Europe - Belgian-based visual design studio Painting with Light (PWL) celebrates 20 years of utilising multiple media and luminescent sources - including lighting, video, lasers, projection - and content to create inspiring designs and dramatic immersive environments.
The journey has seen it grow from an ambitious dream to a leading international technical innovator and solutions provider.
The company was founded by Luc Peumans in 1999. His vision, imagination, focus and sense of adventure have driven PWL to become the imagineering powerhouse it is today, working across multiple entertainment and leisure industry platforms with a skilled team of dynamic multi and mixed media experts.
PWL’s core business started with designing lighting, video and scenic elements for music tours and festivals, television productions, a diversity of live events and theatre productions.
Peumans’ eagerness to experiment with and try out new ideas helped his work become noticed, which prized open new opportunities and areas especially in ‘crossover’ disciplines like ‘architainment’ which require a broader approach, thinking ‘out-of-the-box’ and the adaptation of light and ‘luminosity’ in its various forms utilising different techniques and treatments.
PWL’s work is now an invigorating balance of projects in these original sectors, plus newer areas where lighting and media installations are integral to creating atmosphere and mood like theme parks, attractions, museums, venues - from bars to live music and dance halls - and buildings (fro
UK An accepted technical challenge of London’s outdoor theatre season are the major productions at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, which run right through the summer.
Working within the existing stage infrastructure, theatre lighting specialist Jon Clark helped interpret director Jamie Lloyd’s stripped back production of Evita, juxtaposing GLP’s new LED moving lights with traditional par cans.
GLP’s impression X4 Bar 20 battens have been put to many creative uses since their launch and Clark managed to extend the envelope further, assigning different roles to the 24 fixtures supplied from White Light’s inventory. He also road tested GLP’s new Fusion Stick 10 while giant impression X4 XL RGBW heads took the place of follow spots in what was generally a very monochromatic design, punctuated by cold ice blues to mimic the Argentinian flag.
Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical tells the story of Eva Peron, from a life of poverty to spiritual leader of the nation, but here Jamie Lloyd had applied a contemporary twist.
Jon Clark and set designer Soutra Gilmour have collaborated regularly with the director over the past decade, and since Clark also lit Into The Woods at the Open Air Theatre in 2010 as well as the opera The Turn of The Screw last year, he was used to the challenges of working in this location.
“We have a very established relationship which is hugely valuable, given that the stage rehearsal period is short for a production of this scale. Most of the lighting is programmed overnight wit
USA - Towson University in Maryland has created an inclusive learning environment situated near the area’s prominent educational, community and cultural resources. From theatre to dance and music, the university’s performing arts programmes produce over 200 student and professional performances each year.
Needing performance venues which can keep up with the busy production schedule, they called up Pennsylvania-based Illuminated Integration to renovate the 500-seat Howard J. Kaplan Concert Hall with a new lighting system including Chalice 70W recessed downlights from Altman Lighting.
“We were initially brought onto the project as the antiquated lighting system in the concert hall had failed from a controls perspective, and they had decided to convert the entire space to LED as well,” begins Mike Birardi, lead design creative, Illuminated Integration. “The targets in doing this were to reduce energy and maintenance costs while improving the overall illumination of the space without losing the architectural design aesthetics. We really tried to give them a solution that could do all those things for better performance with lower maintenance and more energy-efficient usage.”
Working with Towson University for the first time, Birardi and the team at Illuminated Integration began researching the most beneficial lighting technologies.
“Form-factor was a big challenge because we had to find a lighting technology that could fit the existing openings in the ceiling for the downlights,” continues Birardi. “We also wanted a technology
Canada - RPM Lights is a long-time supporter of AC Lighting. Backed by a partnership between the executives of both companies, RPM Lights owners Jimmy Pappas and Glen Murphy, developed and built their vision for LED lighting in the Canadian marketplace eight years ago. With multiple decades of lighting and rigging industry experience between them, Pappas and Murphy built a reputation for their ability to adapt and utilise technology to achieve outstanding results in the markets and industries their company serves.
RPM Lights is a Toronto based rental and sales supplier offering an array of LED lighting products to tradeshows, film, TV and live entertainment industries. Working with well-known trade shows such as the Canadian Auto Show, as well as on popular TV shows and films including Designated Survivor and Big Brother, RPM Lights recently adopted the new Prolights Eclipse-FS, a full colour RGB+Lime LED Ellipsoidal that was introduced into the market in mid-2018.
UK - Event production specialists Light Fantastic Production Services supported the creative team behind Luminary, the recent art installation at Crossness Pumping Station devised by artists Anna Heinrich & Leon Palmer.
Commissioned by Peabody, London’s oldest and largest housing association, and working in partnership with Crossness Engine Trust and KD Productions, the event celebrated the 200th anniversary of the birth of Sir Joseph Bazalgette, the Victorian engineer responsible for implementing the London sewer system.
Created as a multi-media art installation, Heinrich & Palmer’s concept for Luminary was a spectacular combination of projection, audio and lighting effects. Designed around a visually stunning, ethereal experience, the project provided visitors an immersive exploration of the iconic heritage structure. Working to the specification of the artists and the KD Production team, LFPS provided all video, lighting, audio and rigging equipment to the highly original, beautifully presented production.
The show’s centrepiece featured an incredible suite of images that travelled through the architecture and physical make-up of the Grade 1 listed building. Created using 3D laser scanning technology by 3Deling London the exquisitely detailed sequence featured exploded diagrams and artistic interpretations of the structure’s DNA. The video content was screened across a large theatrical voile using a pair of Panasonic RZ21K laser projectors, with triggers sent from a media server to lighting and audio departments allo
Romania - In the second century, the Romans established Cedonia, a small settlement on the banks of the Cibin river that marked the outer reaches of their empire. They eventually left, and their small village grew into Sibiu, a cultural hub of central Europe where art and commerce thrived side by side.
Today, almost 2,000 years later, the creative vitality of this former hamlet is on vivid display in the Sibiu International Theatre Festival. Earlier this summer, the 25th edition of this 10-day event drew over 3,300 artists from 70 nations who performed for over 62,000 visitors daily. Supporting their work with smooth key lighting and vivid colors was a festival rig supplied by Backstage Production Group that featured Ovation and COLORado fixtures from Chauvet Professional.
Desiring consistency in lighting temperature and light field, Andrei Popéa, general manager of Backstage Production Group, tapped eight Ovation E-260WW and eleven Ovation ED-200WW for the festival stages. For colour, he specified eight Ovation F-915FC Fresnel units, as well as four Ovation E-910FC IP ellipsoidals, and 24 COLORado Batten 72X linear fixtures.
The intensity of the warm whites and smooth dimming curves of the Ovation ellipsoidals along with their variable beam angles, allowed Popéa to maximize placement opportunities for each theatrical performance and avoid unwanted shadows. The Ovation E-910FC IP also projected crisp gobo patterns to add visual interest and movement to the outdoor stages.
These performance features, along with the rainbow of colours created
France - Summer lingered for music lovers at Festival 39 Aout 2019, held at the Domaine de Chalain in France’s Jura region.
The multi-genre music festival was held in a beautiful setting alongside Chalain Lake where an array of Claypaky lighting fixtures illuminated Big Flo & Oli, Martin Solveig, Eagle-Eye Cherry and other performers.
Atomix provided lighting designer Guillaume Steck with 12 HY B-EYE K25s, 10 Sharpy Plus and six A.leda K20 Wash fixtures for the two-day outdoor event.
“With an open-air festival it’s always difficult to programme a show in the middle of the afternoon - it’s usually necessary to wait until nightfall to be able to offer real lighting,” says Steck. “But with these fixtures, allied with a good atmospheric generator, it’s now much easier.”
Steck positioned the K20 Washes at the front of the stage with the Sharpy Plus and K25s spread out on two decks. “With the HY B-EYE K25s the timeless kaleidoscope effect, known to everyone from the B-EYE K20, remains a key asset that no other projector has managed to match,” he states.
“The power of the K25, even in broad daylight, is simply amazing,” says Steck. “With Sharpy Plus we get the standard beam features of a Sharpy, which are not even necessary to mention any more, plus a full-blown ‘spot’ mode. The powerful beam of the Sharpy Plus delighted all the stage managers. The K25 and Sharpy Plus fixtures were a winning duo.”
Pierre Girard was the project manager for the festival with Quentin Vallet the lighting chief and Aurelien Rob
China - A High End Systems Hoglet 4 is providing lighting control for a new outdoor multimedia installation in China.
Two times each night, a lake in the park in Liaocheng, Shandong Province comes alive with lighting, lasers, mist, flames and fountains. The free half-hour interaction enthralls up to 10,000 spectators with the colourful, watery spectacle.
LD Theo Cox - a High End Systems Hog 4 lighting console user - chose the smaller, more compact member of the Hog family for this project. “I elected to programme with a Hoglet 4, as this was the right piece of kit to leave in permanent situ after the shows were up and running,” he explains. “As well as the nightly timecode shows, there was a requirement to run a few simple cues manually, and a physical console was desired but it had to be streamlined. So with only two kinds of fixtures to program, and no need for lots of playback control, the Hoglet with a touchscreen was the way forward.”
AAV China administered the install of a 150m (492 ft) long fountain system, and brought in Cox to co-create the two shows with Tara Winona designing the lasers and Rupert Morse on fountains.
In a control room overlooking the lake, the Hoglet controls all the moving lights - which are mounted in projection cabins built on stilts in the lake - and 30 searchlights on the far side. The lights receive data distribution via Art-Net run on fibre under the lake.
A Wings Platinum system controls the overall show. It plays the audio and video elements, triggers the fountain control system and sends timecode
UK - Following a successful premiere at Venice Film Festival’s VR Biennale, Satore Tech’s Cosmos Within Us prepares to bring its 360 audio VR experience to London. The next stop is Raindance, the UK's largest independent film festival, which is dedicated to fostering and promoting independent film around the world.
Cosmos Within Us is a joint production from Satore Tech, a_BAHN and Satore Studio. “From the beginning we knew that the piece was going to be performed live, which meant we had to put an audio system together that would allow for that to happen,” says Tupac Martir, Satore Studio founder and co-founder of Satore Tech.
The VR film viewers are made up of two parts, one headset wearer and four behind the scenes participants. “We knew that we wanted the person in the experience - wearing the headset - to realise different sounds based on their position and receive the voice of the actor directly into their ears, while the rest of the sounds come from an environmental layer.”
This is a first for VR experiences. Not only has Satore experimented with different methods of how to provide audio within a 360-experiential environment, the multi-disciplinary studio has turned this notion into a tourable production.
Gareth Llewellyn and Jon Olive of Magic Beans, an immersive-audio start-up, were brought in as consultants for the pioneering 3D sound project. Each audio element within the film is given its own set of rules and principles. Tupac explains: “This is a different model and a new way of exploring what is possible within t
USA - Powerhouse Kitchen, created for San Jose University, is probably the world’s largest mobile kitchen. Designed for both mass catering and show cooking, the monstrous food truck features an integral stage and an AV system built around a huge pop-up LED screen constructed from ADJ’s AV4IP panels.
Established for over eight years, Texas-based Cruising Kitchens started out creating bespoke food trucks of all sizes for both well-established brands and start-ups. The company has branched out to undertake a variety of more unusual projects including mobile offices, media centres, bars and even a nightclub.
The university’s catering department, Spartan Eats, wanted a new food truck and entertainment centre that could not only be used to enhance the San Jose Spartans tailgate experience during the football season at their CEFCU Stadium but also for community engagement events both on and off campus.
Taking on the challenge, Cruising Kitchens fabricated an enormous custom-built creation featuring a 40’ long modified and reinforced shipping container welded to a 70' extendable flatbed trailer. Wrapped completely in custom graphics, the impressive truck features a large internal commercial kitchen, suitable for the preparation of a wide variety of cuisine, as well as an in-built stage which can be used for cooking competitions and demonstrations.
The 12ft stage folds out from the side of the truck, as does a 10ft awning, while two islands - fitted with castors - can be wheeled out onto the stage to provide a demonstration workspace. Two mov
UK - Twenty years after its inception, Newham Council’s annual free festival Under The Stars continues to pull in crowds of up to 10,000 at East Ham’s Central Park.
Graham Baker of turnkey technology providers, Centre Stage, has been servicing the event for all but one of those festivals. In order to keep the production fresh for a roster of headline acts including Naughty Boy, Norman Jay, Cocojam, Musical Youth and the traditional Sunday showcase of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Baker this year turned to his friends at W1 Productions, knowing they had recently acquired JBL’s new VTX A8 / VTX B18 line array from UK and Ireland distributors Sound Technology Ltd. Both parties agreed that this would make the perfect debut for a rig that could be flown 12-aside, with six B18 subwoofers a side in a cardioid sub array. A further four A8 provided infills along the front while the entire system was powered and processed by W1 Productions’ newly-purchased Crown VRacks.
Ensuring that the system was fully optimised were W1 Productions project manager, Lawrence Chichon, FOH sound engineer, Jack Hale, and systems engineer Tom Matthews, with the support of Sound Technology’s Stuart Strachan. Centre Stage, whose sister company, Alistage, was also involved in providing front of stage barriers and risers, found the tie-up with W1 Productions and the new JBL rig to be mutually beneficial.
“We have dry-hired systems from W1 for many years, and it was nice to give this new PA a test drive,” states Baker. JBL’s next generation dual 8" compac
New Zealand - To create a more immersive movie-going experience for audiences, Avid Automation and JPRO recently upgraded the Lido cinema with a JBL by Harman surround sound system with 7 Series reference monitors.
Established in the 1920s, the Lido Cinema is one of New Zealand’s oldest and most prestigious cinemas. Originally opened as a single-screen art house cinema, the Lido expanded with a second 44-seat capacity theatre known as The Lounge in 2005.
The Lido recently decided to upgrade the aging 5.1 sound system in The Lounge to a state-of-the-art 7.1 surround sound system. Unable to place speakers behind the screen due to the rear-projection system in the Lounge, the Lido recruited the help of AV integrators Avid Automation and JBL distributor JPRO to install a custom solution. After surveying the location, Avid Automation and JPRO designed a Harman surround sound system comprised of JBL 7 Series reference monitors.
“It’s always been a bit of a troublesome venue for speaker placement due to the rear-projection screen,” says Richard Dalton, managing director, The Lido. “We’ve had about three sound systems in there since it opened and none of them have been particularly good. The idea of working with the AV Integrator and JBL to create a custom solution was rather exciting. The amazing work in the Lounge has exceeded my expectations with a premium audio result - I love it.”
Avid Automation and JPRO equipped The Lounge with JBL 708i reference monitors in the left, centre and right channels in a bi-amplified configuration. T
Australia - Sydney Opera House on September 7 for Multi-instrumentalist Jacob Collier gave presented “a two-hour exploration of music’s outermost boundaries” at Sydney Opera House.
Stopping at the venue on his Djesse World Tour, musician from North London wove an intricately layered tapestry of sounds into his performance, captivating his audience with lightning fast piano lines one moment, and haunting bass playing the next, before veering off into a mesmerizing Harmoniser solo, all while making everything flow together with a simple, natural elegance.
Reflecting the essence of Collier’s music in all of its complex, yet accessible, possibilities, was a deftly balanced Luke Edwards lighting design that featured Chauvet Professional ÉPIX Strip Tour fixtures.
Edwards used 32 of the 1m long RGB strips in his 12 universe show. Each of the ÉPIX Strip Tour units was topped with an old school Edison bulb, an arrangement that symbolised the way his client’s multifarious music bridges the gap between the digital and analogue worlds.
The ÉPIX units were positioned in free-flowing fashion throughout the rig. Working from his 16 pages of cues, Edwards pixel mapped the strips using a pixel mapper and effect generator to create a galaxy of fluid patterns that changed and moved in harmony with Collier’s music.
“We go from sweeping lines to random twinkles on the ÉPIX fixtures, which all looks incredible in real life and on camera,” says Edwards. “Our show pretty much encompasses every colour, even pastels, and the strips ha
Australia - Regarded as the ultimate production showcase by long-term technical partner, Novatech Creative Event Technology, the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) South Australia’s annual AHA Awards for Excellence raised the bar once again this year.
With over 30 awards to present, comperes and performing artists, around 200 time-lined cues, all driven by bespoke video content, the technical design required a solid framework. This was provided by Novatech’s suite of Brompton processing and distribution products, which integrated and simplified the whole LED screen system.
“We have been the technical provider for the AHA Awards for eight years now,”says Bryan Goh, video project manager at Novatech. “It’s one of the signature events in our calendar and we love doing it. It’s a very ambitious event, with fresh concepts every year. They entrust us with creative control over the stage design and technical aspects of the event, which gives us the opportunity to go wild with technology, show off the new toys, and give the hotels industry a great experience.”
For the 2019 ceremony, Novatech went with all-LED screen for visuals. Two 6 x 6.3 metre ROE Visual CB3 3mm LED screens were set left and right of stage, with three curved 4.8 x 4.8 metre ROE Visual CB5 screens were hung on motors to fly in and out, revealing the performing band behind them. Two ‘ticker’ type 9.6 x 1.2 metre long CB5 screens graced each side of the stage, whilst at the rear of the stage, a string curtain digital drape formed a backdrop.
A pair of Brompton S
UK - As Central London’s largest conferencing and events centre, Central Hall Westminster recently played host to the Oscar Events House Live in London concert with Assi El Hallani and Mahmood El Turki. As the in-house technical production partner at Central Hall, White Light provided the lighting and audio solutions for this sell-out event.
The concert, held in celebration of Eid El Adha, saw both singers perform with their accompanying musicians to an audience of over 2000 people in the Great Hall. White Light were on hand to enhance the event with atmospheric lighting, utilising a combination of LED moving units and haze effects, and to provide full audio coverage and support.
Remon Hanna, director of marketing at Oscar Events House comments: “Central Hall Westminster was the ideal choice for our first London concert and the magnificent Great Hall looked and sounded perfect. It was a great experience working with the White Light team, whose production expertise made the whole event planning process a pleasure. We look forward to returning for future concerts and working them again.”
Paul Southern, managing director of Central Hall Westminster, adds: “Music concerts are an integral part of our business and it was an honour to host the first in this high-profile series. As always, our in-house production partner White Light, knew exactly how to enhance the audio capabilities of the venue and turn our historic Great Hall into a beautiful concert setting.”
USA - A 48-channel Allen & Heath SQ-6 digital mixer landed a role in the Shakespeare Centre of Los Angeles (SCLA) production of Henry IV, one of the Bard of Avon’s most popular historical plays.
Built from the ground up outdoors on the West Los Angeles Veteran Affairs campus under the artistic direction of SCLA founder Ben Donenberg, Henry IV was staged with a cast that included Tom Hanks as Falstaff, Hamish Linklater as Prince Henry, and Joe Morton in the title role. Sound design fell under the guidance of Diablo Sound, an LA-based firm that has brought audio to many of SCLA’s most acclaimed productions.
Diablo Sound president and principal designer Drew Dalzell looked long and hard for a compact console with a feature set and price point that could facilitate the audio blueprint he envisioned for the play. His moment of discovery occurred when the SQ-6 landed in his lap.
“The SQ-6 is indeed small, feature rich, and sounds great,” he notes. “That’s the trifecta for me, especially in theatre. I’ve always loved the Allen & Heath sound, and this one lives up to its heritage.”
Front of house engineer Anna Grossman used eight of the SQ-6’s DCAs to create a template of scenes that managed the play’s Broadway-style, line-by-line mixing format. “It’s not an easy mix method to learn or execute,” Dalzell explains. “But by keeping it down to just eight DCAs in front of you, you actually stand a fighting chance.”
Grossman’s scenes were programmed in what Dalzell calls a “modified round-rob
UK - Leeds Castle in Kent recently played host to the spectacular open-air Leeds Castle Classical Summer Concert in celebration of its 900-year milestone. This gave around 11,000 concert-goers the opportunity to witness the world premiere of the fanfare, A Tribute to Leeds Castle, composed by Tom Hodge, performed by the Band of the Royal Marines and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and conducted by John Rigby.
Set in this picturesque location, with its natural amphitheatre and the castle as the backdrop, the visitor experience of this setting was augmented by the clarity, and even distribution of the sound, delivered by the Martin Audio Wavefront Precision Longbow (WPL). This was supplied, optimised and controlled by RG Jones Sound Engineering.
Working for concert organisers Heritage Events, the sound production company, under project manager and FOH engineer Ben Milton, had to contend with a site that was both deep and wide (180m x 200m), with a steep incline. But he knew the WPL would mitigate many of the idiosyncrasies and even out the 180° sound dispersion required to cover the audience area.
Programming the optimisation for depth in the dedicated DISPLAY software, Milton says: “We produced a very even tone, deploying a system optimisation at 3dB drop between the auditorium boundary and the downstage edge. This produced a totally even coverage throughout.”
To achieve this they deployed 16 WPL elements per side for the main hangs, with eight Wavefront Precision Compact (WPC) for the out-fills, 12 WPL for the hill-fill (the s
Belgium - Filipe Dos Santos, director of photography at RTL Belgium, called on the high-performance features of the VL2600 Spot luminaire from Vari-Lite in his design for Belgium’s annual charity television broadcast, Télévie.
Produced by RTL-TVI, Télévie raises funds to help fight cancer and leukaemia in adults and children, so the creation of vibrant, sumptuous television images which both enhance the on-stage entertainment and engage the audience to the full is a key requirement.
With its wide and deep studio stage hosting a broad range of live entertainment, the show makes serious demands on lighting. It requires lighting capable of filling the space with a quality of light, a variety of looks and effects, and the textural depth needed to create beautiful television pictures for various acts, over a long period.
“A television production has two challenges for lighting: the functional and the decorative,” says Dos Santos. “That is, what is technically good for the camera and what is pleasing and entertaining for the television audience.”
He added, “I was looking for luminaires that could produce a powerful, quality white light, that could open wide. I needed projectors, wash effects and bright beams to carve large volumes of space and give depth to the image.”
To achieve this, Dos Santos included 24 VL2600 Spot fixtures in his rig. “I chose them for their great openness and incredible focus, plus their gobos and their beautiful mixed and fixed colours,” he says. “The finesse of the optics and the
UK - Harrogate’s spa heritage is being celebrated with a light display in the town’s Valley Gardens.
As Harrogate prepares for the arrival of the UCI Road World Cycling Championships, a new illuminated sculpture has been unveiled in the gardens. And, two weeks later, 36 wells within the park - together with the imposing Harlow Hill water tower - will be lit with light shafts to complete a 3D art installation, which will be seen in the night sky for miles around.
Called Harrogate 1571, the work has been commissioned by Harrogate Borough Council as part of a wrap-around cultural programme for the UCI World Cycling Championships.
Whilst over 100 wells are set within Harrogate, Bogs Field in the Valley Gardens is the source of 36 mineral springs. The waters are Magmatic or Plutonic in origin, and never existed as rain, flowing deep beneath the earth for 20,000 years before surfacing through vertical shafts in the strata.
Harrogate International Festivals chief executive Sharon Canavar says: “Our beautiful town owes its fame and fortune to the large number of mineral water wells that converge in a relatively small area. For our part, we have taken the waters that ‘made’ Harrogate as our inspiration, and Harrogate 1571 is a unique celebration of our spa heritage, demonstrating that there’s definitely something in the water here in Harrogate!”
This is one of our most exciting projects to date, and to reach this stage has taken a lot of hard work and the co-operation and support of a number of organisations, namely
USA - Luke Bryan’s Sunset Repeat tour started on 31 May and continues in to the autumn. Contributing to the good time atmosphere on stage, as Bryan and company move exuberantly through their 23-song set, is a 28-universe Justin Kitchenman-designed video and lightshow that features Chauvet Professional Maverick and ÉPIX fixtures supplied by Elite Multimedia of Nashville.
Displaying the free-flowing energy of a beach party where everyone is invited, Bryan’s performance gleefully pulls in a diverse mix of music that includes his popular country hits like Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset (from which the tour got its name), as well as renditions of crowd-pleasers like Bon Jovi’s Livin’ on a Prayer.
A large vertical video wall over the set, flanked by two equally impressive square walls, creates an evocative environment on stage by displaying a wide range of images that include ‘neon’ cowboys, clear blue skies, and red sunsets.
Working in unison with the video walls are 16 Maverick MK Pyxis fixtures that are arranged four apiece on vertical light ladders. Drawing on the continuous 360° pan and tilt movement of the beam/wash effect, Kitchenman creates a variety of multi-dimensional patterns on stage.
Kitchenman also relies on the outer ring of nine zoomable RGBW LEDs in the MK Pyxis to conjure up a continuous flow of eye candy effects. At times, the looks from the Maverick units seem almost to grow out of the videos because of the way they mirror the colours and patterns displayed on the walls.
“The Pyxis works be
India - In August, Grammy and Oscar winner A.R. Rahman staged a concert in his home city of Chennai, relying on Mumbai’s Sound to supply and support the live audio system for the show, which this year was built around Adamson Systems Engineering’s E-Series.
“A.R. Rahman has been a client of Sound.com for the past eight years,” begins Sound.com founder and managing director Warren D’souza. “When we completely replaced all of our tour sound products with Adamson systems earlier this year, we knew we could offer the best possible solution to our high-end clients like Mr. Rahman. This was our first major outing with our new inventory and I think it proved beyond doubt that we made a wise investment.”
The system deployed at the YMCA College of Physical Education grounds for the show included main left and right arrays of 15 E15 three-way, true line source enclosures over three E12 three-way, full-range enclosures per side in front of nine flown E119 subwoofers in FBF cardioid configurations. An additional 15 E119s were ground-stacked on each side of the stage for more low-frequency support while eight S10 two-way, full-range cabinets handled front-fill duties.
The single delay ring included left, centre, and right arrays, with nine standard S10s on the left hang, 12 on the right, and a complement of 16 narrow-dispersion S10ns for the centre. D’souza notes the unorthodox configuration was due to the uneven and asymmetrical layout of the audience area, and adds that in previous years, they required an additional delay ring to properly cover
UK - The official opening of Samsung KX, Samsung Electronics Co’s new ‘digital playground’ in London’s King’s Cross, featured ‘the world's first vertical gig’.
The multi-tiered performance space in Coal Drops Yard was erected as part of the launch of Samsung’s new multi-sensory experience and saw performances from R&B artist Mabel.
The concept was devised by Iris Experience’s creative director Henry Scotland, and realised with support from video rental house Universal Pixels.
The structure itself was fabricated by Star Live using three shipping containers to create a 9:16 format. The finished stage was an impressive 9.1m tall, showing three stories of tech and performance space to the 2,000-capacity crowd. UP provided the vertical 4.5m wide by 7.5m high portrait Leyard CLM6 LED screen with a custom rigging solution and a disguise GX2 media server playback package.
UP’s Roly Oliver comments: “The genius thing about this gig is its simplicity. It’s bold yet not particularly complex, and it seems almost strange that it’s never been done before. Video is a blank canvas and as we work in a consumer-led market, the ticket-buying public has made it clear that they want to view the world in portrait. I think we’ll be seeing this a lot more in the future.”
Henry Scotland adds: “We hadn’t worked with UP before, so were keen to give them a shot at slotting into a fairly ambitious bespoke design. The team worked super hard alongside Star Live to devise a plan which maximised the screen real estate in each aper
UK - Les Miserables: The Staged Concert is playing packed houses at London's Gielgud Theatre, with Unusual Rigging supplying the rigging and automation for the shows' four month stint.
The concert version of the world's longest running musical opened at the end of July, following the closure of the Queen's Theatre. It will re-open after extensive refurbishment of both its backstage and auditorium as the renamed Sondheim Theatre. Unusual Rigging is also a part of this project, lowering the stage and installing a complex engineering system.
With the production team of this limited run show briefed to make the Gielgud feel like a miniature version of the 02 Arena which hosted the 25th anniversary concert, production manager Chris Boone brought Unusual on board to make it happen.
Chris explained: "Unusual Rigging is my go-to company for rigging jobs and this particular one was no mean feat – I needed a team who knew what they were doing. With Jeremy Featherstone and Simon Stone at the helm, Unusual has worked with designer Matt Kingley to replicate the scenic elements for this fully staged concert while also providing the automation and lighting trusses too."
For the concert, Unusual has installed 36 Kinesys hoists for the lighting trusses. At Cameron Mackintosh's request, the concert still features some scenic elements including a bridge which makes its entrance from the fly floor with six performers stood on it.
Chris continued. "The other thing that Unusual did was to come up with a solution for a large LED screen positioned a
Belgium - The word ‘individual’ comes up often when Martin Thomas talks about lighting his long-time client Alan Parsons. It isn’t necessarily Parsons himself that the Tucson, Arizona-based LD is referring to, but each of the musicians that make up the pioneering Grammy winner’s band.
“The music of The Alan Parsons Project has always been founded on a variety of musicians based on their individual strong suits - and the live show is no different,” said Thomas. “All members have specific harmony parts in the music; and lead vocals shift throughout the show. Because everyone sings, key light and backlight for all musicians is critical. So, layers and atmospheric architecture make up most of the production with several negative space moments in the performance.”
At the last stop of the band’s European tour at the iAncienne Belgique in downtown Brussels this August, Thomas was faced with a challenge when he had two electrics to work with instead of three. He nevertheless was able to achieve the layered looks his design called for, thanks to a collection of Chauvet Professional Maverick fixtures supplied by Coruna Sound & Light.
“On this tour, my design is based on having three overhead electrics, FOH truss and a floor package,” said Thomas. “At this particular venue we had only two overhead electrics, making layering the focus that much more critical, as there are eight active artists on stage at any given time.”
The 28 Maverick MK1 Hybrid fixtures in Thomas’ rig were instrumental in helping him maintain the focus