UK - Maestra Group has made some major sound, lighting and video equipment investments recently in the London office, including white sound and lighting kit, which will ensure all its clients have the most flexible and dynamic solutions available for their shows and events.
The equipment is proving especially popular for car launches and other automotive events, fashion shows, corporates, industrials and expo stands as well as for art exhibitions, parties and architainment applications, where white equipment is often better suited to blend into the environment than traditional black.
The kit includes a substantial purchase of 30 x custom coated white Robe moving lights – 12 x LEDBeam 150s, 12 x Spiider LED WashBeams and six Pointe multipurpose fixtures which bring Maestra London’s total stock of Robes to over 100 including black versions of these three types and others.
In addition to these, there are over 100 other white luminaires in the inventory – a mix of Showtec Sunstrip Active Mk IIs, ETC Source Four Junior Zooms and Aria F1000 fresnels, all giving an excellent choice for different lighting designs.
On top of that, there is a selection of d&b audio speakers in white – currently a combination of Y7Ps, T10s, E5s and M6 monitors – which is expected to be expanded soon.
Maestra’s MD Justin Hammond highlights how the demand for white lighting and sound kit has dramatically increased in the last year in certain speciality sectors, and both Maestra Group’s London and Dubai bases have been proactive about addressing thi
Australia - avt worked closely with the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre (MCEC), providing support with their Harman Professional networked audio solution upgrade.
As Australia’s largest convention and exhibition venue, MCEC features exhibition spaces, large concert halls, meeting rooms, corporate boardrooms and more over an area of more than 650,000sq.ft. The expansive venue hosts more than 1,000 events each year, making its AV infrastructure a critical asset.
“MCEC approached us to support them in the development of a robust, self-sufficient solution that would upgrade its digital signal processing capabilities and minimize audio issues during events,” said Graham Barrett, head of strategic partnerships & innovation, avt. “After evaluating their requirements, we recommended Harman’s networked AV solutions to compose a system that would provide the necessary flexibility and allow them to easily expand the platform in the future.”
MCEC selected the BSS platform for its adaptability and capacity to incorporate multiple network streams of different types while simultaneously carrying all audio signals. BSS’s redundant BLU link protocol consists of two cables and automatically switches if one of the network legs fail, ensuring zero interruptions on the local audio network. The Dante-enabled BSS solution provides MCEC with a global network, allowing them to support their customers on a single platform and route any audio signal from any source to any destination throughout the facility.
“We’ve invested in AMX co
USA - New Orleans 11-piece band The Phunky Monkeys use an Allen & Heath dLive system which allows FOH engineer Eric Breaux to mix from anywhere in the house on an iPad.
The Phunky Monkeys perform a wide range of music for diverse audiences at New Orleans clubs and at weddings, corporate events and festivals. Band owner Michael Taylor says, “Given the millions of visitors who come to Bourbon Street every year, we have to perform all genres of music. And, we pride ourselves on how we sound. That’s one of the reasons we switched to the dLive. Its sound is leaps and bounds above what we had before.”
Both FOH and monitors are mixed on iPads wirelessly connected to the band’s dLive CDM64 MixRack purchased from AV Solutions of New Orleans. “In New Orleans, there are a lot of converted venues that are so small we can’t put FOH at FOH,” explained Taylor. “But we carry keyboards, drums, instruments and 40 to 60 mics and direct sources so we need the kind of pro-level mixing we have with the dLive and the MixPad app.
“Mixing FOH with the MixPad app is simple and intuitive,” Taylor continued. “You can put anything anywhere you need it. Eric puts everything on layers and he can scroll through and get anywhere in a hurry. Also, he creates scenes and setups on his laptop with the dLive Director software. This is way more advanced than our previous mixer.”
For monitors, each band member does their own mix on a personal iPad using the dLive OneMix app. “Everyone has the ability to put whatever they want in their in-ear mix and tha
Europe - Shawn Mendes chose the Netherlands to kick off his nine-month world tour. The set, premiering in the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam, revealed a large circular video wall as the eye-caching center-stage piece, comprising of ROE Visual Carbon CB5 LED panels.
Based on the simple, yet visually strong light design by LD Louis Oliver a massive circular video wall looms over the stage, creating a dramatic setting. “We wanted to keep the performance space organic, allowing the technology to hide in the background,” Oliver says. “With the design, we wanted to craft bold environments for Shawn to perform within.”
The total stage set-up comprises of a circular stage with steps on the left and right leading to two 9m wings. This gives a wide 280-degree sightline for the audience, while the front seats curve around the stage to bring them as close as possible to the artist. Above the stage sits a large circular video screen with complementary curved trusses for the lighting, all of these being able to move and thereby creating different atmospheres for each song.
VSS is main video contractor for the world tour. Adrian Offord, director for VSS assisted Louis Oliver in the final choice for the overhead video wall.
“We selected the Carbon CB5 LED panels for their visual quality and high brightness. The panels are fitted with black face LEDS and masking with very slim faders. The mere 0,3mm size of these faders enables us to keep the best possible viewing angle. Using the screen most of the time in a tilted position this needs to be taken into acco
USA - A sense of foreboding runs through Murder Ballad like the creaking noise in a dark and unfamiliar house. The Julia Jordan and Juliana Nash rock musical tells the story of a love triangle gone bad, as it spins into a vortex of ever-increasing pain, betrayal and shattered emotions.
In a recent production of the 2012 cult favourite at the Broward Centre for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, lighting designer Clifford Michael Spulock captured the apprehension of characters caught in a world turned upside down. Helping him evoke this feeling in powerful, unsettling fashion were the gobo capabilities of the Chauvet Professional Rogue R1 Spot fixture.
“The show is really charged with emotion as it moves through the breaking and splintering of relationships,” said Spulock. “I wanted to portray this feeling as literally as I could, not just with color, but also by breaking up the light with gobos, which I felt would really convey a sense of the characters’ fragmented world.”
Spulock relied often on soft-edged gobo breakups even when front lighting the actors. He explained why: “With the gobo effect shaking up the sense of reality, the lighting tells you that ‘something is happening here, but we don’t quite know what.’ I decided to use this to my advantage to foreshadow the upcoming events of the show.
“The lighting was really able to bring the emotions to the audience,” he said. “In this way, it supported the powerful performances by the play’s extremely talented actors: Sabrina Lynn Gore, Eric O'Keefe, Ch
Ireland - A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ireland (AC-ET Ireland) has provided Explorium National Sport & Science Centre with a Green Hippo Hippotizer V4+ media server to control their LED display.
Based in Dublin, Explorium uses sport to inspire children and adults alike to discover the wonders of science. The centre features three key areas - Science, Sport and Junior, with each one offering a range of interactive experiences.
Jackey Chai at Explorium required a media server to control the centre’s LED display, which is a central point of focus at the entry to the internal auditorium and visitor centre. The display is used to play various visual effects such as a waterfall, and promotional videos. Understanding Jackey’s needs Aaron Cripps, managing director of AC-ET Ireland, recommended a Green Hippo Hippotizer Amba+ media server.
Aaron visited Jackey at Explorium to provide support, training and demonstrate the extensive range of features that the Amba+ has.
He commented: “Explorium uses a lot of innovative and cutting edge technologies, so it was important that the quality of the content met the high standards of the rest of the centre. The Amba+ has a 4K output which looks fantastic when it maps onto the LED display.”
Jackey concluded: “It has been great to have A.C.'s help and expertise with this project. The Hippotizer Media Server is very powerful, with many different features, and Aaron has always been very helpful and quick to get back to any questions.”
China - With a spectacular outdoor live production and 6000m2 audience arena, the Mid-Autumn Festival Party of China Media Group is a difficult challenge for any sound reinforcement system. However, thanks to an Alcons Audio pro-ribbon LR28 larger-format line array system, the audience at the latest event in Qufu enjoyed high quality sound throughout.
Qufu is the hometown of Confucius, China’s most famous teacher, philosopher and political theorist. Located in Nishan Holy Land - a 35km2 area around Qufu developed as a Confucius commemoration site and cultural heritage destination - the festival featured a huge, 60m wide stage and large set, with an audience of 5000 seated in an arena 80m wide by 100m deep.
Several audio challenges had to be overcome by the event’s audio director Liu Yibin - lead sound engineer for China Central Television (CCTV) - and chief sound engineer Mr Xu. Because of the arena’s size, the Front of House system had to be positioned and aligned very accurately. The festival site was also very close to Mount Ni mountain and the Nishan Reservoir, meaning strong breezes and changing humidity could cause problems with the sound.
To deliver quality sound and overcome the potential issues, an Alcons Audio LR28 larger-format line array system was chosen, supplied by Alcons Chinese distributor and Pro-Ribbon partner EAD.
The main system comprised flown L-R clusters, each of 14 LR28/80 and two LR28/110 wide dispersion modules, plus three LR18 compact mid-size line array modules for down-fill per side. Six ground-stacked group
UK - Islington’s Grade II-listed Assembly Hall has committed to an investment in its technical infrastructure, including the first UK installation of Harman’s new JBL VTX A8 line array system at front of house.
Inspired by the experienced management team of Lucinda Brown and technical manager, Tom Watt, the council-owned building, part of Islington Town Hall complex, can now build on a reputation that has seen Ed Sheeran, Rag’n’Bone Man and Snow Patrol play there in the past.
Future-proofing the installation will bring further stability to a venue which first opened back in 1929 before closing in the mid-1980s. After laying dormant for around 30 years Islington Council funded its refurbishment, and in 2010 it appeared back on the touring map.
Following a competitive tender, the Islington Assembly Hall team chose JBL’s new flagship VTX A-Series, specifically A8 and B18 elements.
The installation was undertaken by SSE Audio Group, who were also responsible for the new JBL VTX A12 installation (with VTX A8 acting as delays and front-fills) at London’s Troxy - coincidentally another Grade II-listed art deco building like the Assembly Hall. Able to use the existing infrastructure, and taking advantage of the advanced JBL rigging, they were able to hoist and align the system expediently, much to the delight of the venue.
“SSE worked hard to get the system in quickly working around events, and expedited the delivery seamlessly in the time allotted.” says Tom Watt.
They have flown L/R hangs of six VTX A8 elements per side,
USA - As FOH engineer for best-selling rapper, singer and songwriter Post Malone, Joe Hellow takes pride in capturing the artist’s feelings and emotions during live performances. Getting a rich and warm sound in hip-hop can sometimes be a challenge, with a lot of artists cupping the mic and losing the high end, but when Hellow brought DPA Microphones’ d:facto 4018VL Vocal Microphone into the mix, he did not have to make any compromises.
Hellow’s collaboration with his sound team began with a rigorous brainstorming session and testing. “We built a signal chain that is strong on all fronts, truly bringing the studio to the stage,” says Hellow. “Pre-show efforts begin well before hitting the stage, track programming and pre-mixing album stems for live, playback design, as well as the vocal presets and tools to capture Post Malone’s sound.
“This process, with tools like DPA’s d:facto 4018VL, gives us the advantage and capability to rework the live show to sound authentic to the album. With the d:facto 4018VL, you can have a loud stage with controllable crowd bleed. You can also add a Rupert Neve 5045 Primary Source Enhancer to have fully isolated studio sound.”
Hellow notes that in Post Malone’s case, there is a guitar on stage so the mic does a great job of isolating while also getting the warmth and crispness of the high end that is wanted from a vocal mic. He also has more control over EQing with DPA and is able to take away frequencies since all the healthy ones present to the ear are already there.
“There’s no othe
Mexico - Experiencias Xcaret is aptly named. A collection of majestic parks by the sea, this eco-tourist destination is intended for those who want not merely to visit Mexico, but to experience it in all its natural beauty and rich cultural traditions. Within its expansive grounds, visitors can enjoy over 40 attractions that afford them the opportunity to wander through lush jungles, swim in underground rivers, explore caves, contemplate evocative Mayan ruins, and enrich their minds and senses with an array of other activities.
The winner of three consecutive Travvy Awards (the international tourism industry’s equivalent of the Oscars), Experiencias Xcaret is constantly seeking ways to enhance its offerings to visitors, while maintaining its earth-friendly environmental footprint. It did both recently when it upgraded the lighting in its theatres with Ovation E-260WW IP LED ellipsoidal fixtures from Chauvet Professional.
A collection of 60 Ovation E-260WW IP units was installed at the park’s main Tlachco Theatre, a 6,000-capacity 360° outdoor venue, which hosts spectacular productions like Xcaret México Espectacular, featuring over 300 artists on stage. The high-output fixture serves as the theatre’s principal front light. (Another 28 Ovation E-260WW IP fixtures are used in the theatre at the park’s Hotel Xcaret.)
Jose Manuel Rodríguez, technical area manager for art and culture at Experiencias Xcaret, explained why the famous attraction felt it needed to upgrade its theatrical lighting. "We faced strong electrical problems due to
Mexico - Los Temerarios are one of Mexico's biggest bands. With a career spanning over 40 years and 20 albums, the Grammy-nominated act are still selling out arenas across the globe, attracting over 10,000 fans to each show. Revered FOH engineer, Juan Payan, decided to take the new SSL L100 on the road for their new tour, Payan's partner in sound, Juan Carlos Granados, also on an L100 at monitors.
It was through a training event with SSL's live specialist Fernando Guzman, that Payan first heard the SSL L100 in action.
“It was during this event that the sound of the console immediately impressed me. I knew I needed to have one,” Payan explains. “I've had it out on the road with me since February, and everything has been working perfectly – no issues at all.”
Payan says it was a combination of factors that drew him to the console, from the dynamics to the overall sonics.
“I really love the preamps and I don't need to touch the gain, because it instantly sounds amazing. The separation I can get between the instruments allows me to generate real width in my mix,” he says. Payan is running 52 channels at FOH, and the band is a seven-piece. A big sounding band needs a big sound, he says – and he is able to achieve that thanks to the SSL.
“The EQ is also amazing – as soon as you dial it in, you can tell it's very reactive, and easy to tap into any frequency. Plus, I use the SSL reverbs on my drums and vocals, and I utilise the delays a lot across the console.
“Everything that comes through this console is very c
USA - Singer songwriter Jackson Browne is takin’ it easy these days on lamp changes and power requirements by using an all-LED touring rig which includes High End Systems Sola Series.
Lighting designer/director Steve Comer chose five SolaFrame 2000s from lighting vendor Bandit Lites on his springtime acoustic concert tour, which ran through 13 U.S. cities 22 March through 9 April.
“Our acoustic tour is a scaled-back tour production wise,” Comer explains. “I had to design a rig that could fit in a minimal truck footprint and still go up easily on a daily basis.”
The LD says using an all-LED rig has been an ongoing goal. “We have been pushing to go 100 percent LED with Jackson for a long time now. The fixtures that were always lacking were LED spot fixtures. I tried the SolaFrames because of their light output (at 26,000 lumens from a 600 watt LED source) and the ability to zoom wide (6-46 degrees zoom). I was also able to use them for a whole stage wash with gobos with minimal fixtures, and they acted as a primary backlight for the performers.”
Comer says that with just the five units he had, he was able to achieve both an even stage wash and backlight for his show. “I was very impressed at the light output, the even field and great optics,” he notes. “The colour mixing was smooth and the fixture did a great job of CTB and CTO colours along with pastels.”
The LD – who has worked with Browne for 10 years now - is constantly redesigning looks for his ever-changing configurations that range from a run with a couple of
Myanmar - Goldenduck Group recently deployed a JBL by Harman audio system in Mingalar Cinemas’ new Gold Class theatres.
Mingalar Cinemas is Myanmar’s largest movie theatre chain with 27 locations across eight cities. Mingalar also owns and operates the first high-definition Gold Class cinema in the country, which features three halls with luxurious, automatic reclining seats and cutting-edge visuals. In order to deliver premium sound in their Gold Class theatres, Mingalar entrusted Goldenduck Group, a leading supplier of professional cinema equipment, with installing a JBL Professional cinema audio system.
“Mingalar wanted to offer an immersive entertainment experience with excellent audio quality,” said Sittiporn Srisanguansakul, owner, Goldenduck. “The Harman sound systems we installed offer the uniform coverage and expansive dynamic range required for digital sound formats in modern cinemas. By using Harman products, we were able to provide Mingalar with a cost-effective solution that helped them extend a realistic audio experience to their visitors.”
JBL 4722 Two-Way ScreenArray Cinema Loudspeaker Systems provide a smooth and accurate reproduction of cinema soundtracks. High-quality JBL 4641 subwoofers deliver smooth, powerful low-end for scores and sound effects. Wall-mounted JBL 8320 Compact Cinema Surround Speakers offer clarity, detail, and depth in a compact enclosure. The systems are powered by Crown DSi 1000 and DSi 2000 power amplifiers.
“We have been using Harman’s audio fixtures for a long time, and the quality
USA - A Yiddish-language production of Fiddler on the Roof opened at Stage 42 in New York City on 21 February with direction by Joel Grey and lighting design by Peter Kaczorowski. Playing an important role in this version of the musical are Elation Colour 5 Profile LED ellipsoidal spots supplied by G Scott Designs.
Associate designer is Ethan Steimel who says that Kaczorowski required a fixture that colour changed in a tight warm palette from no colour incandescent to gel colours L162 to L147. He adds that the designer also wanted to achieve a deep blue.
The solution was found in the Colour 5 Profile LED ellipsoidal. Housing a 180W RGBAM (Red, Green, Blue, Amber, Mint) LED engine, the Mint LED enhances the production of variable white colour temperatures from 3,200 to 6,500K and increases the CRI. An exceptionally flat field of light, CRI over 94, and a professional feature set that includes a 4-blade framing system and interchangeable lens options make it a highly flexible directional spot luminaire for theatre.
For Fiddler, eight Colour 5 Profile fixtures are used to light the crinkled paper portal legs.
Glen Davis of G Scott Designs says they have successfully used the Colour 5 Profile in their own designs for years and keep 70 in stock along with other Elation gear like SixPar series LED par lights, Colour Chorus LED battens, and TVL CYC RGBW cyclorama wall wash luminaires.
"It was a big job moving the entire village of Anatevke from Battery Park to 42nd Street,” said associate designer Steimel. “Glen Davis at G.
UK - It took less time for Dutch DJ legend Armin van Buuren to sell out his much-anticipated Wembley Easter show at SSE Arena than it did to play the five-hour long set, in what was his biggest date ever in the capital.
The titan of trance sold out the venue, which is restricted to 6,000 for dance events (occupying the arena bowl and Tier 1 only) in just three hours - a feat posted on social media in advance by promotions company Lock ‘N’ Load Events.
The specialist event organisation regularly turns to Capital Sound for its sound reinforcement requirements, and in turn look to Martin Audio’s MLA loudspeaker array as its first choice PA system.
As Lock ‘N’ Load project manager, Alex Anderson explained, “I advised [artist’s management] that we needed MLA in there because of its programming capabilities with regards to external noise levels.
“Since this was a late night show, and protecting the venue licence is a priority for us, I explained that we had used it with [top drum ‘n’ bass DJ] Andy C recently and managed to run at around 100dB-102 dB at FOH which is a level that they could work with. In addition, MLA sounds great so it’s a no brainer for us.”
The system has been designed to deliver full-bore SPL in the bowl while dramatically reducing noise pollution offsite, in sensitive or highly built up areas such as Wembley. It was an appropriate solution for a dance event of this nature that ran through to 5am.
Production rigged 12 x MLA elements and two MLD Downfill enclosures on each side of the stage, wit
Belgium - The busy Vooruit arts complex in the centre of Ghent has transformed a historic venue, built in years before World War I, into a bustling arts centre with an impressive variety of cultural events. It has collection of different venues, all equipped with Nexo sound systems, but the jewel in the crown is the Concertzaal, where production company VDB-PA has just completed a permanent installation of Nexo’s modular STM Series line array.
Design and specification of the new front-of-house system for the 1100-capacity Concertzaal was managed by Thomas Coene and Jan Van den Brande at VDB-PA, and marked a step-change in the 15 year relationship between VDB and de Vooruit. “They have been dry-hiring systems for many years,” says Jan Van den Brande. “They use their own team of technicians and came to us for the main PA, consoles and monitors, depending on the event. When Vooruit decided to install a permanent system, we were able to draw on our huge experience in this venue to guide them to Nexo STM, which they chose over several other high-profile loudspeaker brands.”
Thomas Coene, who started his career as a student at VDB-PA, was put in charge of the design, noting Vooruit’s priorities for its 100+year-old architectural interior when it came to installing the line array.
“The size and weight of the small STM cabinets was an important factor,” says Coene. “There is a wraparound balcony around the venue so we had to respect audience sightlines, and also the flying points can only carry 500 kilos per motor. We need to choose compac
USA - Ayrton, and its exclusive US distributor, ACT Lighting Inc, in conjunction with lighting equipment supplier 4wall Entertainment, supported Boston Ballet’s 2018–2019 spring season with the provision of Ayrton WildSun K-25 TC LED fixtures for Full on Forsythe, a trio of works from prestigious choreographer William Forsythe.
The programme features Playlist (EP), Forsythe’s first world premiere to be created with an American company since 1992, the North American premiere of Blake Works I, and the return of Pas/Parts 2018.
Boston Ballet’s lighting director, Brandon Stirling Baker, explains why he chose Ayrton WildSun K-25 TC: “As the lighting director of Boston Ballet it is my responsibility to maintain the work of over 100 international lighting designers in our repertory. I am always looking for creative tools and lighting equipment that allow the designers to create their vision but, most importantly, find equipment that is efficient and reliable enough to endure a month-long season.
“For over 20 years, Boston Ballet has used HMI 4K Fresnels which provide a beautiful quality of white light but are not without their own unique consequences. I have been searching for the perfect HMI replacement. Ayrton is a company that I have greatly admired for many years and when I heard about its WildSun K-25 TC, I immediately knew that this could be a great replacement and solution to the HMI problem.”
Ayrton WildSun K25-TC (True Colour) is an evolution of the WildSun K25, specially geared to shooting and bro
Italy - dLive was found in abundance again at this year’s Primo Maggio event in Rome, Italy. Broadcast live via the RAI national TV channel, the 29th edition of the annual event showcased eight hours of spectacular live performances from 31 major and emerging artists – including various national favourites such as Daniele Silvestri, Ghali and Subsonica – and attracted over 500,000 attendees.
Supplied by local production company ABC and supported by Allen & Heath’s Italian distributors, Exhibo S.p.A, the full set-up comprised eight dLive systems, five IP8 Controllers, an SQ, DX Remote Audio Expanders and additional Dante, SuperMADI and gigaACE cards.
As per past events, Primo Maggio featured its impressive rotating dual-stage setup – allowing for one act to line-check while another performed, minimising the changeover time between acts. Each stage had its own dLive S5000, IP8 remote controller and DM48 MixRack handling FOH duties, while an additional C1500 and DM32 handled all talk-backs, comms, video feeds and wireless mics for the RAI presenters.
Monitors mirrored a similar set-up to FOH, delivering over 40 IEM and wedge mixes with two dLive S7000’s (fitted with Dante for virtual soundcheck) and two DM64 MixRack’s for each side of the stage. A C3500 paired with a DM32 tackled the communication requirements between stage, the presenters and FOH, while an additional SQ-6 was used for combining outputs from the S7000’s into the shared sidefill monitors.
Two further S7000 surfaces, fitted with Dante, were deployed on broadcast
France - Nexo’s high-performance super-compact ID Series loudspeakers are playing a key role in a new digital exhibition in Paris, which offers a spectacular immersive AV experience with the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh.
One of the most innovative artistic experiences in the great city of Paris is currently hidden behind the unremarkable façade of a former ironworks foundry in the 11th arrondissement. Inside this huge 19th century space, one of France’s leading cultural producers Culturespaces has been so successful with its digital experience of the art of painter Gustav Klimt, that it has opened a new exhibition dedicated to Vincent Van Gogh.
Van Gogh - the Starry Night is a visual and musical creation realised by Gianfranco Iannuzzi, Renato Gatto and Massimiliano Siccardi. In the same presentation is a short programme by Danny Rose dedicated to the imagery of Japan. Both use the AMIEX technology (Art and Music Immersive Experience) developed by Culturespaces in 2012. The AMIEX Concept is based on the virtualisation and high-resolution projection of works of art on immense surfaces, and delivers projection-mapping at its artistic best.
French AV specialist Cadmos was chosen as the integrator for the project, designing and installing high-performance AV technology to show the portraits and landscapes of Van Gogh on 35,000sq.ft of projection surface, over walls that can reach up to 12 metres high. The Halle de l’Atelier is an already complex space of angles and divisions: the designers have expanded it to 360 degrees across all four
USA - On 9 May, Björk opened her Cornucopia season at New York’s newest cultural centre The Shed, utilising a full 360 degree d&b Soundscape system powered by the d&b En-Scene object based mixing and En-Space room emulation software.
Cornucopia is Björk’s most elaborate stage production to date incorporating stunning visuals, intricate stage movements and a fully integrated immersive sound design, made possible by the d&b Soundscape.
Beginning the sound design conception in a studio in Iceland the production has progressed through production rehearsals in the Backstage Centre, London, to The Shed in New York City. Cornucopia’s sound was designed by Björk and FoH sound engineer John Gale, supported by Southby Productions, and Steve Jones from d&b.
Steve Jones explains, “Björk wanted the sound for Cornucopia to create an otherworldly sensory experience that draws the visual, aural and virtual elements together and utilizing Soundscape, from the studio composition scenario all the way through to the show performance scenario has delivered of that vision.”
Built within the new Hudson Yards development in Manhattan, The Shed is a spectacular 200,000sq.ft structure that physically transforms to support huge flexibility in programming and performance styles.
Cornucopia is staged in The McCourt space, formed when the mammoth outer shell of the structure is rolled out to cover the adjoining plaza and create a 17,000sq.ft light-, sound-, and temperature-controlled hall for large-sc
USA - On the North American leg of their current Timeless tour, multinational classical crossover group Il Divo is being supported by a smoothly flowing and versatile lightshow anchored by Chauvet Professional fixtures, supplied by Showtime Sound LLC. A collection of 22 Rogue R2 Wash fixtures, along with 20 Rogue R1 FX-B units and seven STRIKE 4 multi-formatted lights, are used in the touring rig.
Flown on the upstage and midstage truss and hung on vertical truss towers, the Rogue R2 Wash fixtures bathe the stage in even fields of richly coloured light. While the overhead RGBW units bathe the stage in a variety of colours to reflect different moods, their 12° to 49° zoom range allows changes in the coverage area throughout each show to create a variety of different looks.
The linear Rogue R1 FX-B fixtures are used to frame the stage. With their infinite pan and tilt and five independently controlled moving heads on each fixture, these units serve to provide a level of eye candy not typically associated with a classical concert, something that delights and surprises audiences.
Also engaging audiences are the versatile STRIKE 4 fixtures. Flown on upstage truss, these high-output units provide audience lighting, while also engendering a sense of engagement with their warm white light.
UK - At the beginning of May, a two-year project came to be realised for inspirational Guildford School of Acting lighting tutor Michelle (Mig) Burgess when her design installation Blackout was revealed to the industry.
Harnessing the collective powers of light, sound and video in the hope of affecting genuine changes in an approach to mental health, Mig set about on her quest over two years ago.
Mig is open about living with Bipolar II disorder – a condition with which she was finally diagnosed in her late twenties. And for the past couple of years, she has been formulating a plan to create a design installation to portray, in a sensory way, the mental journey inside a Bipolar II patient’s head as they transition through a manic episode.
The result has been a highly provocative, moving installation, experienced alone for six minutes, and which, over the course of four days was seen by over 250 industry professionals, venue operators, young people and mental health experts.
The creative team role call is certainly impressive and made up of a number of recognised industry professionals all of whom are long-term friends of Mig’s. “I had to bide my time to ensure that if I went ahead, I could deliver the project to a high enough standard to do the installation justice” explains Mig.
Finn Ross is a university friend “who just happens to be a fabulous and talented, award-winning video designer’, smiles Mig. “And the first person I broached Blackout to was theatre director Simon Anderson who I have previously worked wi
UK - Over a thousand delegates from the private rental sector gathered in London’s ExCel on 2 April to attend the Annual ARLA Propertymark Conference and exhibition. Protec European Events were trusted by their client Westrade Group Ltd to provide a full event technical service package.
Moderated by BBC News presenter Julian Worricker, the conference focussed on the importance of legislation, and how to keep abreast of industry issues.
Project manager Fraser McCaig reports, “Protec designed and built the 40m x 4.2m stage with six integrated 4m high x 1m wide LED video columns supported by OV40 truss 4m columns that we anchored to 100kg steel base plates with the set covered by seven colour Polycril wraps. We recessed the centre section of the set with laser line graphics for branding which was enhanced with DMX controlled LED strips on both sides and on top. We also handled the full graphic design of all the stage and branding elements for the client.”
Head of the video department – Sean Godefroy opted for Christie 14k projectors for the two screens, Analog Way PLS 350G switchers controlled by an Orchestra desk. Alongside that, he used Master Cue so the client felt they were in control of their presentations. He used two JVC HM 890 fibre studio cameras that fed the live feed to the two 5.4m screens.
Ben Waters, head of audio, notes, “We chose to use the compact Nexo M620 line array, with four hangs on the truss, plus two wider fills as well as centralised subs for even coverage. The room was extremely wide, with a fairly short depth
USA - Djembe! The Show is an energy-filled, theatrical concert experience that mixes traditional West African beats with modern takes on contemporary music that has toured Europe and even been featured on Ted Talks and Oprah’s Super Soul Sessions. It made its limited US debut at the Apollo Theatre in Chicago with lighting design by Zach Blane who used an all Elation LED lighting rig to accentuate the production. Support was provided by Elation dealer ILC.
Djembe!, which opened 10 April and ran through 12 May, is a celebration of African culture with drumming and musical performances by a cast composed mostly of West African musicians. Guests of the show were handed a drum – a djembe – and invited to play along.
The Apollo Theatre features a three-quarter thrust stage with the audience on three sides, a setup that gives guests an intimate experience. According to LD Zach Blane, it also gave lighting a large role in Djembe. “Separate of supporting all of the beats of the piece tonally, the basic lighting need to have everyone be seen requires more lighting than a traditional end stage set up,” he said. “There are three points of vision at all times and it required three times the amount of lighting to render the piece, as designed.”
Used to reinforce the energy and emotion of the show was an all LED Elation lighting rig of ellipsoidals, moving heads, Pars and battens with the mid-air projection canopy coming from Antari F-4 Fazers. Blane says that haze, and the “air lighting” it makes possible, played a v