ChamSys works magic on Salvation Army show
Friday, 3 November 2023
salvation-army-4photocredit-kevin-diazAttendees enjoyed high-energy performances by Unbound, a contemporary worship band (photo: Kevin Diaz)
USA - The Kalahari Resort in the Pocono mountains bills itself as “220,000sq.ft filled with wet, wild, fun”. The massive complex does indeed offer some distinctive amenities, such as the world’s first virtual reality water slide. On the weekend of 23-24 September, it was also the site of The Way, a Salvation Army young adult retreat.
In addition to enjoying the usual attractions at the resort during their recreation periods, the retreat attendees, who hailed from every East Coast state, as well as Puerto Rico, enjoyed high-energy performances by Unbound, a contemporary worship band.
Reflecting the ebullient personality and sound of the band was an eight-universe lighting and video show designed and created by Eagle Production Co. that Moshe Baskin ran on his ChamSys MagicQ MQ500M Stadium console.
Baskin busked his show, which he designed in Vectorworks and programmed in L8. Working with his Eagle Production Co. rig, he relied on silhouettes and split beams, as well as a variety of top lighting and side lighting to create an ethereal, spiritual aura around the band, as well as other performers, including the inspired dance troupe, Move. He also used on some richly textured monochromatic colour schemes to set the mood on the 28’ by 42’ stage.
“I aimed for very dreamy and spiritual atmosphere,” said Baskin. “My goal was to engage the crowd with uplifting looks without distracting from the performers. For the dancers, I used top spots for dramatic impact, and for front washing I got excellent looks from my Rogue R1 BeamWashes.”
Working with Chris Severn and Tzvi Stein, who assisted in the design and logistics, along with Felipe Concha from the Unbound band, Baskin not only supported the music and dance performances, he also provided more conventional lighting for the speeches and presentations that were part of this triennial worship event. During dramatic moments in these segments, he lit up the stage and crowd with blinders.
Baskin credits his MQ500M with helping him put together the lighting design for this diverse event. “I didn’t have much time to programme,” he said. “When I showed up it was time for rehearsals. Even though it’s very powerful, the MQ500M is very intuitive and easy to work with. I was able to create various looks as the performers were rehearsing. The Group Cues, made it a breeze to fan between positions and colours, so I could create some crazy looks quickly.”
Since Baskin busked throughout the entire weekend event, he also found the Programmer Live feature of his console to be invaluable. “The workflow capability of the ChamSys is so smooth; it allows me to concentrate on creative issues. In keeping with the mood of the event, I used soft palettes a lot and updated them in live-linked to the programmer.
“I also loved how easy it was, just typing a number (for time) followed by a *, plus the list of symbols like+.\- on the ChamSys keypad and hitting a palette to quickly offset that palette across selected heads in various directions” continued Baskin. “It was super quick to create fades and delays on the fly. When you’re busking an event with so many components that’s as good as gold.”

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