Colour Visits Another Planet for Nao Show
Thursday, 11 April 2019
colour-soundNao at the Brixton Academy (photo: Sam Livermore)
UK - Colour Sound Experiment collaborated with lighting designer Miles Weaver as the lighting supplier for the intimate soul-y funk sounds of UK singer/ songwriter Nao, who has just completed the first UK and European leg of her Saturn tour following the release of her second album last autumn.
The tour was project-managed for Colour Sound by Alex Ryan, who comments: “It’s the first time we’ve worked with Miles as a supplier and it was an excellent experience. His design was original and interesting, and it is always exciting to be involved with an LD and artist with a great future ahead.”
Miles took a floor package on the tour, stepping up to a full rig for the London showcase at Brixton Academy.
The floor package had to offer max versatility yet pack down into a trailer, so Miles chose 12 x Robe Spiider LED wash beams for this. He wanted to achieve some specific effects like creating walls of colour but was keen to use a fixture other than an LED batten.
His specials design also had to be infinitely scalable depending on the available stage space, and the 12 Spiiders were a great solution on this front as well as working with whatever venue house or top rigs were available each night.
For Brixton, it was a complete ‘own show’ scenario, but they had to step up seamlessly to over 4 times the size of rig with no rehearsal or tech time!
The Spiider count expanded to 36 for Brixton, with 18 of the additional 24 units rigged on two overhead V-shaped trusses - one slightly higher than the other – mirrored – footprint wise - on the floor with the original 12 plus another six making up the 18.
A Showtex Ultralight stage net - in 4m-wide sections and covering the whole width of the upstage trusses - was stretched from the bottom of the lower truss to the floor, and attached to this ‘randomly’ were a set of 33 Saturnesque scenic domes made by Hangman.
The domes were constructed from lightweight plastic, clipped to the netting and took light beautifully.
For Brixton, additional texture for the domes was provided by two of Colour Sound’s 30K projectors operated by Nick Whitehead, who mapped each dome using Resolume, giving Miles colour and dimmer control for each one from his gMA3 console.
This brought another layer of depth and individual looks to the performance whilst keeping the illumination simple and very clean.
The Spiiders gave Miles the functionality to create graduated colour and texture chases that added a highly distinctive lighting aesthetic which also linked back to the basic specials look of the 12 Spiiders on the tour and the ambience of the European dates.
Some Claypaky Stormy LED strobes were dotted around, some on the floor and some in the trusses, used judiciously for accents, bumps and pulses.
Chauvet UV PARs worked in conjunction with UV clothing worn by Nao for a couple of numbers – four on the tour and six for Brixton. The UV glow highlighted the flow of her dance moves which popped while her face remained subtly lit in a spacey burlesque section of the performance.
He ran the lighting on one of Colour Sound’s grandMA3 consoles running MA2 software as a “rock solid choice” for control.
“It was a great experience working with Alex,” Miles stated. “He focussed on finding all the practical and physical solutions leaving me to concentrate on the creative aspects – a perfect combination.”
Miles tech’d the Spiiders on the European leg of the tour himself, and for Brixton, was joined by a Colour Sound crew of Sam Campbell, Dave Ward, Ross Burton and Simon Robertson.
(Jim Evans)

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