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Music, tech and artistry: How Polygon works

16 November 2022 | Wonderfruit

Welcome back to Polygon, an immersive 360° music experience in The Fields. Debuting at Wonderfruit in 2018, the colossal polygonal structure immerses Wonderers in an electronic world of musical soundscapes. Created by a team of pioneers in sound, lighting, engineering and design, Polygon uses 3D virtual-reality sound technology in perfectly syncopated harmony to the lights and music by a lineup of underground DJs and artists from near and far.

 

On that note, you might have noticed we use many buzzwords when talking about Polygon: 360° sound, audiovisual experience, 3D…but what do they mean? We deep dive into the heart-stopping, mind-bending, skeleton-quivering experience that is Polygon…

 

A 3D sound and light experience

 

Pushing to dismantle the typical artist-to-audience experience, Polygon instead puts Wonderers in the center of a 360° sound and light stage, so they are (truly) fully immersed and interacting with live sound and lighting. How does this happen? Above the dance floor sits a hemispherical truss rigged with a system powered by L-Acoustics. Its trailblazing L-ISA processor allows individual elements of the mix to be placed strategically throughout the soundscape and spatialized to move 360 degrees around you. 

 

Combined with synchronized lighting, pyrotechnics and scent dispersion (more on that later), Wonderers will find themselves lost in a novel sensory experience, completely enveloped in sound and light in a way that evokes all the senses. Nico, Polygon’s founder, says that when standing within the Polygon stage, “the music moves through your bones.” 

 

To get the experience right, Polygon invited artists like Viken Arman to their London-based studio to rehearse ahead of time, pre-spatializing their music so it’s performance ready.

 

 

Connecting Polygon with nature 

 

Returning Wonderers will notice a couple of differences to the Polygon experience. Firstly, new growth will further immerse and encompass guests inside the space. The stage is now flanked by Samanea Saman trees planted during the downtime that contribute to a more natural scenography. Not only do they help green the space and ground Polygon to the nature that surrounds it, but they’re also there to help reinforce the truss structure. 

 

Look up and you’ll notice an intricate new honeycomb-shaped canopy that contributes to the more organic feeling this year. The sculptural and organic architecture is again designed by Visual System, with the stage unfolding in the form of a dome that is 45 meters in diameter and plunges people into the heart of a synchronized, hypnotic experience. The architecture merges with its surroundings and further immerses Wonderers beyond its interior; if you look out, you’ll notice outward-facing speakers designed to open up the area so it feels bigger and there is more room to dance in the fringes of the area.

 

Finally, Polygon’s scent technology has been optimized to be even more immersive this year. A new catalog of natural scents includes French lavender, South American sage, frankincense, myrrh, Thai lemongrass, roses and fresh mint. These scents have been selected for their ability to elevate the senses and add another pleasurable dimension to the live music experience.

 

 

Artists from here and there 

 

The magic of the Polygon experience is part and parcel of the artists selected for the four-day journey through sound and light. This year, musical accompaniment is dedicated to seeing artists bring live performances to The Fields. Polygon welcomes Âme Live, Bassara (Live), Viken Arman (Live), Mita Gami and many more. Explore Polygon’s program here

 

Looking beyond just music, Polygon will open daily with sound healing. Wonderers are invited to sit in meditation or lie down to experience a journey that combines healing scent dispersion, powerful ancient healing tools, spatialised vocals and carefully curated animal and wildlife sounds chosen for their potential to trigger ancient memories, emotions and sensations.

 

Following that, every evening at 8:15pm for 15 minutes, Wonderers are invited to lose themselves in a morphing of sound and visual landscapes that are living, sensitive and organic by Visual System. The show comes to life with music created by composers Thomas Vaquié, Alexandre Bouvier, Alex Tran and the live percussion of Tiger Drum.