Arboreal Lightning at The Roundhouse

Over the years, north London venue The Roundhouse has become a huge, playable instrument, thanks to David Byrne’s Playing the Building; and housed Ron Arad’s brilliant and bonkers Curtain Call, a massive interactive curtain, made from seven tones of silicon tubing.

Arboreal Lightning
Arboreal Lightning

Now, it’s once again set to flex its technological side thank to Arboreal Lightning, an installation by multidisciplinary studio Atmos.

The piece, developed with software designer Adam Stark, once again looks to sound, light and interactivity to create an installation that reacts to sound and gesture.

Arboreal Lightning forms the centerpiece of musician and technophile Imogen Heap’s Reverb Festival, which takes place this weekend.

Arboreal Lightning
Arboreal Lightning

The piece takes the form of a bundle of LED fibre-strips above the stage, which waver above the stage as the performers play. Strips branch out around the building moving in an organic-like flux.

It will react to performances by the musicians, and also to the audience, who at certain times will be invited to participate by making noises or movements.

Arboreal Lightning
Arboreal Lightning


The Roundhouse says, ‘Some branches yearn upwards, towards the light of the lantern; a few strands bow down to reach and mingle with the audience, who can then trigger their own luminous ripples and join in the spatial symphony.

’This light canopy of visual music creates a unifying lattice that embraces the people beneath it within a giant, pulsating, Gaian network – umbilical cords connecting people to building, sound to light.’

Arboreal Lightning is in place from 21 – 24 August at The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8EH

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