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A Hologram of Roy Orbison Is Going on Tour

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BRANSON MO NEWS: Roy Orbison died in 1988, but that won’t stop him from going on tour this fall. The iconic native of Vernon will entertain audiences in a non-corporeal form at theaters, concert halls, and auditoriums across North America in his 28-date tour, concluding with a residency in Branson, Missouri, the kitsch performance capital of the Midwest.
Orbison’s tour, which is fully sanctioned by his estate, doesn’t involve candles or a Ouija board. Like for Tupac and Michael Jackson before him, Orbison’s performance will use hologram technology to create an optical illusion that resembles the singer’s form, synced to archived recordings of his performance. Explaining the appeal to the family, Orbison’s son (and president of Roy Orbison Music), Alex, told Rolling Stone, “My father had a special transcendent vocal ability that made him something of an anomaly in the world of pop and rock, but that’s what endeared him to his fans. For our family it was an amazing emotional experience to see this for the first time and we know audiences worldwide will have the same reaction.”
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While not technically a hologram (holograms are three-dimensional, while these just look like they’re 3-D), the use of the “Pepper’s Ghost” illusion technique, which projects light onto glass held at a 45-degree angle, is essentially the same now as it was when invented back in the 1860s. The technology dates back to John Pepper, director of the Royal Polytechnic Institution at the University of Westminster, who adapted the “Dircksian Phantasmagoria” technique, created by English inventor Henry Dircks, for a performance of Charles Dickens’s The Haunted Man in 1862. The technology became a fad in London theaters, and it was seized upon by P.T. Barnum in the U.S.
For most of the 150 years …



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