‘HIRAETH’:A VR Replica of Utopia in a Chinese Fable

Our Role: Director, Producer, Composer

‘HIRAETH’ is an interactive VR music experience inspired by the renowned 421 CE Chinese fable “The Peach Blossom Spring” (Chinese: 桃花源记) written in 421 CE by Tao Yuanming. Drawn by artist Chuantao and Jessica Zhai in the style of Chinese water painting, ‘Hiraeth’ is a fully hand-drawn and animated immersive experience with spatial audio and an ambisonic score featuring 12 world instruments. It is the first of its kind and pushes the artistic limits of VR.

‘Hiraeth’ is a Welsh word that means “a homesickness for a place of your ancestry that you have never been, where you may never return to again.” It describes the sentiment of many children of immigrants who have lost touch with their ancestral roots, yet remain curious and inquiring. This experience explores the mind of those with “hiraeth”, bringing them to reflect on their identity and legacy. It symbolizes a utopia stuck in time, unconcerned about the world and the flipping pages of history.

‘HIRAETH’ features the GAIA ensemble led by YAO, an ethnic ensemble with instrumentalists from around the globe. Cultural integration is a key element to our identity and musical inspiration. GAIA’s music makes you feel like you are standing in the middle of the ensemble; where you turn your head to, the sound from that direction will be emphasized and filtered as you naturally hear sounds. The mix is personalized, dynamic and interactive.