leonard cohen vr experience

WITHIN & Lytro Presents Leonard Cohen 360 VR Experience

WITHIN and Lytro’s acclaimed virtual reality experience Hallelujah officially launched today on WITHIN. After premiering at Tribeca Film Festival and Cannes, the immersive and volumetric re-imagining of Leonard Cohen’s iconic song is now accessible to anyone across the world with a smartphone–just in time for the late singer-songwriter’s birthday (today, Sept. 21).

The pre-rendered, live-action version of the original 6doF in-venue piece, optimized for a mobile phone or a VR-ready PC, will allow consumers to immerse themselves in Cohen’s powerful ballad at home, providing them with a binaural, spatialized sound experience and stunning visuals captured with Lytro’s Light Field technology.


  • “Hallelujah” is ‘A WITHIN Original’ made in partnership with Lytro. It is created by Zach Richter, Bobby Halvorson and Eames Kolar.
  • Hallelujah is a first-of-its-kind virtual reality music experience that reimagines Leonard Cohen’s most iconic ballad, captured through groundbreaking audiovisual technology.
  • The experience is centered around a unique 5-part a cappella arrangement, which is composed and performed in-the-round (around the viewer) by Bobby Halvorson, an LA-based musician.
  • “Hallelujah” was created using Lytro’s cutting-edge light-field technology, a 95-camera lens array which is rotated five times on set to create a full 360 degree experience.
  • Lytro Immerge enables live action VR content to behave as it does in the real world for an uncompromised sense of presence and truly immersive experience.
  • The 6DoF in-venue experience premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival and internationally at the 2017 Festival de Cannes and will be seen next at The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.
  • The version available on the WITHIN app has been pre-rendered and mastered from the original installment to be compatible with mobile devices and standard PC’s.

“In honor of Leonard Cohen’s birthday, we are sharing this immersive acapella rendition of ‘Hallelujah’ on the WITHIN app. Combining the transportive qualities of music with virtual reality results in an incredibly emotional and gripping experience. We hope the launch of ‘Halleujah’ will provide a chance for people to connect with the iconic ballad in an entirely new way.” – Chris Milk, WITHIN Co-Founder and CEO

“In Hallelujah, viewers are placed inside a virtual world that feels and looks like our reality, and are able to physically move around within it. While most live action VR systems keep the viewer fixed in a single point in space, Lytro’s technology breaks that boundary by giving the user freedom to move, allowing for a lifelike sense of presence that hasn’t been possible in virtual reality until now. We were also able to create a mobile version that immerses the viewer in incredible 3D sound, allowing anyone with a smartphone to explore the five parts of the a cappella and engage with this powerful music experience.” – Zach Richter, Director

Download the WITHIN app here to experience the piece!

Hallelujah was created by:

Zachary Richter

Bobby Halvorson

Eames Kolar

Key collaborators:

Chrissy Szczupak, Lytro

Orin Green, Lytro

Jess Engel, WITHIN

Chris Milk, WITHIN

Aaron Koblin, WITHIN

Sound by EccoVR:

Joel Douek

Benedict Green

Special thanks:

International Orange Chorale of SF




WITHIN is the premier destination for innovative, entertaining, and informative story-based virtual and augmented reality. They bring together the best immersive experiences from the world’s finest VR creators—from gripping tales set in worlds of pure imagination to documentaries taking you further inside the news than ever before. WITHIN supports all major headsets, including Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, HTC Vive, Sony Playstation VR, and Google Daydream. To get started experiencing WITHIN’s ever-growing roster of content, just download the app for iPhone or Android.

WITHIN was founded by award-winning filmmaker Chris Milk and renowned technologist Aaron Koblin with the goal of exploring and expanding the potential of immersive storytelling. We collaborate with companies including 21st Century Fox, Oculus, Google, Apple, NBC Universal, Lytro, The New York Times, Vice Media, and the United Nations, as well as artists including

U2, The Chemical Brothers and OKGO to bring to life and distribute premium immersive stories in a variety of genres. (Social: @WITHIN)

About Lytro
Lytro is building the world’s most powerful Light Field imaging platform enabling artists, scientists and innovators to pursue their goals with unprecedented levels of freedom and flexibility. With the announcement of Lytro Immerge, the world’s first Light Field solution for Virtual Reality (VR), in late 2015 and followed by the 2016 launch of Lytro Cinema, the world’s first Light Field capture system for cinematic content, Lytro is firmly at the forefront of the generational shift from legacy 2D imaging to 3D volumetric Light Field video. Learn more: Lytro.com. (Social: @lytro)

About Zach Richter
Zach Richter is an award-winning director, creative director and graphic designer. His work combines interactive media, technology, and storytelling. In 2015, Richter directed the NYTimes first virtual reality film, “Walking New York” and more recently was a director/creative director on the WITHIN VR series “The Possible,” created with David Gelb.

Richter’s work has been shown at Sundance, Tribeca and SXSW film festivals, and has been honored with the highest awards in creativity and technology at Cannes Lions, The Webby Awards, and Clio Awards. Richter is the Creative Director

Author: VR Reporter

I am a hi-tech enthusiast, VR evangelist, and a Co-founder & Chief Director at Virtual Reality Reporter!

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