Autograph Sound Recording has announced its association with the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA), commencing with the donation and permanent installation of a CADAC A Type mixing console for the Paul McCartney Auditorium, the college's largest live performance space. The tie-in with LIPA also includes Autograph sharing their 27 years of live sound design and rental experience with the Sound Technology degree students, by undertaking a regular series of live theatrical sound workshops.
Tennis fans departing from Southfields Tube Station, the nearest stop to Wimbledon 2000, have this year found something else to stare at other than their shoes. Sponsors TDI and IBM, have transformed the station into a tennis haven - the length of the platform features astroturf tennis courts, fan-suspended tennis balls, and hanging baskets. Also present is a huge 2.1 metre by 1.6 metre Clarity Visual Systems cube wall, displaying an edited video of past Wimbledon champions in a heated rally. The cube wall, provided by SNP Group, is the first to ever be installed on an Underground station.
Chancellor Gordon Brown has received a letter from some of Britain's leading stage actors -including Sir Ian McKellen, Dame Judi Dench, Sir Michael Gambon and Sir Derek Jacobi - in which they urge him to "meet the challenge of rejuvenating our regional theatres as a key creative industry." The letter claims that British regional theatre is in crisis, and warns: " . . . for far too long lack of adequate funding has led to a decline in working opportunities, to fewer new productions and to smaller casts. Unless additional funding is made available - and directed into productions and work on the stage - we could well face a two-tiered system of quality of theatre provision between London and the regions."
White Light's Lighting Design Bursary - now in its third year - has been extended to include any student over the age of 18 studying lighting design in the UK. Launched in 1998 as part of The Training Inititaive, White Light's wide-ranging training and education programme, the Bursary was only open to Lighting Design students at Rose Bruford for its first two years. As in earlier years, the Bursary involves students initially producing a short synopsis outlining a project they would like to light. Students selected at this stage are then invited to develop their concept into a full lighting design proposal (within a theoretical budget) and a 'pitch' for that proposal, which they must present to a panel of industry professionals. This year's competition offers a prize of £500 for each of up to three winners; the prize presentation, which for the last two years has taken place at the Royal National Theatre's annual lighting designers' luncheon, also offers a useful chance to make new contacts within the lighting industry. The 2000 Competition offers an additional prize: the overall competition winner will be sponsored to attend the internationally-acclaimed Showlight lighting conference, which takes place in Edinburgh from May 21st-23rd 2001. Full Competition details are available on the White Light website. Those interested in taking part must register their interest by the end of August 2000, with the deadline for the submission of synopses being September 18th 2000.
Lamba has secured one of the most significant agencies in the history of the company with their appointment this month as the exclusive UK distributor for Nady products. California-based Nady Systems has a long tradition of wireless microphone innovation dating back to 1976, while Lamba boasts an even longer track record in both MI and pro audio - the two core markets that Nady's products address. Talks began at the NAMM Show last January, where Nady launched several new state-of-the-art wireless mics, and under the new Nady Audio badge, introduced several new power amplifiers, mixers, hardwired microphones and rack-mount equipment, further extending their influence in the DJ and pro audio markets.
Audio Design Services has celebrated its 10th anniversary by changing the company name to ADS Worldwide - reflecting the company's increasing involvement with global markets. ADS Worldwide has now embraced the education market with a range of products such as the MiniLab, which provides cheap and flexible access to language and general tuition for schools and other establishments. Part of the celebration included a formal dinner at the Deanwater Hotel in Cheshire, at which members of the ADS Worldwide team are pictured.
ESTA (Entertainment Services and Technology Association) in the United States has announced that the following draft standards have been made available for public review. - BSR E1.3, Entertainment Technology - Lighting Control Systems - 0 to 10V Analog Control Specification - BSR E1.7, Entertainment Technology - Recommended Practice for the Design and Use of Manual Systems for Flying Performers - BSR E1.10, Entertainment Technology - Minimum Loading requrements for Theatre Stage HousesIn each case, the review period closes on September 12, 2000.ESTA has also announced the start of a Standards-Drafting Project for Theatrical Boom & Base Assemblies.
The West Yorkshire Playhouse's production of the classic Hollywood musical Singin' in the Rain, which opened to excellent reviews on 22 June at London's Royal National Theatre, has seen the UK debut of Vari-Lite's first for-sale product - the VL2201 zooming spot. In addition to the new fixtures, the rig also includes VL6 and VL6B spot luminaires, augmenting the National's installed rig of 36 VL5B was luminaires and seven VL6 spots, all run from an Artisan II console. Lighting design is by Andrew Bridge, assisted by Mike Odam. The VL2201s were purchased by the West Yorkshire Playhouse as part of their sales and leasing agreement with VLPS.
André Tammes, the founder of the Lighting Design Partnership and a number of well-known figures in the field have this week launched under the new Lighting Design Partnership International (LDPI) banner. Tammes, continuing to work with long-standing colleagues Lawrie Nisbet and Kevin Sturrock, will now be joined by Alan Mitchell and Gavin Fraser, formerly director and principal designer respectively with Jonathan Spiers Associates. Douglas Hamilton, who has worked for the past six years with Lawrie Nisbet at Edinburgh-based Architectural Lighting Design (now merged with LDPI) completes the senior LDPI team. LDPI, in addition to its London and Edinburgh offices, will be based in Sydney Australia, under the direction of Tammes and Sturrock, with a design team of eight.
Power Gems, the manufacturer of electronic ballasts for entertainment lighting, has merged with Quartermaster, specialist supplier of products to the entertainment lighting industry. The Power Gems London office will form the sales and marketing division of Power Gems Ltd, and will be headed by Patrick McGuane, who joins the board of directors. Power Gems will exhibit at the PLASA Show at Earls Court, 10-13 September 2000.
Hacousto International b.v. has appointed ProAudio Marketing GmbH as their official distributor in Germany for the Matrics Pro-Sound range of products. The appointment follows a study of the target market and those companies in Germany who showed interest in representing the products, particularly the Magic 88, the digital processor-mixer aimed at the pro-sound, conference and installation/contractor markets. ProAudio Marketing, who were officially appointed at the beginning of July, have started with a large stock order off which is intended to support the significant sales expected following their initial product launch.
Canadian company Scéno Plus has won awards in Britain for its role in the design and build of the Dream Factory, the new head office of the British Playbox Theatre. The Dream Factory received three prestigious awards at the Quality in Construction Awards 2000: the Supreme Winner Award, the Small Project of the Year Award, and the Marketing and Image Award. The Dream Factory is a unique venue for aspiring actors to learn about stage acting. The first of its kind in England, the theatre is located at the Aylesford School in Warwick and boasts a 280-capacity flexible theatre space, rehearsal studios, a boutique and cafe.
Music Live 2000, the UK's largest public music-making show, returns to the NEC, Birmingham in November. The show, which runs from 17-19 November, is looking to attract over 25,000 music enthusiasts which brings together some of the most respected names in the business, including Marshall, Fender, Korg, Peavey, Yamaha and Akai.
Soundcraft's successful Going Live programme of sound engineering seminars has debuted in Mexico. Hosted by local distributors Hermes Music in Mexico City and Metropoli in Guadalajara, the events were joined by Dave Kay of Adlib Audio who flew out from the UK to chair the panel of engineers who provided the tuition, accompanied by Ian Staddon of Soundcraft and engineer Geoff Lissaman. Nearly 200 people attended the events. The first USA Going Live course is due to take place in Nashville in November.
Design and installation specialist Sound and Visual Ltd has just completed what must be its most taxing contract to date - a portable conference system for the Inland Revenue. Based on the beyerdynamic MCS system, the system comprised a 15-delegate system that had to be fully flightcased with a simple wiring and connection regime for swift set-up at various meeting points around the country. One of the major problems of traditional systems that use a central loudspeaker is the potential for acoustic feedback. By incorporating the speakers into the delegate stations, all participants have a 'local' loudspeaker, keeping audio levels down and negating feedback problems.
One of the UK's best known live music venues, the Leeds Town and Country Club, has closed its doors. Formerly the Coliseum, the 1,800-capacity venue first opened its doors in October 1992 and has since played host to many high-profile acts including INXS, Blur, Mark Knopfler and The Stone Roses. It's not clear what will become of the venue, but there have been suggestions that First Leisure plan to re-open it as a theme bar and nightclub. Live music is taking something of a bashing in Leeds at the moment. In March came the announcement that the Duchess, a stalwart of the national gig circuit, was closing. It has been confirmed this week that it will reopen as a Karen Millen fashion outlet.
SSE Hire has been servicing Pearl Jam's sell-out European arena tour with a Nexo Alpha PA system. The company is providing all of the input and house side of the show, control, line system and a 36-stack Alpha system with delay hangs where necessary, processed by BSS Soundweb and ably mixed by Brett Eliason. Rat Sound are looking after the monitor side, Karrie Keyes mixing on a Yamaha PM4000 using Crest amplified, Rat wedges and fills. The tour is the fourth American production to be serviced by SSE this year and SSE personnel on the tour include Matt Field, Tom Wiggans and John Gibbon.
An investigation has been launched following the news over the weekend that eight fans had been crushed to death at the Roskilde Festival in Copenhagen. Several others were also injured in the incident which occurred around midnight on Saturday when American rockers Pearl Jam were performing on stage. The front section of the 50,000-strong crowd slipped and the injured were trampled underfoot. Worryingly, the news reports covering the event have, in part, pointed the finger of blame at the sound system, claiming that the rear loudspeakers were not working thus forcing the audience forward. Oasis and the Pet Shop Boys both pulled out of the festival as a mark of respect for the dead, although other bands have chosen to play on. Technical investigations are being carried out and emergency support services have been set up on-site.
LMC Audio London has supplied the Rambert Dance Company with the UK's first Midas Heritage 1000 mixing console. Rambert, the UK's only large-scale contemporary dance repertory company, used the Heritage 1000 at the promenade performances at the new Sadler's Wells. David Kenning, Rambert's sound technician, said: "I am completely bowled over by the console - it's versatile, well laid out, the routing is incredibly easy and the automation is another worthwhile feature."
Doulas Sound & Lights Production in Greece and Wang Keum Musical Instruments Co Ltd in South Korea have been appointed as distributors for the full range of Chameleon pro audio products. As well as serving the pro entertainment market, Doulas Sound also has a substantial and growing business in the public sector, especially in 'hidden' speakers for churches. Wang Keum Musical Instruments Co Ltd, based in Seoul, has already taken delivery of a complete Chameleon touring rig, and it is expected that Chameleon will now feature in many installations and concerts planned in the next 18 months. Both distributors will be carrying a full range of Chameleon products.
Following his epic 480km bicycle ride that incorporated visits to the scenic areas in the vicinity of Beijing - including the Great Wall of China - Lighting Technology Projects' Jonathan Hilton is now busy collecting in over £3000 worth of promised donations for Mencap. Within the sum is £1000 that was sanctioned by director Bruce Kirk on behalf of LTP. Organised by Mencap in the UK, the trip turned out to be a never-to-be-forgotten experience. "I can tell you quite categorically that Chinese bicycles do not have saddles," said Jonathan. "They have a multi-functional device which splits a person into two halves and also acts as a 'no anaesthetic' vasectomy." In his spare time, Hilton is Lighting Technology's product manager for searchlights and Light Pipe and was project manager for one of the company's latest major contracts, the Light Pipe installation on the Millennium Bridge.
Lighting designer and theatre consultant Richard Pilbrow will join the Broadway Lighting Master Class (BLMC) 2000 faculty from 6-10 December, 2000 in New York City. In his first BLMC appearance, the British-born designer will discuss the influence of European traditions on lighting design in the United States. Tony Award-winning lighting designer Jules Fisher will again head the BLMC 2000 faculty roster, which includes Donald Holder, Tony Award-winning LD of Disney's The Lion King, and Peggy Eisenhauer, Tony Award winner for Cabaret. BLMC is offering discounts for members of ESTA, PLASA, USITT, TEA, IATSE, CITT, ATHE and members of other theatrical education associations worldwide; schools sending two or more students or faculty members receive special prices.E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
In a surprise announcement Jon Miller, managing director of The Sound Company, has decided to step down from running the organisation in order to spend more time on music and theatre production. Whilst he will still take a directorial role in the company, the day-to-day business will be run by Mark Thompson, as sound designer and technical director, with Mich Speller taking over as production manager from Giles Rowland, who is heading off to the computer industry. In the meantime, The Sound Company, which is currently enjoying its best ever year, will continue to offer a sound design and hire service for the theatre industry, whilst expanding into other markets.
The Roald Dahl Revolting Concert, held in Cardiff at the end of May, provided the first opportunity for Show Presentation Services (SPS) to spec its new Barco Dlite 7 LED screen for an outdoor event. Part of the nationwide BBC Music Live series, the 17sq.m screen was used to relay live coverage of the concert to the 3,000 strong crowd.