Somerset House summer season

Friday, 24 August 2012

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UK - The Summer Series at Somerset House has established itself as one of London's must-see music festivals. With an eclectic programme to support, in-house lighting designer, Petter Skramstad decided that Clay Paky Alpha 700 HPEs would make the ideal backbone for his super-flexible rig.

This summer the venue hosted a diverse line up that included: comedian Tim Minchin, neo-soul queen Jill Scott, pop-dubstepper Katy B, Paloma Faith and indie lads The Enemy.

With such a varied programme Skramstad had his work cut out: "Key decision maker for me was brightness, plenty of functions, lightweight, and totally reliable," he explains. "The Clay Paky 700 HPEs were a godsend. They are the smallest 700W spotlight available, and weigh just 22 kilos, which means I can get enough fixtures into the rig to satisfy everyone without going over the weight loading limits. This ensures each LD has the flexibility they need to get the look they want. The 700W lamp provides a level of brightness equal, if not greater to much higher wattages and the fixture offers an excellent selection of optical and graphic devices to ensure each every LD's has a comprehensive design palette."

Production manager for Somerset House Jon Howes agrees, "Every incoming LD commented on the flexibility of the in-house design and said they all appreciated having all the same type of lighting units. The event was a great success."

In addition Skramstad used Alpha 700 Washes on the floor. "They are really bright and deliver a great beam effect and an excellent wash with outstanding zoom range. Again an extremely versatile workhorse."

The lighting package was supplied by PRG with a team led by PRG senior account manager Loz Wilcox. "Clay Paky Alpha 700s are ideal workhorses for a multi artist rig," says Wilcox. "They are light weight and low on power consumption yet offer high output and plenty of features. What I like best about the Alpha 700 HPE is that it can move with staggering speed and with instant acceleration. For the intimate surroundings of Somerset House it's also useful that the fixtures are silent and easy to handle and install."

"Somerset House is a truly magnificent setting for live music," comments Pio Nahum, chief commercial officer for Clay Paky. "It's also exactly the kind of event the Alpha 700 HPEs are designed for. We were delighted to hear that the visiting LDs were pleased with the fixtures and from what we have seen from online video coverage it's clear that each lighting look was as unique as the artists themselves."

(Jim Evans)


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