Today, we’re excited to announce that NYT VR’s latest documentary, “Sensations of Sound,” is now available on Gear VR!
While “The National: Something Out of Nothing” took us center stage and inside the recording studio with a beloved indie band, “Sensations of Sound” explores what it actually means to hear—and how music feels for the profoundly deaf.
NYT VR’s new documentary tells the story of Rachel Kolb, a Rhodes scholar who received a cochlear implant at the age of 20. Working with Lytro, The New York Times blends light-field live-capture technology with hand-drawn animation by James Merry—who also happens to be deaf—to bring Rachel’s words to life.
“‘Sensations of Sound’ is the first time we’ve applied Light Field technology to hand-drawn animation,” says Lytro Creative Director Chrissy Szczupak. “It really allows you to connect with Rachel’s story by taking you on a truly unique journey of the senses.”
VR lets us travel to new places and explore alien worlds—and more than that, it helps us engage with abstract concepts in an immersive way. For many of us, the experience of sound after a cochlear implant—or the sensation of music while deaf—is completely outside our frame of reference. Thanks to VR, artists and storytellers can help us move beyond our own imaginations and allow us to feel an approximation of someone else’s reality.
“‘Sensations of Sound’ tells such a powerful story that simply couldn’t have been captured in such an intimate way through a more traditional medium,” adds Szczupak. “We’re honored to be a part of bringing Rachel’s story to life for such a fundamentally personal experience."
Rethink your definition of music with “Sensations of Sound” in NYT VR today.
— The Oculus Team