Colour Sound AquaBeams on the Nest
Tuesday, 12 February 2019
colour-sound-the-nestNest - an immersive lighting, sound and sensory installation experience (photo: Matthew Button, Buttonlight)
UK - Seventy four of Colour Sound Experiment’s AquaBeam moving lights, rigged on a 25.5m diameter circular truss supported by an eight-legged ground support system, were an integral part of Nest, an immersive lighting, sound and sensory installation experience.
Nest was imagined by artists Marshmallow Laser Feast, in Lloyd Park, Waltham Forest, as part of the Mayor of London’s first ever London Borough of Culture event Welcome to the Forest.
The lights were choreographed to run with a special ‘transcendental soundscape’ created by composer Erland Cooper, who compiled a series of ‘sonic murmurations’, working with over 1000 participants including local choirs, schools and musicians.
Matthew Button of Buttonlight was the lighting designer for this project, one of a carefully curated collection of works celebrating ‘Radicals, Makers and Fellowship’.
Matthew has worked with Marshmallow Laser Feast on several previous projects, and he designs their lighting concepts and displays in close collaboration with others in the team, including Ersin Han Ersin and Barney Steel.
The structure and form of the ring of lights was inspired by the impressive architecture of traditional gas holders - an important industrial artefact of the gas-powered age, much loved by many - which are fast disappearing!
Matthew needed fixtures that were bright and would withstand the cold and inclement January weather, and approached Colour Sound, with whom he also works regularly. The AquaBeams were the chosen solution, and the west London based rental specialist has a large stock of these.
The sound was delivered through a 28-speaker surround array system. The pre-programmed movement of the lights was controlled via bespoke software developed by Adam Heslop with playback utilising the TouchDesigner platform.
This was triggered by timecode and the Art-Net flow fed into a ChamSys lighting control console to establish the offset movements, so the DMX values received by the lights remained continuous and in unison.
The Welcome to the Forest event ran from 5.30 - 9.30 p.m. for three days and the 15-minute Nest show ran every 20 minutes on a partially manually operated loop. A trail of small illuminated sonic globes - which also emitted sounds - guided people through the park to find the exact spot.
(Jim Evans)

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