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Tripping the light fantastic in Sussex

iy_Project: The nature of light and sound comes to Hastings 

A spectacular immersive sound and light installation is set to become one of the iconic events that form the Root 1066 International Festival.

Created by laser artist Chris Levine, the iy_Project:The nature of sound and light will take place on Saturday 10 September on Hastings’ pier during the opening weekend of the arts festival celebrating 950 years since the Norman Conquest.

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Canadian-born Levine will collaborate with renowned sound designer Marco Perry to create a spectacular experience that reflects our, now peaceful, connection to Normandy and our French neighbours. Simultaneously, lasers will be beamed across the channel towards St Valery – from where the Norman fleet set sail – in a symbolic invitation to our French neighbours to join in the celebrations and festivities.

Originating from the Eden Project’s first major outreach environmental arts project, iy_Project is a spectacular immersive light and sound installation staged at iconic events and destinations internationally. The installation can be experienced on an intimate level by just a handful of viewers, or by thousands of people simultaneously. iy_project comes fresh from headlining the prestigious Park Stage at Glastonbury (25 June) with Charlie Hazlewood and a 45 piece orchestra in Philip Glass’ Heroes Symphony in a special tribute to the life and work of David Bowie.

Chris first made his name as a light artist in 2004 when he famously created a holographic portrait of Her Majesty The Queen. He subsequently created laser-based images of Grace Jones, Kate Moss, the champion racehorse, Frankel and most recently the Dalai Lama on the occasion of his 80th birthday. He has also worked with Antony and The Johnsons, Paul Weller, Jon Hopkins and Massive Attack. In the case of the latter, Robert del Naja – AKA ‘3D’ – of the Bristol-based trip-hoppers said: “Chris is like an atom in an excited state – he is the true laser master”.

Explaining the essential concept behind the iy_Project and his other work, Levine says: “My aim with iy_project is to work with the world’s top sound artists to harmonise sound and vision and create an experience that expands the narrow bandwidth of human perception. I want to draw us together in a meditative experience of wonder and communal celebration, leaving us more deeply connected to each other and the natural world around us. We are a part of nature, not apart from it.”

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He does this by diffusing the light from high-powered lasers into geometric, wave and nebulae forms which interact in extraordinary ways with natural phenomena such as rain, mist, plants, trees and people, as well as architectural forms.

Polly Gifford, Root 1066 Festival Director says it will be an unforgettable experience “The festival is all about shining a light on both the heritage and contemporary culture of Hastings and 1066 Country and the iy_project will do that in a spectacular way from the fantastic location of Hastings’ newly reopened Pier.”

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