Train2Game News Play Sage Gateshead


Renowned concert venue Sage Gateshead and digital arts commissioner and website The Space are this week launching a new app developed by creative technology studio Mbryonic and Atomhawk Design, which transforms Sage Gateshead into a virtual music instrument. 

Play Sage Gateshead, a 3D model of the iconic music venue, invites players to enter a virtual reality where they can beat floors, bang balustrades and bash walls to create their own percussive music tracks.

The Play Sage Gateshead app is available to download onto tablet, smart phone and from Friday 13 February, in its latest iteration, on virtual reality headset Oculus Rift. The digital experience uses extracts and samples from ‘Ten Pulse’; a performance which took place during Sage Gateshead’s 10th birthday celebrations in December 2014, where musicians struck and drummed the iconic Tyneside venue as part of an immersive percussive performance.

Tom Szirtes, Director of Mbryonic says, “We are delighted to have been commissioned by Sage Gateshead and The Space to develop Play Sage Gateshead. It is a fully immersive experience, which explores how digital technologies can be used to link the physical and virtual world. At Mbryonic we enjoy working with devices like the Oculus Rift headset to uncover new ways to create immersive experiences to make deeper connections between audiences, artists and brands.”

The virtual space was created from floor prints and location photos and brought to life using games development platform Unity. The Oculus Rift version provides total immersion into this alternative reality. Installations in Sage Gateshead have delighted visitors allowing them to experience the building in a totally new light.

Adam Kent, Innovations Manager, Sage Gateshead, says, “Working on Play Sage Gateshead with Mbryonic has been a real joy for us here at Sage Gateshead. It is a very new form of commission for us and Mrbyonic’s expertise and creative flair has played a central role in bringing it to life.”

Ruth Mackenzie, launch CEO, The Space, says, ‘I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the Sage Gateshead’s 10th birthday than to transform the building into a virtual musical instrument that audiences can play from anywhere in the world.’ 

Play Sage Gateshead is a collaboration between Mbryonic, a creative technology studio in Hackney Wick London, and Atomhawk Design, an award winning art design studio in Gateshead.