maxwell's equations :

It was thanks to the enormous efforts of PJ Moore that the Digital Learning Foundation was commissioned by the James Clerk Maxwell Foundation to produce the Maxwell's Rainbow 3D travelling school show as part of the 2006 Maxwell Year celebrations. He was also heavily involved in the writing of the script and wrote the music for that show.

A huge fan of Maxwell, PJ had already embarked on a personal project to celebrate the Scottish scientist's life and work in music. He also wanted to explore the potential for this music being supported by 3D visuals to create an immersive experience. As usual for projects like this, finding funding and suitable venues can be a huge problem and for various reasons, the large scale project has yet to happen.

However, a much smaller preview event was combined with a week of Maxwell's Rainbow 3D shows being held at the birth place of Maxwell as part of the Edinburgh Science Festival 2006. This was the premier of Maxwell's Equations.

pj moore and musicians

As the music was going to be played live at the event, I suggested that perhaps the 3D visuals should also be "driven" live and that was what we did. I used some of the models that Moyra (Moyra Campbell) had created for Maxwell's Rainbow and built a new show in Present3D, that could be manipulated in real time, to match the mood and pace of the music. There was also a reading by PJ of one of Maxwell's own poems and to support this, I created a 3D word volume.

The techniques developed here, to visually support music in realtime, have since been used in a number of live events,  most notably  Designers Block, 2007, with RM* that featured randomised music by both The Lava Experiments (Fraser Rowan) and Mikhail.