After taking the ferry from Portsmouth to Bilbao, we initially planned to go down South towards Lisbon, but we quickly realised the journey would have been long, and we would have missed at least 5 days of good weather and wildlife activity.
We quickly decided to go to the 'International Bird Airport' instead, the Urdaibai Bird Center in the Basque Country, what better place to start our journey!
The Bird Center's team have been so amazing in supporting our project and providing us with information about the local birds we could find in the area at that time. We didn't have our VR experience ready to show yet, but they believed in us and helped us in every way!
The result of this collaboration is our very-first SWE VR Experience, using two VR headsets, which play a bespoke-made app made in collaboration with Riccardo Stecca (check out his work!) which talks to our Spatial Audio 6.2.4 loudspeaker system (6x speakers at head level, 2x subwoofers and 4x height speakers), to sync a beautiful multimedia gallery filled with Ario's pictures and videos together with Axel's 360 recordings and Spatial Audio mixes.
All the pictures, videos, and audio recordings have been captured by the Sounding Wild team on location over two weeks, linked together to create a 7-minutes-long immersive narrative.
We aim to connect with local people, explore together the wildlife available in the area and create awareness through beauty and emotional connection. We must say we are really proud of our first experience!
Below you have a selection of some pictures from the experience and behind-the-scenes.
The Bird Center let us use one of their rooms for the setup, and over a weekend we integrated our own story into the Urdaibai experience, sharing our love for nature in Sounding Wild's style!
Check out the Reactions video below, with local visitors and tourists from all over Europe sharing their thoughts about the experience.
We are not done just yet! Every time we stop at a migration hotspot we capture a lot of stories, and we aim to share them with our digital friends also in so many formats, from birdsong audio-only experiences to framed pictures, to long-form videos such as the one below part of our 'Relaxation Series'.
This is just the beginning for us, we are dedicating our time, lives and savings to this project, aiming to share the natural beauty we find in our own way.
We incredibly appreciate everyone's help, and we must give a massive shout-out to Rowan Hardman from the Urdaibai Bird Center, who has been so supportive and excited to collaborate with us from day 1!
We want to thank the whole team at the Bird Center, Edorta, Jose-Mari, Arrate, Jon and the rest of the team for being so welcoming and helpful over our time visiting the area.
Until the next one, you can also read about the experience on the Bird Center's website and on Wetland Link International, who's helping us define the exploration route and put us in touch with local conservationists and scientists.