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Mass Choreographed Light Performance Takes Over Edinburgh [Gallery]

Runners and walkers move through a mountain with lighted-sticks and a specially-commissioned soundtrack to create an interactive experience.

Karen Baker
Karen Baker on August 31, 2012. @karenebaker

If you can’t make it out to Burning Man, you may want to shoot for this display instead.

Scottish non-profit NVA has organized a series of mass choreographed, fully-immersive light performances for goers of the Edinburgh International Festival. Called “NVA Speed of Light,” participants follow paths across a mountain at the heart of the city called Arthur’s Seat for three hours each night. Each participant carries a lighted staff with unique computer chip that streams music created for the event by Resonance Radio Orchestra.

The performance is one of only four projects funded by Legacy Trust UK, a foundation established in 2007 to ensure the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games leave a lasting legacy at home. As part of its Community Celebrations program, the event offered many different ways to partake in the spectacle, from running to walking to navigating the paths by wheelchair.

As Speed of Light participant Helena Smith writes:

At one point our group halted and the blue runners swept past us. I knew logically the runners were volunteers, ordinary mortals wearing black with LED lights attached, but the effect was uncanny, the group hushed and the runners passing us in silence. We climbed higher, above the orange glow of the city, the runners increasingly distant on the hillside below, fanning out and forming petal-like movements, then gathering and splintering away from each other.

Quite an event to experience and a sight to see, with the resulting orchestra of light visible across the city.

Watch the trek in action:

Or click through our gallery for more photos, courtesy The Edinburgh Reporter.

NVA Speed of Light

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