William Barton and the Australian String Quartet’s performance of their Square Circles in the Red Desert Sand, for voice, didjeridoo and string quartet, has entranced audiences since its premiere in 2017. This compelling work has now been literally illuminated with the addition of a three-dimensional visual representation using virtual reality technology to accompany a recording of the music.

Square Circles VR Square Circles VR

Prior to the abrupt but necessary COVID-induced Adelaide lockdown and the consequent cancellation of many of Illuminate Adelaide’s festival events, Square Circles VR, created jointly by Jumpgate Virtual Reality and Go Patterson Films, was shown at half-hourly intervals to small groups inside a temporary dome several metres wide erected within the Queen’s Theatre. Instead of being projected onto the inside of the dome, as had been anticipated,the video is presented using virtual reality goggles together with headphones. Audience members soon find themselves transported into a magical universe.

As the video begins, we find ourselves inside a virtual dome replicating the physical dome we had entered. The dome then metamorphoses into...