Edinburgh Castle will provide the backdrop for a spectacular show to mark the opening of this year’s International Festival.
Organisers have revealed that the landmark and its rocky foundation will act as a canvas for animated projections charting 350 million years of history.
The free, ticketed event, called Deep Time, will be set to a specially-composed soundtrack by Scottish band Mogwai and marks the start of a three-year partnership between the Edinburgh International Festival and sponsor Standard Life.
A viewing arena will be created on Castle Terrace for the late-night show on Sunday August 7, developed by the company 59 Productions with academics from Edinburgh University.
It follows last year’s curtain-raiser, The Harmonium Project, which attracted thousands of festival-goers onto Lothian Road to see the transformation of the Usher Hall.
Leo Warner, creative director of 59 Productions, said: “Deep Time gives us an opportunity to build on the success of The Harmonium Project and to create a spectacular event that is more deeply connected to the story of the city.”
Deep Time will explore the geology of a landscape formed by volcanic activity and the work of renowned Edinburgh scientist James Hutton (1726-1797), often referred to as the father of geology.
Standard Life chief executive Keith Skeoch said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Edinburgh International Festival in our sponsorship of this exciting and very unique opening event.
“This exciting highly-visual and visceral event is another great example of innovative and creative work which will be enjoyed by the live audience and millions of others through the power of social media and online.”
Festival director Fergus Linehan said: “Standard Life has shown itself to be innovative and creative in its sponsorship of major events, and we look forward to working together to offer the people of Edinburgh and beyond a spectacular start to the summer festival season.”