3D light show kicks off Edinburgh fest

The Edinburgh Castle was the backdrop of the show on Sunday.
The Edinburgh Castle was the backdrop of the show on Sunday.PHOTO: REUTERS

EDINBURGH • The volcanic rock on which Edinburgh Castle perches became the screen for a 3D digital light show on Sunday night, turning the western facade into a kaleidoscope of its past for the opening ceremony of the 2016 Edinburgh International Festival, the world's biggest annual arts event.

The 350-million-year-old geology of the craggy Scottish capital was the inspiration for the show, bathing the rock in cascades of light to the delight of the 27,000-strong crowd watching live.

The animation focused on the idea of "deep time", a geological concept pioneered by James Hutton in Scotland in the 18th century, which helps to explain the earth's formation.

The show was created using architectural mapping technology and took almost 15km of cable and 42 projectors to pull off.

Set to an electronic soundtrack by Glasgow rock band Mogwai, it was billed by the organisers as "one of the largest and most unusual pieces of projection undertaken anywhere in the world".

Over three weeks this month, the Edinburgh International Festival takes place simultaneously with The Fringe, hosting more than 3,000 shows, and the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, which this year celebrates Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday.

During the festival, street parades and performance art and music, children's theatre and other events take place throughout the city, whose population doubles to around one million people for the duration.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 09, 2016, with the headline '3D light show kicks off Edinburgh fest'. Print Edition | Subscribe