Conceptualised by Chris Levine, EYE Cymru will lighten your world
EYE Cymru is a revolutionary and immersive laser and sound experience featuring an eclectic mix of multi-million selling, award-winning artists and performers, hosted in the magnificent grounds of Cardiff Castle.
During the show, high-powered lasers and lights of profound beauty will create a fully immersive experience that interacts with all the elements of the surroundings, from weather phenomena to the architecture of the Castle and the rich nature of the location. EYE Cymru involves all senses and aims to have visitors experience a moment of connection with nature and other event-goers.
EYE Cymru is conceptualised by internationally celebrated artist Chris Levine, who first came to prominence with his famous 2004 portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, The Lightness Of Being. With EYE Cymru, Levine and his collaborators launch a revolutionary new event format with an ambitious immersive experience which harnesses the power of laser, sound, people and place to create a transformational experience.
The EYE Cymru vision is to create a powerful new kind of immersive live event, with all of the excitement of the world’s top artists performing live through the progressive sound and laser technologies, but with no main stage in the traditional live concert sense. The artist’s vision is to allow our audience to focus on the multi-sensory qualities of the experience that will unfold around them in 360 degrees. At every event in the series, three huge 45′ towers at each point of a giant equilateral triangle host multiple high powered laser systems and 3D sound arrays on tiered platforms. A circle drawn around the points of the triangle where each tower stands marks the edges of the central EYE Cymru performance space – into which you, our audience, are invited. The experience will be directed by the artists from a specially designed control position adjacent to the performance space allowing you a front-row view to all aspects of the action.
Chris Levine’s pioneering laser work then projects exquisite patterns and light forms low over our audience and onto the surrounding trees and heritage architecture, high into the October night sky. The work is impeccably choreographed, with the lasers projected onto changing weather conditions and natural phenomena, plants, rain, clouds and people – creating a truly spectacular show that will delight all the senses.
Chris Levine is a light artist with an expansive and experimental practice. His multi-disciplinary approach harnesses a diverse array of technology with the unyielding intention of revealing the ways in which light is fundamental to human experience. He is driven by a deep-rooted desire to expand perception and sensitively guide the viewer to a meditative engagement with the present moment. His message and his language is light. This spiritually motivated and philosophical approach has allowed him to navigate unchartered territory in new media: he has been at the forefront of exploring how technologies such as holograms and lasers can contribute to the story of art and creative endeavours.
Levine’s groundbreaking light-based body of work depicting Queen Elizabeth II is known internationally. In an age of image overload, the artist cut through the noise to make Lightness of Being, a portrait of singular importance. Although he has shown in museums and exhibitions dedicated to portraiture globally, Levine is not a portrait artist in the traditional sense. At the heart of Levine’s practice are his immersive light installations which he has endeavoured to take out of the white cube environment into a real-world, mass participatory experience. He has created site-specific and large scale outdoor light installations in sites as diverse as Durham Cathedral to Hobart Tasmania, at Radio City Hall New York and on the stage at Glastonbury. Continually pushing the boundaries of what light art can do and how it can have a transformative effect on the viewer, his singular ideology pulls the viewer into a greater consciousness through art. EYE Cymru may be one of Levine’s most ambitious installations yet.
“On one level EYE Cymru is the best laser and sound show you could ever hope to witness but we are bringing together some of the world’s top creative and technical talents to create something which is radically different from anything you will have ever experienced.”
At the heart of the EYE Cymru experience is how light and music interplay with nature and the environment. For the soundscape, Chris has collaborated with a host of carefully selected musicians to deliver 2 hours of uplifting sound specially composed and spatialised for the event series, including founder of Massive Attack and multiple award-winning songwriter Robert Del Naja. Celebrated Welsh musician, producer and songwriter Gruff Rhys contributes his iconic sound. Nick Mulvey provides his unique virtuoso acoustic guitar and vocal style to the sonic mix. And Marco Perry and Dave Clayton AKA the Mighty Monks contribute their inspirational interpretation of sacred sound. Top 3D sound designer and producer Marco Perry works closely with Chris Levine to bring the entire laser and sound experience together as one, seamless show.
With EYE Cymru, Chris Levine and his collaborators launch a revolutionary new event format with an ambitious immersive experience which harnesses the power of laser, sound, people and place to create a transformational experience.
On select dates in the October series, artists will contribute live to the proceedings, culminating in acclaimed musical and spoken word artist Kae Tempest closing the series in what promises to be a thought provoking and spectacular show.
Check our ticketing site for the most up to date information on live performances by the headline artists.
Robert Del Naja is a long-term collaborator with Chris Levine and has been closely involved in the development of the EYE Project experience from the outset. Also known as 3D, Del Naja is an award-winning British artist, musician, singer and songwriter. He emerged as a graffiti artist and member of the Bristol collective The Wild Bunch, and later as a founding member and sole consistent member of the multi-platinum selling band Massive Attack from their formation in 1998, with which he is still active today. In 2009, he received the British Academy’s Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music.
Icon and Mercury Prize-nominee Gruff Rhys brings his rock sound and Welsh heritage to the soundtrack of EYE Cymru. Rhys has a long history in British music, best-known for his tenure in the hard-to-peg-down Welsh outfit Super Furry Animals. He performs solo and with several bands, including Super Furry Animals, which obtained mainstream success in the 1990s. Gruff formed the electro-pop outfit Neon Neon with Boom Bip and their album Stainless Style was nominated for the 2008 Nationwide Mercury Prize. He won the 2011 Welsh Music Prize for his album Hotel Shampoo.
Nick Mulvey contributes to the eclectic soundtrack of EYE Cymru’s world premiere shows. Mulvey rose to fame as a founding member of the Mercury Award nominees ‘Portico Quartet’ and in 2011, returned to his first inspiration, the guitar, starting his career as a singer-songwriter. With an abundance of genres at his fingertips, Mulvey set about creating a sound that was both striking and unique releasing the EPs The Trellis and Fever to the Form and his studio album First Mind in 2014 which charted in the top 10 and received a Mercury Music Prize nomination.
EYE Cymru is proud to host special live performances with Kae Tempest. Kae is an English spoken word performer, poet, recording artist, novelist and playwright. Having studied at the BRIT School, in 2013 they won the Ted Hughes Award for their work Brand New Ancients. They were named a Next Generation Poet by the Poetry Book Society and their albums Everybody Down and Let Them Eat Chaos have been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. Their debut novel The Bricks That Built the Houses was a Sunday Times bestseller and in 2018 they were nominated for Best Female Solo Performer at the Brit Awards.
Working with Chris Levine creating the 3D sound to this spectacular event is Marco Perry. A founding member of the EYE Project team, Marco is a pioneer of spatial audio and immersive audio visual experiences for audiences worldwide, delivering ground breaking and unique indoor and outdoor large scale sound installations, Perry has worked with artists and venues globally to produce some of the most exciting and engaging audio experiences on the planet including ViVid Sydney, Tokyo and London and EdenLab and Bjork digital.
Marco’s long time collaborator and acclaimed musician Dave Clayton joins Marco as Mighty Monks to contribute their inspirational interpretation of sacred sound and provide the sonic glue to make the soundscape work as one 2 hour piece.
Mighty Monks synthesis – Dave Clayton