Spain - The Fallas is the official festival of Valencia, which is celebrated from the 15-19 March. This event has become an important tourist attraction.

Besides of the name of the festivities, 'fallas' is also the name used to designate the thousand monuments which are located in Valencia city as well as in every town of the province. The 'fallas' consist of a figure or central composition of several feet high, surrounded by numerous figures of papier-mâché, supported by a wooden frame. They include signs written in Valencian explaining the meaning of each set, always with a critical and satirical angle.

One of the most important activities of this week is the 'mascletà', which is celebrated from 1-19 March, when the fallas are burned and the festivity ends. A 'mascletà' is a pyrotechnic fire which forms a very loud and rhythmic composition. Megafonía Torres, respo

USA - The creative force that drives The Isley Brothers never rests. It's why these Rock and Roll Hall of Famers can still shake the house after six decades of touring. It's also why they've never flinched at abandoning comfortable familiarity in favour of new forms of musical expression; the way they did in the mid-1960s when they took on a young and then unknown sideman named Jimi Hendrix and blended his heavy guitar riffs with their own extended R&B inspired vamps to kick off an original funk sound that would influence the direction of rock music.

The Isley Brothers' penchant for new ideas remains as strong today as it was back then - and not just with music, but with lighting too. This was very much in evidence recently when the multi-Grammy winners' design team changed its plans to use some familiar lights after it heard Brad McWhorter of Atlanta Audio Visual talk about how

USA - For the seventh year running, Hippotizer by Green Hippo was again the media server of choice at this year's Academy Awards, broadcast from Hollywood's Kodak Theatre on 22 February.

This year however, marked a major step forward: The new Hippotizer V4 hardware and software system was put to work. One V4 Taiga, the flagship model of the new V4 range, performing a task that would have previously required at least three Hippotizer HDs, drove six video outputs, feeding all projection and LED screen content on the main stage - executing the show's artistic vision with perfectly executed looks, from a vintage theatre façade, to Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge.

In addition, in the show's screens control room, a V4 Boreal provided live 3D visualization of the entire theatre and stage, including all media content, giving the programming team both accurate real-time and pre-viz repre

UK - The winner of the Philips Strand Lighting upcycling competition has been announced. Paul Nulty Lighting Design (PNLD) scooped the prize for team effort Anamorphosis, which saw the colleagues turn a vintage Patt 23 theatre lantern into a deconstructed art piece.

PNLD was revealed as the winner at The Society of Light and Lighting Fresnel Lecture, which took place at the Royal Institution of Great Britain (Ri) last week. Philips was chief sponsor of the event, alongside support from the IALD. Following the talk, Philips' Lighting Application Design Lead and competition judge Mike Simpson announced that PNLD's design had come out on top.

On the winning entry, Simpson says, "It was a difficult decision as the other finalists were fantastic, however 'Anamorphosis' was a very deserving winner.

"Many lighting designers will have grown up with the Patt 23 and s

UK - Award-winning lighting designer Bruno Poet used CAST's wysiwyg software to previsualise his technically innovative, trailblazing and epic stage lighting for the latest production of Cameron Mackintosh's Miss Saigon at the Prince Edward Theatre in London's West End.

Big West End shows have never used pre-visualisation software on a show of this scale before, making the use of wysiwyg on this production a real world first. The production team for the latest London production of Miss Saigon was new, while the set was inspired by the recent successful Miss Saigon tour of the Far East.

"As the script and score for the show were well established, the production period for the show was much shorter than other West End productions of a similar scale. Our team worked from scratch on the show's lighting design using the pre-visualisation features on offer

Europe - Morphed is a work by Tero Saarinen circulating around eight dancers showing the expressive power of the human body and liberating movements in their performances. While Esa-Pekka Salonen created the music, Mikki Kunttu, who has been working with Saarinen for many years, was responsible for the set and lighting design. Morphed is currently touring through different venues in Europe accompanied by a grandMA2 light console that is owned by the Tero Saarinen Company.

Kunttu stated, "The grandMA2 is the standard in every production for the Tero Saarinen Company. It offers many vital features needed for a theatrical orientated project like this one. Thanks to the networking capabilities of the MA System it has been possible to pre-program the lighting on a grandMA2 onPC, then transfer the show to the grandMA2 light. This was a real time saver and made my jo

UK - "We wanted to hear everything from those old synths, the highs, the lows, each uninvited rattle and hum... Flare gave us a truly dynamic sound, a perfect match for our ancient technology," said Mel Wesson of powerhouse electro quartet Node, as Flare Audio's PA system broadcast their first concert in 15 years.

The landmark concert Node Live took place in the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall at the Royal College of Music in London on 27 February 2015, receiving acclaim from fans and across media reviews.

Flare was selected due to its "clarity of sound". The detailed ambient sonic landscape created by the band requires the clearest possible sound and definition with even coverage and dispersion, as they filled the stage with an array of instruments and vintage analogue synthesizers, creating both a sonic and visual experience for the audience.

Just two X2

Italy - XL Video returned to the gleaming modernity of the MiCo Milano Congressi conference centre in downtown Milan to provide various video solutions including projection and control, cameras / multiple PPU and crew, together with general AV support for the Cisco Live! 2015 event, working for global experience marketing agency, George P. Johnson.

Cisco Live! is the industry's premier education and training event for IT, networking and communications professionals, and XL Video's team was project managed by Nick Askew and Chris Ellis. Their brief included the provision of a diverse selection of AV set-ups to 42 breakout areas, some for up to 300 people.

An impressive main room hosted the plenary sessions and accommodated 3,500 delegates. A primary presentation stage was built in the centre of the room and connected via a runway to a satellite 'demo' stage that was used for pr

USA - The Chroma-Q Color One 100 LED Par and Color Force 72 LED battens were recently used to provide outstanding colour and punch for Boston University's production of The Human Comedyat the city's Virginia Wimberly Theatre.

With music by Galt MacDermot (best known for Broadway's score of Hair) and based on William Saroyan's novel of the same name, The Human Comedy is a pop folk opera and coming-of-age tale about small-town life in World War II era California. It was presented by Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Theatre and staged at the 360-seat new state-of-the-art proscenium Virginia Wimberly Theatre.

Boston University lighting designer Brandon Bagwell, who is being tutored on the University's Master of Fine Arts Lighting Design programme by Associate Professor (Lighting Design), Mark Stanley - the resident lighting designer for New Yo

USA - High school football is serious in Valdosta, Georgia. There, the Lowndes High School Vikings regularly fill 12,000-plus seat Martin Stadium and, far more often than not, prevail over their rivals. Lowndes has won five state championships - three of them within the last decade - and managed perfect seasons in 2004 and 2008. In fact, in 2008, ESPN ranked Lowndes as the #2 high school football program in the entire country. That's number two out of approximately 14,000 teams - no small feat.

To support the team and improve the game day experience for fans, the school raised funds for a new Jumbotron and, to go with it, a modern collegiate-grade sound reinforcement system. Ashly Audio NE Series signal processing and KLR-Series amplifiers support the new system, which provides extensive auto-mixing capabilities and, via a simple Ashly wall-mounted fader bank, intuitive control

Serbia - Robe's Serbian distributor Studio Berar Projekt has supplied the country's leading music and TV production company Grand Production with 32 x Robe Pointes which have been installed at Studio 1 of the Filmski Grad studio complex in Kosutnjak, Belgrade.

The company produces a host of different 'Grand' branded TV programmes including all the popular music television shows in the region including The Fantastic Show, People Pie and Grand Stars which are broadcast on the First Serbian TV channel, on OBN in Bosnia & Hertzegovina and Kanal 5 in Macedonia.

Grand Production also manages some of the best known Balkan pop and folk artists. They will often feature on their music programmes which can be an important gateway to stardom. The company's busy schedule also includes other music based showcases like Grand Festival.

This latest installation of

UK / Germany - Sennheiser has been actively combating product piracy in a range of ways over several years. In late February, the company scored a further victory in this ongoing campaign, with the conviction of an online trader from Cricklewood, London who was caught selling counterfeit Sennheiser products. The offender was put on probation supervision and was given a community sentence.

The 31-year-old admitted selling counterfeit Sennheiser headphones with a total value of EUR 235,000 to over 7,000 online customers via Amazon. He was put on probation for nearly a year and will be required to complete 200 hours of community service. Moreover, legal action is now pending, and the trader may be held liable for damages. Sennheiser UK Ltd has supported the investigating authorities by providing significant information resources.

"Combating product piracy is not just about a

USA - The Audio Engineering Society hosted its 57th International Conference, titled The Future of Audio Entertainment Technology: Cinema, Television, and the Internet, in Hollywood, California, on 6-8 March 2015.

Co-chaired by Brian McCarty and Dr. Sean Olive, the conference was intended to stimulate increased dialogue between the Hollywood content creation community and the AES, and drew a substantial audience to the three-day programme, which was presented at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres.

Keynote addresses were given by noted industry professionals, including Dr. Floyd Toole, former AES president, Louis Hernandez Jr., Avid chairman and Francis Rumsey, chair of the AES Technical Council.

"The genesis of this conference came from the AES's realization that the largest group of working sound engineers is those that do sound for picture in some way. Over the last fe

USA - ETC is now officially accepting applications for its 2015 LDI Student Sponsorship. Recipients will be awarded an all expenses paid trip to the LDI tradeshow in Las Vegas, Nevada, from 23-25 October. Graduate students and undergraduate seniors who are studying light design, theatre technology or other related majors are all encouraged to apply by Friday 17 April.

"The opportunities the scholarship has offered me and the connections I made will serve me very well as I move out into the wider working world of lighting design," says 2012 LDI Sponsorship recipient David Johnson. "It's great to know that companies as big as ETC take the development of young lighting professionals seriously."

The sponsorship, designed to help launch students' careers, gives recipients the opportunity to network with industry professionals at the tradeshow. In addition, each

Slovenia - The Slovensko Ljudsko Gledalisce (The Slovenian People's Theatre) in Celje, Slovenia's attractive third largest town is an active and well respected producing and receiving house that has recently invested in five of Robe's LEDWash 600 moving lights for its main 380 seater auditorium.

Celje is an important commercial and cultural centre in the Lower Styria region of Slovenia, and the theatre one of its prime creative arteries, producing around six of their own shows per year - some of which are toured nationally - and hosting between 30 and 40 visiting productions.

The LEDWash 600 purchase following their previously excellent experience with Robe ColorSpot 700s which were bought six years ago and are still going strong!

This time around they were specifically looking for energy efficient units that were easy to handle and offered the best colour mixing and a good

USA - After dominating the country music charts with 35 number ones, more than 60 career singles and a dedicated fan base, Alan Jackson has chosen Nashville-based Elite Multimedia Productions (EMP) to handle all lighting, video and LED for his 25th anniversary, Keepin' It Country tour, which is sponsored by Kubota Tractor Corporation.

The tour, which kicked off in early January in Fort Myers, Fla. and continues through the summer, has production needs that vary with the many different types of venues it plays. Lighting and video play a major role in the country icon's production so that audiences feel the camaraderie that is driven home through Jackson's songs.

Account manager Peter Streiff assisted in compiling lighting gear from Vari*Lite, Martin, Clay Paky and PixelFLEX LED video curtains that are all serviced through EMP, and help to creatively deliver those goals p

USA - When lighting designer Tyler Santangelo decided that floating diamonds would look better than squares on the stage for the Irish Christian experimental group Rend Collective, he simply adjusted the Nexus panels on his rig and created a new look. This was the first (but certainly not the last) time that Santangelo got to appreciate the versatility of the intense COB LED panels from Chauvet Professional.

As the LD on the Rend Collective tour, which has crisscrossed the globe from Sioux Falls to West Sussex and Manhattan to Budapest, Santangelo has frequently called on the Nexus panels to create new looks to fit different venues and keep pace with spontaneous flow of the group's performance.

Rend Collective, which reached the top of the Billboard Christian Album charts (and number 13 overall) in 2014, has played in venues ranging from small churches to large arenas. "A

USA - To commemorate the 150th Birthday of famed Danish composer Carl Nielsen, Denmark-based Dacapo Records is releasing The Nielsen Project, a collection of Nielsen's symphonies and concertos as performed by the New York Philharmonic.

During production, TimbreMusic tonemeister Mikkel Nymand, recording engineer on the project, relied on DPA Microphones' d:dicate 4015S Wide Cardioid and 4006A Omnidirectional Microphones to accommodate the unique audio requirements at Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center and to achieve a natural quality of the live ensemble.

As one of the most famous concert venues for classic performers, Fisher Hall has a history of presenting audio challenges for symphonic music, namely diffusions that fall short of producing a rich natural sound and an imperfect early reflection pattern. To account for this, Nymand tested the acoustics of the venue during pre

Korea - Allen & Heath's iLive digital system and GL2800 analogue mixer were installed in Korea's new Incheon Asiad stadium, built to host the 17th Asian Games.

Taking three years to construct, the gigantic stadium is capable of holding up to 62,000 people and was used for the Games main sporting events, as well as events before the Games, such as Korean Pop (K-POP) concerts. As many as 13,000 athletes from 45 countries competed.

The organiser was looking for a stable but flexible multi-purpose audio system, which would satisfy the need for both digital and analogue technology. Allen & Heath's South Korean distributor, Sama ProSound, suggested an iLive-144 Control Surface with iDR-48 MixRack to serve as the main system, with a GL2800 as the sub system.

"iLive was chosen because it has both the capability and flexibility to manage the audio system, and it can be controlle

USA - Victory Preparatory Academy in the Denver suburb of Commerce City, Colorado is a new charter school for middle school and high school students. Successful applicants to VPA score in the top ten-percent on state tests, making it an elite place of learning for nearly 500 students ranging from sixth grade to tenth grade.

To ensure the growth of its recently-kindled school spirit, school district officials hired Audio Visual Colorado to design and install a high-impact sound reinforcement system in its combination gymnasium/auditorium. AV Colorado obliged, giving VPA a pair of high-fidelity Danley Sound Labs SM-100F full-range loudspeakers, whose pattern control keep energy on the students in the bleachers... and not on the untreated walls.

"The client wanted a high-energy system," said Jeff Brotherston, president and design engineer at AV Colorado. "When you'

Mexico - L&P Service is a new technical services, production and rental company based in the vast and vibrant urban expanses of Mexico City which has recently invested in Robe moving lights.

It was founded in 2013 and is headed by Mariano Alfaya who is also a lighting designer, and his business partner Jose Luis Torres who is a sound engineer and production manager in addition to their duties running a busy and fast growing operation.

The two first met some years back during a tour with hugely popular Mexican pop duo Camila. Mariano was doing lights and Jose Luis audio and production - so together they made a great team. They also worked for and on numerous other companies and projects before deciding to pool resources, talents and experience ... and set up L&P Services as a customer-focused, service-driven high quality venture.

Camila remains one of their regular clients, a

South Africa - Lighting designer Francois van der Merwe incorporated 16 Clay Paky Mythos fixtures to his spectacular design at the 14th Metro FM Music Awards, hosted at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Conference Centre (ICC) in Durban on 28 February 2015.

Dream Sets were the set and technical supplier of the event, which had a live broadcast on SABC1, while rental companies Black Coffee supplied 12 newly purchased Clay Paky Mythos units and Insane Sound & Lighting made available another four.

"I like the Mythos," commented Francois van der Merwe. "I prefer them to the Sharpyss and they are nice and bright. The beams and gobos make a difference and they are fast. I would use them again." Robert Hoey from Dream Sets shared his sentiment.

The Mythos units were placed standing on the stage deck and created brilliant beam work, punching upright through the air.


Ghana - Deeper Christian Life Ministry in Accra, the capital city of Ghana, have purchased a GDS system from South African distributor, DWR Distribution, for their 20,000 seater church, one of many branches throughout Africa.

The church building has taken some 20 years to build and the brief from the client was simple. To have a lighting system that would not be flamboyant, but would provide white light for church services and for camera work, as many meetings are recorded for television.

Johnny Scholtz from DWR Distribution was asked by GDS to oversee the project. "Power was something everyone had to consider when deciding on which product to utilize," said Johnny. The power grid in Accra is often on for 12 hours and off for 24 hours. Deeper Christian Life Ministry run off a large generator.

"GDS fixtures are energy efficient and don't draw much power,"

South Africa - Francois van der Merwe from Wizardry Group has been recognized and approved as an International Vectorworks Trainer by Nemetschek. The announcement came during a Vectorworks Training Week from 9-13 March, presented by Francois at DWR Distribution, the official Vectorworks distributor in Africa. Many players in the industry attended the course.

"It's very exciting," commented Francois. "We had been talking about it for a while and I had to send Nemetschek Vectorworks details on the course and previous training I had presented, my history as a lighting designer and also feedback from DWR."

Francois has always been passionate about Vectorworks and believes in the product. He also believes there is wonderful talent and experience in the South African industry, and with Vectorworks, a good foundation level can be put in place.

"Everyone has

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