grandMA3 runs Grandbrothers Cologne Cathedral show
Tuesday, 13 December 2022
domjubilaeum-koeln-copyright-michal-augustini-3Grandbrothers played within the cathedral’s hallowed walls (photo: Michal Augustini)
Germany - To celebrate 700 years since the 1322 consecration of the initial eastern part of Cologne’s impressive Gothic cathedral, German piano/electronic music duo Grandbrothers played a spectacular gig within its hallowed walls. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Cathedral’s 157m twin-spires are the tallest such styled church in the world, and it is Germany’s most popular visitor attraction.
Lighting designer Oskar Felix Funke chose a full MA Lighting grandMA3 control system to run lighting for this show that was recorded, both for a new album for later broadcast over the ARTE Concert network. The musical numbers were all specifically created by the artists - Lukas Vogel and Erol Sarp- to work optimally in the Cathedral setting, considering its vast size and acoustic nuisances like the very long reverb.
The performance was instigated by and the brainchild of the Cathedral’s master builder and architect Peter Füssenich, who oversees all ongoing renovation and maintenance works.
The show was staged in the main nave of the building which is over 45m high and has a very special atmosphere. The plan is shaped like a Latin cross with two aisles on either side that help to support, at 45m tall - one of the highest Gothic vaults in the world.
Being a cathedral, a protected building and a holy place, everyone had to think out-of-the-box in terms of a show design, and Oskar thought it was an environment and occasion to use a grandMA3 light running software version with Art-Net nodes.
A grandMA2 user and advocate for many years, he’d started working with the full grandMA3 system earlier in the year whilst touring with another band, initially with a grandMA3 onPC command wing set up. After approximately 40 shows he was very satisfied with the system and appreciated first hand its power and flexibility.
“For the tour I needed a good portable set up transportable on planes and trains so I could have my own control wherever the show, and for me it was the right time to make the switch to grandMA3,” he explained. The grandMA3 onPC command wing neatly packed down into a sensible sized Pele case for hand carrying presenting a perfect solution.
Following the 1.6 software release, he realised grandMA3 would “suit my workflow very well” and while he had to adapt some aspects of this, the change was essentially very smooth, and he really likes the grandMA3 hardware.
Having had that club tour and all those shows under his belt, Oskar didn’t hesitate to specify the grandMA3 light for the super high profile Dom show.
In terms of lighting, 10m of GLP Impression X4 Bar20 LED battens were flown along the central length of the Nave, with more upstage on the floor, complemented with GLP Impression FR10s plus additional X4 Bar20 battens around the sides of the stage and along the front in footlights positions.
Four Robe MegaPointes were deployed on the balconies which beamed powerfully down to the stage at steep angles, with another 16 rigged in a 4x4 matrix pattern upstage, providing some epic geometric looks set back approximately 10 metres back from the stage.
On the 22m-high balcony, 24 moving lights were deployed – 20 x Robe LEDWash 800s and four JB Lighting P9 beams and these cut in from the sides looking elegant and dramatic.
Sixteen Cameo Zenit W600s LED wash fixtures were used to highlight the general church architecture, with eight Martin Atomic strobes and 12 PAR 64s completing the lighting detail. It was not a massive rig but used judiciously and intelligently to reinforce the vibes for this unique performance concept which was enjoyed by a live audience of 2,300.
All the lighting equipment was supplied by NeoSolution including the grandMA3 light, with Oskar using his own grandMA3 onPC command wing for backup.
Assisting Oskar on art direction was Dominik Grötz. The show was production managed by Sebastian Koch of Brace Production.
He concluded: “It was a completely amazing experience all round, working with a great team in a fantastic location to produce an exclusive performance using excellent technology. It was a real honour to be involved.”

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