Passau, located in Bavaria in the South of Germany, is steeped in history rich with Baroque influence. The city’s design is dominated by large squares, romantic promenades and majestic bridges, and framed by the Veste Oberhaus castle and the Mariahilf monastery, the historical center looks like a floating ship. At the heart of its spectacular skyline is St Stephen’s Cathedral – created in the 17th century by Italian Baroque masters and home to the largest cathedral organ in the world. This was the impressive backdrop for ‘Symphony of Light and Sound’ – a projection-mapping showcase displayed on the façade of the imposing building.
Symphony of Light and Sound celebrated 350 years of Passau’s Baroque masterpiece, with the multimedia show telling the story of the cathedral, and the documents and architecture within. The event also incorporated sacred Christian music and takes spectators on a journey back through time – visiting the church in all its iterations over the decades.
Harry Pillmayer is project manager for GF Bühnenfabrik GmbH & Co.KG which was overseeing the delivery of this multimedia spectacle. “We’ve been working with the Cathedral for some time but this is the first time we have been commissioned on an outdoor projection of this magnitude and on a show with such a long run – so it’s a really exciting project for us. We were looking for a compact, high-performance projector with matching optics and turned to Digital Projection’s local event-distribution partner ETHA International GmbH & Co. KG, a specialist professional AV distributor here in Germany – who specified an M-Vision Laser 18K for the job.”
A powerful single chip DLP projector, the M-Vision Laser 18K boasts an impressive 18,000 lumens output and 10,000:1 contrast ratio. Delivering near 3-Chip DLP performance at a 1-Chip DLP price point, the M-Vision Laser 18K is a price-competitive large-screen imaging solution for installations and events where ample light output is required. With a host of features including DisplayPort accepting frame rates up to 60Hz; HDMI 1.4 for Side by Side; Frame Packing; Top Bottom 3D formats and motorized shift, zoom and focus across the whole lens range – it offers complete flexibility in an easy to set up package – making it a best-in-class projection solution.
Mark Wadsworth, Vice President of Global Marketing at Digital Projection, expands on what makes the M-Vision Laser 18K a good fit for projection on this kind of scale: “Thanks to its high brightness output and performance, a single projector allowed to map the entire cathedral to deliver a pristine show which exceeded the expectations from the event organizer.”
In terms of technical set up, the content is delivered to the projector via laptop and Blackmagic Studio Pro HD production switcher. “Over a month into the show’s run we’ve found the M-Vision 18K to be very reliable so far – standing up to the rigors of almost nightly performances. The value of this reliability can’t be underestimated when delivering such a high-profile project, and Digital Projection’s equipment has been faultless in that respect.”
The innovative display has been drawing impressive crowds. Relays Pillmayer: “We’ve been staggered by the number of people who have come to see the show to date – on average up to 1500 on site each week. The peak so far was Art Night in Passau, where we welcomed an incredible 5,000 spectators. According to local press, people have come in droves to the cathedral square every Friday to experience the audiovisual spectacular. Numerous spectators even went to see the show several times.
At every showing, the crowds have been breaking into spontaneous applause when the display ends. The ability to bring history back to life and translate stories from the past in a modern way is so important and deploying advanced technology such as the M-Vision Laser 18K helps us to deliver for clients who are increasingly looking for this kind of innovative solution. We will certainly look to use Digital Projection’s impressive products again.”