Chauvet lights Ahmed Jamal’s Paris premiere
Monday, 9 September 2019
jamallouisvuittonAhmed Jamal plays la Fondation Louis Vuitton
France - In Paris on 4 July, Grammy Award-winning jazz pianist Ahmed Jamal performed the world premiere of his album Ballades at The Louis Vuitton Foundation, a glass-clad, Frank Gehry-designed building that takes the form of a boat’s sails. Enhancing the dramatic impact of the moment was a lighting display by Puzzle SA that featured eight Chauvet Professional Rogue R1 FX-B fixtures.
Arranged in an oval-like pattern behind centre-stage, their independently controlled moving heads pointing in multiple directions, the Rogue fixtures created beguiling geometric patterns that not only reflected Jamal’s music, but also harmonized with the large angular glass sails.
Seemingly pointing in every direction at once as they reach for the sky, the building’s 12 glass sails work with its other features like the prismatic yellow columns by Danish artist Olafur Eliasson and the waterfall next to the auditorium, which is also highlighted.
This flows naturally with Ahmad Jamal’s music, which casts off the shackles of conventional phrasing and timing to reveal the essence of jazz.
Completing this liberation of the spirit are the Rogue R1 FX-B fixtures, which create myriad patterns in the background as they reflect the music.
“Among the most interesting parts of this project was how the Rogue R1 FX-B enhanced the performance of the musicians,” explains Bruno Madec, technical director of the Puzzle SA. “The lighting provided support for the musicians, creating a lively atmosphere to best reflect their work. The jazzmen are without a score, the support of the Rogues with the tables helps them to nuance their musical notes.”
In addition to supporting the musicians, the Rogue fixtures created an engaging panorama that held the interest of the audience by changing during the concert. Switching the colours they created with the RGBA linear fixtures, while also changing coverage areas and the direction of the moving heads, the Puzzle team varied the looks of the backdrop without distracting from the performance of Jamal and his band.
However, the concert was not without its challenges for Puzzle. “It started in the early evening, and since we are in the middle of the summer season, it was not easy to place the Rogues in the black hangers, and put the spotlights on at the same time as the sunset,” says Madec. “Creating bright pictures according to sunset and with video capture at the same time was difficult, but we did it.”
Bruno Madec credits the Puzzle team with making the show a success. This includes general stage manager Aurelien Guedj, sound engineer Rodolphe Mertens, light desk operator Stéphane Mocret, lighting technician Antoine Jugman and video director Christophe Bellemain, as well as stage managers Michel Daladouire and Bob Hedger.
(Jim Evans)

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