GLP’s X4 Atom makes versatile matrix for Izïa
Thursday, 16 July 2020
glpIzïa played back-to-back concerts on the same evening at La Vapeur in Dijon
France - More commonly known by her stage name, Izïa, Izïa Higelin is the rock star daughter of 70s pop legend Jacques Higelin. The Senegal-born actress and musician recently completed a 24-date French tour on the back of her new album, Citadelle.
It took an inspired deployment of GLP’s X4 atom, with its tiny form factor, by the artist’s LD, Jordan Magnée, to provide an imaginative backdrop. The result was a tiltable matrix of 96 atoms (from a total complement of 124 pieces), each with a 30W full-colour LED source, to bring the scenography to life.
These were mounted on a structure fabricated by S Group, which also supplied the fixtures, having purchased them specifically for the tour. The versatility of the atom was demonstrated in the 9:1 zoom ratio - from a wide 34° wash down to a tight 3.5° beam - that enabled a constant variation of narrowing or expanding mid-air beams.
The tour was unusual in that it took place with the spectre of Covid-19 hovering above it - and ‘gatherings’ capped at a maximum of 1,000 people in France. While this caused the 2,000-capacity Paris Olympia concert to be cancelled, Izïa took the decision to play two back-to-back concerts on the same evening at the 1200-capacity La Vapeur in Dijon, allowing 500 in for the first concert and after a quick change around admitting a further 700-plus for a repeat show that started at 9pm.
An experienced stage LD - who draws on a strong background in architectural studies to give him an original approach to creating different shapes - Magnée was working with Izïa for the first time. “Very much in the spirit of the new album, she wanted to rebuild her team from scratch for this tour, including most of her musicians,” he said. “The production management also changed, and since they already knew me, the connection was made with this tour.”
He adopted the X4 atoms on the recommendation of another LD. ”I was looking for a projector sufficiently compact to be integrated into a framing matrix, with a solid luminous flux so it could compete with - and cut through - the rest of the lighting. I tested them at S Group’s ‘Le Studio’ and the quality of the beam and zoom ratio instantly appealed to me.”
“I was really looking to achieve a very straightforward ‘back to the roots’ rock’n’roll look, with the audience not actually able to see any movement of lights, which is the opposite of what’s so trendy nowadays. Here, we either had a perfectly blended wash from the top, or a forest of almost vertical beams like old fashioned PAR cans. We even emphasise this by using only warm white during the first three numbers, and bringing colour to the set only after that, as a nice surprise.”
Magnée was supported by accomplished board operator, Etienne Gennatas (on an MA Lighting grandMA3), who has been the LD’s long-time collaborator. Each of the X4 atoms was programmed in 9-channel full mode, RGBW colour mixing control, plus zoom and dimmer/strobe. Stated Magnée: “I use Resolume software to send back into the desk the DMX data to make the matrix (with a pitch of 50cm) react directly to the content I created specifically for this show. At any time, Etienne could also merge features stored in the board - mainly colours, zoom and brightness - as additional layers.”
(Jim Evans)

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