Holograms: the solution for live lockdown gigs?

Live music?

Nope, this band is an interactive hologram.

“Please let me introduce to you my guitarist here today."

This is central London.

The band however is playing live from an entirely different location - a small studio in East London.

"So I’m wondering if he’s a hologram or if he’s here, real blood and flesh. I’m just going to check. Yeah he feels real enough.”

This means lead singer Dan Olsen can perform in front of and interact with his crowd in a safe, socially distanced manner.

“He’s playing with me, we’re in the same room but we are the hologram on stage but on my left side we have the pianist playing in real life. So when you see all of us on stage it looks like all three of us are on stage playing at the same time but two of us are holograms so you can mix it up like that and make it very interesting.”

The technology, created by a company called Musion 3D, is called Fanshare.

It allows a performer to be anywhere in the world, ideal in a time of rapidly changing social restrictions, as director Ian O'Connell explains.

“You don’t need glasses, you don’t need a headset. You’re sitting here as if you’re watching a regular stage show and other than when the occasional glitch on the video remind everybody that what we’re watching is a video rather than a real person.”

“I think it’s a great solution. The timing couldn’t be better to do this now because people are looking like how can we play to an audience because we cant get musicians to travel and do tours and all of a sudden with this you can do it anywhere in the world and you can be anywhere in the world.”

The technology is a modern twist on a Victorian technique known as ‘Pepper’s ghost' involving a huge sheet of glass.

It was used in theatres as far back as the 1860s to create illusions.

“The image that hits the projection screen is actually a 2D image but because it’s being filmed against black with a lot of back light and side light the image appears volumetric.”

In the long run Musion wants to do with live music what Netflix did for television, creating a system for getting gigs to people's mobile phones.

“I think we now need to be pragmatic. What is an audience? Is an audience somebody that has to have physical presence in an age where today’s younger generation are more comfortable creating community without the need for physical proximity? I say that because they do spend a lot of their time on social media and on their mobile phone.”