Dark Zone was originally written for the nationally renowned Ensemble Dal Niente, with video projections by internationally acclaimed video artist, Arthur Liou. It is a 15-minute collaborative multimedia work for video projections and 7-player mixed ensemble. The work is based on deep-sea bioluminescent displays, whereby animals use light to communicate in an environment completely devoid of sunlight. The projections attempts to recreate actual bioluminescent patterns used by a variety of deep-sea creatures, even demonstrating how the interactions of these animals change the way they communicate, thus altering their patterns. Since the project seeks to create a truly immersive experience for the audience, the 7 musicians play in almost total darkness, with the video projections and very dim stand lights providing the only ambient light. In the premiere, 7 video projectors were used and placed throughout the performance space to create a near composite image.
The piece was successfully premiered at the Indiana University’s Grunwald Gallery in February 2014.