Martin MAC Allure lights Penguin Café dates
Wednesday, 20 November 2019
penguinBen M Rogers designed a practical touring solution
UK - Ben M Rogers, lighting designer for Penguin Cafe, recently deployed Martin MAC Allure Profile and VDO Atomic Dot lighting fixtures on the band’s 2019 UK tour.
Penguin Cafe was founded by Arthur Jeffes in 2009, bringing together a group of musicians from the likes of Suede, Gorillaz and Razorlight to perform his father Simon Jeffes’ legacy of world-renowned Penguin Cafe Orchestra music. In 2019, the band released their latest album of original music, Handfuls of Night, a collaboration with Greenpeace to help raise awareness for the endangered Antarctic seas.
Penguin Cafe recently set out on a UK tour from 28 September through 7 October, performing songs from the new album along with hits from both Penguin Cafe and the original Penguin Cafe Orchestra. To compliment each performance with immersive visual experience, Penguin Cafe hired lighting designer Ben M Rogers to design a practical touring solution suitable for small to mid-sized concert halls and theatres. Rogers selected Martin MAC Allure Profile and VDO Atomic Dot lighting fixtures for their colour mixing, versatile effects and compact design.
“We decided early on to only bring a floor package on tour and use in-house key lights from the venues in order to allow for a practical solution across the variety of locations of the tour,” says Rogers. “As the music evolves, shifts and develops with a cinematic flair, I wanted to construct a lighting scheme that offered layers of lighting using a small number of fixtures.”
For the tour, Rogers deployed four vertical trusses or totems, each rigged with three Martin MAC Allure Profile fixtures, with additional units placed on the floor.
Rogers also created a pattern on the front of the trusses using VDO Atomic Dot CLD and WRM fixtures.
“Whilst the overall rig has some symmetry to it, I wanted to create a visual pattern that had some diversity, so I reimagined the word PENGUIN in Morse code to create a reference of dots and dashes,” explains Rogers. “These were then laid out across the totems using the WRM units as ‘dots’ and pairs of the CLD units as ‘dashes.’ I also had a set of units on the floor to create a low backlight through the instruments. With the Atomic Dots, I use the Aura effect for colour chases, animation and glow, and the central blinder chip to punch through for contrast and accent as needed.”
Martin MAC Allure Profile and VDO Atomic Dot fixtures can be driven via Martin’s P3 controller or, in the case of the Penguin Cafe tour, via DMX.
(Jim Evans)

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