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YEO'S JOURNEY

Cheddar Gorge & Caves

VW Gallery - NEWS - Bristol Cheddar Gorge Immersive Experience 2024 (2).png

Revenant invited us to create an original soundtrack for a new visitor experience within Cox’s Cave at Cheddar Gorge and Caves in Somerset, England. The task for the overall production is to reimagine the existing narrative in a modern, colourful and abstract installation that captures the natural history story of the caves. 

 

‘Yeo’s Journey: The Power of Water’ is an immersive installation that takes visitors through time, unveiling the ancient story of how the mighty River Yeo sculpted this geological marvel. The experience unfolds across nine meticulously curated zones within the cave, each pivotal in narrating the tale. At the heart of it all is Yeo, the central character whose presence threads seamlessly throughout the entire journey, guiding visitors through it.

 

To breathe life into Yeo’s character, we enlisted the talents of the voice-over artist Shiraz Engineer, whose captivating narration infuses each zone with depth and clarity, elucidating the rich history of the caves and serving as a beacon to navigate the immersive landscape. Seven out of nine zones contain engaging, beautifully animated visuals that make up the world of the whole experience. The remaining two zones rely solely on audio, where the weight of storytelling falls squarely on the shoulders of the voice-over narration, underscored by atmospheric music and ambient sound effects.

For the soundtrack, our vision was to craft a 7-minute ambient composition. Ethereal yet uplifting, the track seamlessly weaves through the cavernous depths, enhancing the narrative journey while making sure not to overpower it. Using both synthesized pads and organic sounds, we blended processed acoustic instruments to create a dreamscape that bridges the realms of imagination and reality.

 

For atmospheric sound design, we incorporated field recordings of caves, hydrophone underwater recordings of rivers and raw as well as processed recordings of various water movements to convey a realistic reflection of this experience. Due to Yeo leading the whole journey and moving around constantly, we decided to emphasise only momentous movement with (depending on the environment it is in) subtle water motion and/or shimmering airy whooshes. The biggest challenge of this project was the lack of control of the exhibition space acoustics. Since it is showcased in caves we did have to consider the natural reverb and using convolution, make the designed sounds appear natural within the environment.

 

The result is an immersive experience that transcends mere storytelling, inviting visitors on a voyage through time and space, where the ancient caves intertwine with the modern technology, leaving an indelible mark on the audience who venture into the depths of Yeo’s Journey.

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