The New York premiere of Pērkons. A VR Rockumentary virtual reality short film will take place on 10 December around midnight Latvian time in cooperation with the world-famous rock music magazine Rolling Stone (https://ej.uz/perkonsNY).
The virtual reality short film Pērkons. A VR Rockumentary tells about the Latvian rock band Pērkons and its role in the collapse of the USSR. The film was made by Fallon Worldwide advertising agency based in Minneapolis, the USA. The first public show of the film took place in France at the VivaTech conference in Paris in May, attracting great interest and positive feedback, while the international premiere of the film took place in Riga this September.
Creativity is the key factor in the tailor-made experience of both HTC Vive VR itself and the music of the film. Creativity is a force that has often served as a carrier of significant and constant change. The video story about Pērkons is full of virality of the pre-internet era, underground message exchange and old time radio components that are now enriched with fascinating virtual experience. Learn more about Pērkons. A VR Rockumentary and watch the trailer here: www.fallon.com/perkons
Pērkons was founded at the beginning of the 80's of the last century, when the Soviet power was dominant in Latvia. The opposition to the Soviet regime was not its original intention; however, the music played by the band became the musical accompaniment to the first revolution in the USSR. The energetically saturated music of the bandleader Juris Kulakovs with the poetry of the young generation poets, the charisma of the band members and the dynamic concerts with self-made pyrotechnic effects immediately made them an idol. In the eighties, in a home studio, the band’s first recordings were made, which spread illegally from hand to hand, and the legend of Pērkons was born.
Two times the band was banned, its members and fans were persecuted, but the stronger the regime was trying to silence Pērkons, the stronger it rumbled. In 1985, there was a concert on the stage in the town of Ogre, after which the fans, possibly provoked by the authorities, demolished a train compartment. This concert, the response of fans to the songs and the court process are reflected in Juris Podnieks’s documentary “Is It Easy to Be Young?” shot in 1986. It is a story about young people whose cravings for life and creativity are restricted and distorted by the ideology of the Soviet system. 28 million people watched the film, and it shook the audience not only in Latvia and in the Soviet Union, but in the whole world.
At the end of the eighties, with the start of swaying of the clay giant called the Soviet Union and diminishing constraint of the regime, Pērkons could finally fully enjoy the love of their fans. The band's hits repeatedly entered the only top ten of that time Mikrofona aptauja, until the song Mēs pārtiekam viens no otra won the first place in 1989. This year, the band also goes on tour through the US Latvian centres, and eventually records its first legal album.
Pērkons has an important role in the year 1991 Barricades when people gathered on Barricades so that non-violent resistance campaign against Moscow's power would protect the newly regained independence of Latvia. Pērkons played on the Barricades day and night, thus strengthening the will and unity of the members of the Barricades, but the song Palīdzi, Dievs! (Help, God!) sung by Ieva Akurātere became the anthem of the Third Awakening of Latvia.
Despite the fact that many songs composed by the composer and group leader Juris Kulakovs have almost turned into folk songs that people have been singing for generations, the previously recorded albums were officially first released only at the beginning of the nineties. In total, the band released seven albums. In 2014, Pērkons received the Latvian Music Award for Lifetime Contribution.
“It's a surprise and an honour" comments Juris Kulakovs on the success of Pērkons. A VR Rockumentary. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Poets. Then there was Music. The Music was with me. Then there were friends and associates of the band Pērkons. The triumph of the band influenced the development of the Latvian rock music and strengthened the people's spirit and unity during the Third Awakening, thus participating in the regaining of an independent Latvia. Pērkons has received an award for lifetime contribution that is a Latvian equivalent to being included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; and now Cory’s [McLeod, Creative Director of the Film] wonderful idea has turned into this spectacular film, which is gaining worldwide acclaim, and it is a great pleasure for me and for all of us,” says the musician.
Composer Juris Kulakovs and Pērkons soloist Ieva Akuratere will go to New York to represent the band at the premiere. “I feel very moved and honoured that the performance of our band, documented in a virtual film, has addressed the American society and has helped to share reflection on humanism at the turn of an age and the hardships of creative personality to express their convictions,” says Ieva. “It does not matter if we are blamed and banned or honoured and praised, the main pleasure is the power of thought that brings people together in the world through the inspirational musical and artistic expression,” emphasizes the singer, sincerely thanking the creators of the film on behalf of Pērkons.
Cory McLeod, the Creative Director of Pērkons. A VR Rockumentary and Creative Technologist at Fallon, says: “All of us at Fallon are incredibly excited about the event and the collaboration with Rolling Stone Magazine. More importantly, this event with Rolling Stone gives us the opportunity to introduce Americans to Pērkons’ music and story. It’s an introduction that’s long overdue.”
To mark the event, Riga International Airport will host a pre-party of the premiere, which is to take place on December 10 at 18.00. Prominences of the Latvian rock music, key persons of the Third Awakening and creative work of Pērkons have been invited to take part in the event. There will be an online press conference from the USA with Juris Kulakovs and Ieva Akuratere, as well as opening of the first Pērkons’ concert DVD. Rihards Saule and group will play songs by Pērkons, and all interested will have opportunity to watch Pērkons. A VR Rockumentary.
Media representatives who wish to participate in the event hosted by Riga Airport are kindly requested to send an application to [email protected] by 7 December 10 AM, indicating the media represented, name, surname and personal identity number. Please take you passport or ID card along. Meeting at the Airport’s Check In hall at 17.30.
Public Relations Senior Specialist
SJSC Riga International Airport
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