Il giardino di Armida

Augmented reality (AR) app over music by J. B. Lully, the “Passacaille” from “Armide” (1686, based on a poem by T. Tasso), originally intended to accompany an enchantment scene.

AR is used to provide a modern interpretation of a scene of a 17-century opera as a fully immersive experience. The player is not just a spectator of the scene, but the center of the action. In the original plot, magician Armide enchants Renaud by creating around him a fairy world which distracts him from his duties. In this app, the player is a modern Renaud, and the play enchants him by gently and progressively substituting the ordinary surrounding world with one of fantasy. At the beginning, the player sees the surrounding real world. Once the music starts, a virtual world starts growing up around him. As time goes by, the virtual world superposes to the real world and hides it more and more, till it completely replaces it.

The virtual objects and scenes are created out of photographic details extracted/abstracted from the urban landscape and extruded into half-transparent 3D shapes.

The music is played on the harpsichord in the transcription by J. H. D’Anglebert.

Technical details:

The app is currently built for Meta Quest devices (best for Quest 3), duration of the music: ca. 8min 30sec. It is possible to share the performance experienced by a single player with a wider audience via mirroring and projection on a large screen.

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