A 360 Degree Sound Experience
Until 5 February 2023
By Matthew Sheahan
I went to the Darkfield experience which was set up in two huge shipping containers in Little Bourke Street, Melbourne. The experience is divided up into 3 different shows, 2 of which I experienced, Flight and Eulogy both of which occur in total darkness with sound through a headset.
Flight: In this show, you enter the container that is identically set up like the inside of a plane. You are then immersed into total darkness with only sound technology create the situation and it’s a total out of body experience. Being in the flight simulation, you hear the sounds of people running, walking down the aisle, the captain’s announcement and even the eery sound of the flight attendant whispering in your ear telling you not to panic! Being a simulation, this is anything but a smooth flight with sound cutting out, passengers panicking, babies crying and of course turbulence. Being totally in darkness it is a complete brainteaser and I loved it! As we came in to ‘land’ we are faced with the plane shaking and a very bumpy landing. What I should definitely and as I said to my friend I was with, I find it astounding how they can create a total realistic sound experience through just a set of head phones, especially when there is the sound of someone walking past you and it goes from one ear to the other. I highly recommend this show!
Eulogy: This show gets a little darker, but in an awesome way in my opinion. As you enter, you are seated in a cage surrounded by bars, prison like. Then once again, you are given headphones to wear to immerse yourself in the sound technology. At the beginning you are asked a series of questions so they can eerily work the show around you individually. Then once again, the lights go down and we are immersed into complete darkness.
This time, we are in a factory and echoing voices are heard with our ‘companion’ whispering in your ear trying to keep you calm. I was particularly impressed and terrified at the same time when the room shakes with the footsteps of people making you believe they are walking past and it’s frantic as they try to locate where you are. The most frightening part at the end of this show is when, get ready for this, my own eulogy is read and it’s based on the questions I answered at the beginning. The most frightening part of this one for me was the heavy breathing right in my ear and the woman telling me to be ok. This is not for the weak stomached but it is a definite thrill seeking experience if you want something a little different and to experience a new wave of technology and creativity.
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About the Author
Matthew Sheahan is an active performer on the community theatre scene having performed in musical theatre for almost 20 years all over Melbourne. He is also a vocal coach and has also written and performed his own cabaret shows.
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