, it was reported that a virtual voice of Vladimir Vysotsky appeared in the Taganka Theater.

According to the materials of RBC. Authors Ekaterina Yasakova, Anastasia Serova, Nadezhda Fedorova

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