HSL gets blue lights for Jorja Smith tour
Thursday, 15 November 2018
hsl-jorja-smith-jor-wTechnical production specialist HSL supplied lighting equipment and crew for her UK and European tour (photo: Lindsay Cave)
Europe - Brit Award winning singer-songwriter Jorja Smith is currently enjoying the success - both commercially and creatively - of her debut album, Lost & Found.
Blackburn UK based technical production specialist HSL supplied lighting equipment and crew for her recent UK and European tour, working closely with Boston based lighting designer Tyler Trofatter and lighting director / operator on the road - for this section of the tour - Matthew Kemp.
Tyler started working with the artist earlier in the year when they sought a US-based LD to look after the live show aesthetics and stage presentation. In the US they were using 4Wall Entertainment as the lighting vendor, and their account handler Bob Suchocki first connected Tyler with HSL when they needed a specials package for a summer show at Somerset House in London.
That all went very well, so when this tour was announced, following the album launch in June, Tyler and Jorja’s production team - tour manager Simon Parkinson and production manager / FOH engineer Mike Excell - returned to HSL, where they worked with project manager Jordan Hanson.
Tyler commented that the HSL crew for the Somerset house gig were “fantastic”, together with the service and the lighting package. Jordan was also helpful in providing a visualisation computer and console a few days earlier, allowing him more time to programme.
There is no video in this current design, so all the visual reinforcement for Jorja’s compelling and powerful performance is from stylish lighting. Her music embraces R‘n’B, hip hop, soul, rap and several other genres in a rich vibrant mix, much based on personal experiences and with a strong sense of social activism.
A sumptuous red Austrian drape denoted the back of the stage, making a strong statement that required careful lighting.
To compliment the retro feel but with a touch of industrial chic, Showtec Vintage Blaze 55 fixtures were added to the rig - their big dish-like reflectors feature a tungsten blub with an RGB LED backlight that transforms the reflector, making it a hugely versatile and almost scenic luminaire.
Six of these were supplied for the tour boosted to 13 for the London and Paris shows. Some of the Blaze 55s were on floor stands and others on drop bars from the back truss for depth and layering.
Martin MAC Axiom hybrid spot / beam fixtures were positioned upstage of the band for powerful, moody silhouetting and back-light looks - chosen for their nice fat beams and good gobo selection.
Also on the floor was a row of GLP Impression X4 Bar 20s LED battens, which Tyler loves. These brought individual pixel control to the equation and were used to up-light the backdrop. As they can also tilt, they were extremely useful for producing dramatic curtains and sweeps of light and colour behind the band and Jorja.
The two Brixton Academy shows were enjoyed by very ebullient audiences who gave the young star an incredible reception, and for these HSL added Mac Viper Performances, MAC Viper Profiles plus Robe Pointe and LEDWash 1200 moving lights, all of which were dotted around overstage trusses flown at different heights - with the upstage one being the lowest.
These were joined by more GLP Impression XBar 20s, 8-lite and 2-lite blinders and DF 50 hazers.
A grandMA2 light console was part of the touring kit which, back in the US until Christmas, Tyler is operating himself. He was also there in the UK for the London shows.
HSL’s Brixton crew of Keith Parrot - who also worked on that original Somerset House gig - Harry Duffin and Stuart Wright were “fantastic”, enthused Taylor.
(Jim Evans)

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