An immersive and epic show that stirs the soul with the universal power of multimedia.
The Fabrique de la paroisse Notre-Dame de Montréal asked Moment Factory to create a permanent experience with sound, light and video that would invite visitors to discover the interior of Notre-Dame Basilica in old Montreal in a whole new way. The challenge was to create a show that is universal, that captivates, touches, and inspires visitors from any background. Moreover, a show that highlights the Basilica’s many artworks and architecture, all while respecting the religious heritage and activity of the church. The canvas was also a challenge from a technical point of view, being the first example of such complex colour, texture, and scale, resulting in a video-mapping process done pixel by pixel.
AURA is among Moment Factory’s most ambitious and creative illumination projects to date. This 45-minute immersive sound, light and video projection-mapping experience is staged inside Montreal’s landmark Notre-Dame Basilica. Each visitor experiences AURA in a unique way, becoming absorbed in a spectacle in which grandiose architecture, a layer of augmented reality and spatialized orchestral scoring are united beneath the building’s lofty rood screens. Engaging all of the senses, this energy transports visitors through a series of immersive tableaux that take them on an ethereal imaginative journey. Initiated as part of Montreal 375th anniversary celebrations, AURA was born out of a desire to bring this iconic heritage landmark to life in a new way. The project uses intricate projection-mapping technology to highlight the intricacy and beauty of the Basilica’s majestic architecture and sacred art while framing it as a dynamic part of Montreal’s history and spirituality. AURA is experienced in 2 “acts,” lasting approximately 45 minutes in total. The experience begins with a self-led tour that lets visitors explore the Basilica, discovering fresh perspectives on the cathedral’s sublime artworks as these are accentuated by multimedia-enhanced installations. This portion encourages visitors to become enveloped in the space and its atmosphere before taking their seats as the cathedral’s interior is bathed in breathtaking animated projections. Achieving this vision required a year of musical composition and recording, four intense months of visual content production, 90 days of installation and a month of content integration and testing. Because of the Basilica’s ornate interior architecture, the projection mapping system deployed to achieve AURA had to be fully integrated with the space. After extensive research, creative teams meticulously completed a 3D scan of the cathedral that acts as a complex digital canvas for the projections’ creative content. This sophistic
Building or project owner : The Fabrique de la Paroisse Notre-Dame
Architecture : James O’Donnell (1824)
Project artist/ concept/ design/ planning : Moment Factory // Original soundtrack composed by Marc Bell and Gabriel Thibaudeau of TroubleMakers, features 30 musicians, 20 chorists and the basilica’s organ.
Light design : Moment Factory
Display content/ visuals/ showreel : Moment Factory
Project co-ordination : Moment Factory
Facade type and geometry (structure) : Built in the 19th century, the church is one of the treasures of Quebec's religious heritage: carved wood, paintings, stained glass, sculptures and a remarkable collection of religious art.
Kind of light creation : 21 projectors are used to create the 45 minutes experience, 14 for the show portion and 7 to illuminate the exploratory introduction.140 lights have been installed throughout the Basilica and four lasers and 20 mirrors are deployed for the laser scene. X-Agora, a projection mapping software developed by Moment Factory, allows the team to create complex 3D maps of the Basilica’s concave surfaces.
Urban situation : Staged in Montreal’s landmark Notre-Dame Basilica, in the heart of Montreal’s old port. The Basilica is one of Montreal’s most iconic tourist attractions. Approximately 1 million people visit this monumental heritage landmark every year. The Basilica was also designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1989.
Description of showreel : AURA begins as a self-led tour of the multimedia installations that showcase various of the basilica’s cherished artworks. This part of the experience encourages visitors to explore the basilica’s details at their own pace and to become enveloped in its universe. Then, the light, original orchestral scores, and grandiose architecture unite to create a captivating multimedia show.