ChamSys MagicQ drives David Gray US dates
Tuesday, 1 November 2022
davidgrayDavid Gray – in full colour mode
USA - Joe Beardsmore and Jonny Gaskell channelled the power of contrasts when designing the light and video show for David Gray’s recently concluded USA leg of his 20th Anniversary White Ladder tour.
Divided into two distinct parts, their client’s show was lit in “black and white shades of CTO cold whites and CTB” for one hour, as Gray performed back catalogue hits; then, following an intermission, concluded with saturated coloured lighting as the star played his seminal 7m sold album White Ladder in its entirety. (Gray changed outfits to mirror this contrast, wearing a black suit at the start of the show and a white one in in its concluding section.)
“There were many different things we did to keep it interesting as we created this contrast, between black-and-white and colour,” said Beardsmore. “We relied on about eight different shades of white in the first part of show, and wherever possible we also did black and white I-MAG. Then in the second part of the show, we had a total change of mood with our full colour palette. The emotional change this created was great. It was even more effective than Jonny and I thought it would be when we decided on that as a concept back in 2020.”
Helping Beardsmore, the owner of Phosphor Tech, bring this dramatic contrast to life was his ChamSys MagicQ MQ250M. “The banks of faders on this console are great,” he said. “I had overrides on Bank 2 and whenever I needed to busk anything, it was all there on defaults, which was great. Bank 3 had all my video clips stored so they were easy to find.
“I used overrides for a few things, such as in venues where I worried about the floor lights blinding the audience In those cases, I relied on the ability to swap the automated faders to group masters and limit the floor lights,” continued Beardsmore. “On the other side of the coin, on the few daylight shows we had, I ran the Group Masters at 200-percent to pull the subtle programming out of the show. For video, I also have the composition master on an override so I could blend that into house I-MAG feeds.
I’m running four layers of Resolume triggers over ArtNet, and I have a separate bank on the 250 for the video and override faders to swap content and cameras, which all works very well.”
Every morning before a show, Beardsmore’s tech team (Glen Claytor, crew chief; Kat Jensma, and Clint Morris) used a MagicQ MQ70 to test dimmers. Beardsmore checked the positions off the main desk on the Wi-Fi build into his MagicQ 250M console, and updated off the iPhone app.
Running his eight-universe show on a rig supplied by Upstaging with artistic flair, Beardsmore created a dynamic flow of evocative looks during the roughly two-hour show.

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