Noottocht

Noottocht is a collaboration between the PeerGrouP and the NNO (Northen Dutch Orchestra). Every year the NNO develops an educational concert for schoolkids all around the Northern region of Holland. This year they invited the PeerGrouP to develop the theatrical concept.
Noottocht is a theatrical concert which tells an extraordinary adventure of the music composer Geuterbach. Geuterbach suffers a terrible writers block ever since is wife died. He isn’t able to compose a single score, and he changed in a very moody, grumbling, lonely man. After he rejected an invitation to write the opening score for the Viennese Competition, he falls asleep and in his dream the portrait of his wife gets stolen by two flying flutes. This is the start of a magical journey into the enchanted forest of the orchestra.

The play is performed by the actor Rogier in ‘t Hout, puppet player(and maker) Siem van Leeuwen and his puppets, and the director and all his musicians(about 60) of the orchestra. The stage and theatrical design was developed by Sjoerd Wagenaar. We were asked to develop a video concept to visualize the dream and the forest of the orchestra.

Rogier and his puppet alter ego.

To create the dream world and the instrumental forest, we used the actual musicians of the orchestra and their instruments as a starting point. This because the dreamworld is an extension of the real orchestra. We took a lot of photo’s of the orchestra, and collected as much photo’s of instruments as possible. Also a friendly artist of Siem created a resembling puppet version of the actor, which we used to record all kinds of running scenes in front of a green screen. During the play there was a continuous switch between the actor on stage and his puppet version on the screen, running trough the forest. We created the dreamworld by combining all kinds of different techniques and software like; live-action video, photo collages, 3D modelling and compositing, Photoshop, After effects, and Cinema 4D.

Recording the mud bubbles for the swamp scene.

Our team got reinforced by our intern Richard Toepoel and media designer Egmar Erausquin, who both made magnificent contribution!

Opening scene!

I did overall artistic coordination of the project. The challenge was to give the animations the dynamics and edits of movie scenes. And also to give the scenes a magical, dreamlike atmosphere. This instead of the more abstract, non narrative animations I’m used to make for VJ performances.

Angry forest scene, created by Richard Toepoel.

Finally Noottocht was performed in Groningen, Stadskanaal, Hoogeveen, Emmen, Meppel, Drachten and Leeuwarden, from the 10th till the 25th of June. About 20.000 schoolkids enjoyed the theatre concert.

Compilation of some animations.