'The Trace', a unique multi-media installation by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and Will Bauer, was at the centre of the retrospective of contemporary art that was exhibited recently at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in Canada. The installation was a 'telepresence' experience where people in different rooms of the museum could share the same interactive space. Two Martin Lighting Director (MLD) tracking systems were used to monitor the position and movement of participants in 3D and their presence was reconstructed in real time in the rooms using intersecting light beams, floor projections and positional sound. Automated followspots provided ghostly 3D representations which matched the movement of participants in the remote rooms. The installation used eight Mac 250 units for the aerials and four MAC 250+ fixtures for the projections. In addition, four MAC 300 moving heads were fitted with speakers and parabolic reflectors so that sound beams could also be directed to the location of the participants.
Paris-based loudspeaker manufacturer L-Acoustics has restructured its UK sales and rental activities. V-Dosc Rentals UK has been renamed L-Acoustics UK and will continue renting the V-Dosc and dV-Dosc systems. The major change is the incorporation into L-Acoustics UK of the sales and technical support for all L-Acoustics products, thereby focusing the two distinct business activities under one roof. All sales products will supplied direct from Paris, including the purchase of V-Dosc and dV-Dosc for permanent installations. L-Acoustics UK will be managed by Paul Nicholson, with responsibility for both sales and rental activities.
Marquee Audio has supplied a Soundcraft Series Five 56/32 monitor desk to accompany 'Riverdance - The Show' through its European tour. The sale came via Mikam Sound, the production's official sound contractors. The console was specified by Mick O'Gorman, the show's sound designer, to fulfil the company's growing needs, following a complete changeover to in-ear monitoring. He observed: "To pull off the change we had no choice but to get a bigger desk; there simply were not enough channels previously to satisfy the demand. We'd used the Series Five on the US tour and as it would accommodate our need entirely, there was no question of what we would opt for."
The Opera House in Bournemouth, Britain's largest independent nightclub and home to the infamous club-night 'Slinky', now boasts a complete Martin Audio Wavefront system which serves the whole venue. The club, awarded the South West Region's 'Club of the Year' title in the 1999 BEDA Awards, purchased units through London-based LMC Audio, to create a left and right flown array either side of the DJ booth in the main dance area. Each flown array consists of five W8S hybrid bass units, a full-range W8 and two W8C Wavefront compacts. The new house system is controlled via two BSS Soundweb DSP networking systems, one of which is tasked with limiting and compressing the main audio input and running the W8Cs, while the other is used to provide a mono sub/bass signal to the W8S and W8.
Trantec Systems has announced several high-profile orders for the S5000 Series. Wigwam Acoustics has purchased 22 S5000 units (beltpacks and levaliers) for use on the forthcoming Carousel tour, currently in production rehearsal. Wigwam has also supplied 12 Trantec S5000 in-ear monitoring systems for the upcoming Feet of Flames tour. Other sales in January, include IEM and handheld units to BBC Manchester and BBC Newcastle, along with further sales to Orbital and Delta Sound.
The German University town Kaiserslautern recently added another attraction - the Riverside entertainment complex. MHB, an installation company located in Bexbach, supplied and installed the complete sound system for the complex, relying solely on HK Audio components. 16 LP118 subwoofers (1x18" direct loaded), most of them flown above the dance floor, six VT 212 II (2x12"/2"), two VT 108 (8"/1") and four VT 112 II, all powered by VX 2400 power amplifiers, are installed in the main discotheque 'Fantasy Dancing'.VT108 cabinets provide all the background music in the numerous bistros, restaurants and outdoor terraces. The dance café Hollywood's features a combination of VT112 II and LP118 subs. All systems are driven by HK Audio Digital Field Controllers, which incorporate complete phase and frequency correction.
German laser specialist LOBO Electronic is undergoing considerable expansion and is moving to new premises. The company can now be contacted at Robert-Bosch-Strasse 100, Industriegebiet Essingen-Dauerwang, 73428 Aalen, Germany.
Corporate event specialists Set 'n' Stage has completed a major set-building contract for Powerhouse Productions at Center Parc in Longleat, for a two-day convention held by Walkers Crisps. The contract included the building of a stage 40ft wide by 12ft high, as well as the supply of two front-projection 10ft by 7.5ft Fast Fold screens, which were designed into the set, as well as 5ft-wide logos for Walkers and Pringles. Production manager was Powerhouse's Phil Page, and Set 'n' Stage crew included Ron Golan and Rod Wallington.
Bristol-based Stage Electrics has invested in further stocks of EAW loudspeakers and Crest amplification, purchased from UK distributor Sound Dept. The purchase includes four EAW JF100Es, eight JF260Zs and a pair of SB250R subs, while the Crest amplification purchase includes six PA3301s, two PA4601s, four PA8001s and a PA9001. The new investment is attributed by the company to increasing workload in the corporate and conference markets.
Specialist commercial sound supply and installation company Willow Vale has been acquired by Connect Distribution Services Ltd, a £20M turnover company based in Birmingham. All operations will be conducted from Birmingham, and the company will continue to use the name Willow Vale.
Martin Professional's US subsidiary, Martin Professional Inc has been awarded the lighting contract for the Sepulveda/Century entrance of the new LAX Gateway project. Designed and specified by Los Angeles-based Dawn Hollingsworth of MRH Design (Moody, Ravitz, Hollingsworth Design Inc), the project will feature nearly 500 Martin Professional Exterior 600 lighting fixtures, used to illuminate columns at the entrance to LA International Airport. The fixtures will be programmed to change colour and will synchronise with an additional 15 smaller glass columns located on Century Boulevard, the main road approaching LAX. The complete lighting project will be controlled via a customised system of Martin ProScenium lighting controllers. Helix Electric Inc, constructors and engineers for the $25 million LAX Gateway portion of the $110 million LAX improvement project, are supplying the complete job. Upon completion in June 2000, the project is certain to be the largest automated exterior colour-changing lighting system in the world.
As part of its strategic expansion plans, Tomcat has recruited four new European distributors giving it further representation throughout Europe. The new distributors are Arlecchino in Moscow, Russia; MITECH 2000 in Budapest, Hungary; ASL in Zurich, Switzerland and on home ground White Light (Electrics) of Fulham, West London. Arlecchino BSC is a well-established rental, sales and installation company; MITECH 2000 is built on the industry experience of owner Mihaly Borbas whilst ASL Electronic AG of Switzerland is headed up by David Schertz. Some of Tomcat's most innovative trussing products have been inspired by their association with White Light, and this relationship has now been formalised as the company has become a UK distributor of Tomcat products.
At the recent Live! Awards, PCM's John Jones presented the PSA (Production Services Association) with a third cheque in support of its Welfare and Benevolent Fund. The cheque, for £2,190, was presented by PCM's John Jones to Fund trustee, Mike Lethby. This third instalment refers to PCM's 'sponsorship' of the PSA's Welfare and Benevolent Fund launched in February 1999. The total donated by PCM now tops £7,000. The deal is linked directly to PCM's sale of Columbus McKinnon Lodestar hoists: for every Lodestar purchased in the UK through PCM, £10 is donated to the Welfare Fund. PSA chairman Keith Ferguson commented: "We thank PCM for their hugely motivating gesture, and hope that it will encourage others to support the Fund and ensure its future."
The 2000 Live! Awards saw companies including Avolites, Klark Teknik, Pulsar & Clay Paky, PCM, PSL, RG Jones and Sennheiser joining forces to produce a highly successful night. The entertainment for the evening featured the customary reception and three-course dinner, followed by a short set from singer Sam Brown and Deep Purple keyboard maestro Jon Lord. The Awards were presented by legendary artist Ian Dury in fine form, who displayed his well-known flair and humour to full effect and was rewarded with a standing ovation at the end of the ceremony.
Caribiner International contracted Essential Lighting to manage the lighting design for the recent Allied Dunbar Sales Convention. The brief from Caribiner's producer, Andrew Price was, as always, to make the event better, bigger and faster than ever. The set designs and drawings were distributed electronically by the beginning of December. Working in Essential's new WYSIWYG suite, lighting designer Tony Hall then turned these into a full blown drawing, complete with the attendant lighting of 190 moving fixtures (170 Martin MAC fixtures, 14 moving mirror units, 3 CityColors, a 7Kw Xenon searchlight) and some 60 generic fittings. Five days of intensive lighting programming followed, using Whole Hog II lighting desks for the moving elements of the show, and a Pearl 2000 for the Generic aspects. Two Wholehog II desks were used for show control, linked together as a master desk and a tracking back-up desk. One of the outputs of the Hog was overdriven to obtain the required five strings of DMX for the moving lights. The Pearl 2000 was backed up by an ARRI Reflections unit with an overdrive box, to cater for the two strings of DMX being sent from this desk.
Britannia Row Productions, one of the largest PA companies in Europe, has invested in a selection of Midas consoles from the London branch of LMC Audio Systems, including five Midas Heritage 3000 consoles and one Midas XL4, as part of their continued investment in new equipment. Bryan Grant of Brit Row commented: "We've had a very solid last 18 months and felt that the time was right to update our console stock. The Midas product and LMC service were a great combination for us." PA Company GPA Hire has also recently purchased a Midas Heritage 3000 from the London branch of LMC. The console has already been out with ex-Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown and is currently on a European tour Apollo 440. The Heritage 3000 was used in the monitor position during Apollo 440's sell-out London gig at Scala, Kings Cross.
Show Presentation Services (SPS), one of the largest AV companies in Europe, and Earls Court Olympia (ECO) have entered into a five year contract to offer the complete range of SPS audio-visual and staging services based in house at both ECO's London venues. SPS @ ECO as the new venture will be known, will have a large AV equipment stockholding and personnel at both venues.
Tannoy has provided two individual speaker systems for installation into the Metaforum auditorium at Holland's 'The School of the Future' - a state-of-the-art college used for showcasing new technologies in education. The Metaforum auditorium is equipped for either stereo or Dolby Surround playback of audio-visual material. Netherlands-based MCM carried out the installation, which comprised two individual speaker systems - a Dolby Surround system for film presentations, and a central cluster and distributed speaker grid system for speech reinforcement. The Dolby Surround system consists of three pairs of i12 speakers with a TX2 controller for each pair and two B950 sub bass speakers mounted behind the screen. 10 CPA5 compact speakers are mounted at the rear of the auditorium to provide surround effects. The central cluster and distributed speaker grid uses eight Tannoy CMS65 ICT 6.5" ceiling monitor speakers for vocal reinforcement towards the rear of the auditorium, with the speech system comprising a cluster of two i12 speakers flown centrally above the screen.
The Lighting Division of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers and the Institution of Lighting Engineers has launched the programme for a millennium lighting conference to be held in York from 9-11 July 2000. The conference will include sessions and case studies on remote source lighting, quality in lighting and light pollution.
The launch of new nightclub 'bed' has been rescheduled for Saturday 11th March 2000. The move is a result of a routine inspection of drainage revealing two collapsed drains underneath the former 'Music Factory' club at a depth of 3.5 metres. Though not a major structural problem, interior refurbishment work will be slowed down at the 1,270 capacity venue whilst the situation is rectified to correspond with health and safety requirements. "It's a shame we're not going to open on time, but these things are sent to try us," explained Russell Pate, bed promoter. After being closed for almost 12 months, the venue will welcome a much needed interior and exterior refit, its new name and a redefined music policy.
In order to offer a more competitive service, Nottingham-based NJD has spent the last year organising a new manufacturing facility in India. The result is a range of products identical to their UK equivalents, carrying the same design and engineering, as well as guarantees, but with improved packaging and user guides. The first four products from the range - Chaos, Chaos 2000, Blitzer and Datamoon - are now available.
The second Pulsar Student Lighting Designers Competition is to commence shortly with the first heat taking place in Melton Mowbray Colleges' technical studio. Contestants will able to use the latest technology recently installed by Pulsar Light which includes two Clay Paky Stage Color 300s and two Stage Light 300s, controlled by Pulsar's Masterpiece 216. Students from the performing arts department of De Montfort University, based at Melton Mowbray, are already queuing up to participate in the competition. Training will be offered by Pulsar at its Cambridge headquarters and the brief for the designers will be to come up with a design that complements a short piece of contemporary music. Two heats per month will see a number of students battling it out and the winners will then be invited to the finals in July where they will be asked to light a short piece of theatre specifically commissioned for the contest. Further heats will take place over the next few months when it is hoped that degree students from Loughborough University and Nottingham Trent University will also participate.
Readers of L&SI will recall that in 1998 nva organisation presented the landmark 'Secret Sign' event in a deep river gorge near Loch Lomond. The sell-out show was nominated as Production of the Year by The Herald newspaper and led to the single largest award by the Millennium Festival Company to create a new project to mark the year 2000. Setting their sights high, nva spent a year searching the highlands of Scotland for the perfect location and eventually settled on Glen Lyon. From May 19th - June 4th, 300 people per night (and that includes an intrepid pair from PLASA Publishing) will travel from every part of Britain to experience a journey into the heart of the glen. Over a two hour night-time walk they will encounter a beautifully animated environment, lighting and sound installations and performance revealing key natural features varying from waterfalls to standing stones. With an international creative team led by Angus Farquhar, this is the first time an event of this scale and ambition has been developed in Britain. Full story in February L&SI.
Demospec, the specialist French manufacturer of cinema screens and other projection surfaces, has been acquired by the Harkness Hall Group. The acquisition creates a company with operations in the UK, USA and continental Europe, giving the Group an increased ability to meet the needs of customers worldwide. The two companies will share products, manufacturing and technology. Andrew Robinson, managing director of Harkness Hall Group, said: "The enlarged group has the capability of serving the cinema, theatre, exhibition, conference and special venue markets with the specialised products needed. The Harkness Hall Group is even better placed to serve a market which has become increasingly international in recent years."