Moldova - Elation dealer Eventika Grup SRL of Moldova recently finished an interesting project that the company worked long and hard to complete. After the USSR collapsed, the circus in the town of Chisinau, Moldova, disintegrated along with it, leaving behind a large circus building that had the potential to be an excellent performance space.
After years of laying idol, Eventika was able to partially restore the building on their own, without foreign investment, and held a 20th anniversary tribute concert at the venue for the Moldavian rock band Gindul Mitei (Cat’s Thoughts).
The circus building, Chisinau City Circus, opened in 1981 and was once the largest auditorium in Moldova with over 50 performances there each year. With post-communist era struggles however, the venue was abandoned in 2004. For the 2017 20th anniversary tribute concert, bands and solo artists presented Gindul Mitei classics while the building’s big top past came to life with gymnasts, jugglers and even an acrobat on a white horse performing for the audience.
Besides their task as renovators of the venue, Eventika fulfilled every possible role for the concert event – show production, full technical contractor, design, décor and scenography, direction, and more. Lighting design was by Serghei Buchin with the support of Eventika lighting designer and operator Maxim Cojocari.
“There were restrictions to the circus arena so we made a classical concert mix of lines of rigging,” Serghei Buchin of Eventika Grup explains. “We placed Fuze Wash Z350 fixtures upstage
UK - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is going international, with technical equipment hire company Hawthorn supplying lighting equipment for the award-winning production.
The international leg of the Curious tour will visit Amsterdam, Toronto and other international cities to be announced.
Hawthorn is continuing its relationship with production after supplying lighting for this year’s UK tour and has worked with renowned lighting designer Paule Constable to supply the lighting equipment for her Olivier award winning design. This included supplying industry workhorses such as the Martin MAC TW1 and the ETC Source 4 Revolution combined with newer technology such as the ETC LUSTR 2 LED Profile and the VL3500Q Spot.
The remaining rig is made up of a number of conventional ETC Source 4 profiles and PARS, Selecon Arena 2.5K PCs, Rainbow 12” Scrollers, a Martin Atomic Strobe, Pulsar Chroma LED UV Floods, Studio Due Archibars, Viper smoke machines all controlled from an ETC networked system utilising both the GIO and ION consoles.
Mark Burnett, business development manager at Hawthorn, said: “We’re delighted to be working with the Curious Incident team once again for the production’s international tour. If you’ve seen the show, you’ll know how incredibly powerful and visually arresting the lighting and video design is and the important role it plays in telling Christopher’s story. The production deserves the worldwide acclaim enjoyed the book and its fantastic to play a small role in taking it internationa
Sweden - The Polar Music Prize is recognised as one of music’s most prestigious international honours and this year’s ceremony saw Hippotizer Media Servers playing a key part in Sundin Designers Sweden’s lighting and image display for the show.
Founded in 1989 by the late Stig ‘Stikkan’ Anderson – Anderson was the publisher, lyricist and manager of ABBA and the name stems from his legendary record label – the Polar Music Prize customarily goes to one contemporary musician and one classical musician. This year saw Sting and Wayne Shorter, the American jazz saxophonist and composer, become laureates and the venue was again the beautiful Stockholm Concert Hall.
Designed by Ivar Tengbom the 1920s-neo-classical creation is one of the Swedish architect’s most famous works, and Sundin Designers Sweden was charged with video and lighting design for this beautiful interior for the Polar Music Prize ceremony. The Stockholm-based design company knows the venue well – it also designs video and lighting for the annual Nobel Banquet, the banquet which follows the Nobel Prize ceremony – and founder Per Sundin again led his team on one of Stockholm’s biggest nights of the year.
Per’s design vision for the evening was to deliver a video and lighting show to highlight the concert hall’s architectural beauty, while at the same time mixing the expression between classical music and pop art. Supported by DigiGobos / Beacon Gobo Group – Green Hippo’s exclusive distributor in Sweden – Per and his team presented a refined display, blending p
USA - Leading New York City-based national concert promoter The Bowery Presents (TBP) recently opened its latest live music venue, Brooklyn Steel, a new 20,000sq.ft space in East Williamsburg, New York that is outfitted with L-Acoustics K2 line arrays, plus delays and stage monitors.
A gantry crane retained from the former steel fabrication business enables the flown arrays to be repositioned, along with the movable 50,000lb steel and concrete stage, to scale the audience area according to the expected attendance at each show.
TBP’s in-house team designed and installed Brooklyn Steel’s L-Acoustics loudspeaker system, which is patterned after a similar rig at Terminal 5, a 3,000-capacity venue in Manhattan that the promoter also exclusively operates.
Mark Friedman of Long Island City-based See Factor supplied the speaker setup as well as the rest of the new club’s audio complement, including a 56-channel DiGiCo SD10 console at front-of-house with a 56-channel SD9 available for monitors. A three-way copper split accommodates tours traveling with their own monitor rigs as well as recording and broadcast feeds.
“Having worked with The Bowery Presents on numerous venues over the years, See Factor’s first choice of L-Acoustics and DiGiCo is a solid combination that has firmly built our fruitful relationship of trust with the promoter,” Friedman notes. “The Bowery Presents has always recognized the value of providing the highest quality production infrastructure available to best enhance both audiences’ and bands’ overall live exper
UK - CPL (Central Presentations) working for creative event producers Bright, took its experience and knowledge of festival productions and delivered full technical production - sound, lighting, rigging and some AV - for the 2017 OVO festival.
The event, now in its third year and a big hit with OVO’s staff, families and friends, was again staged at Mojo Active, Almondsbury near Bristol. CPL and Bright are regular collaborators and there is a great synergy between the two companies in their respective roles and end-goal of ensuring that event environments are smooth, entertaining, memorable and fun for all guests.
CPL’s project manager Mike Radford commented: “We were delighted to be involved again, and enjoyed working closely with Bright’s team led by their PM Mike Matthews. The brief was to bring all the production values of a premium festival to this event and ensure the best possible guest experience”.
The one-day event featured a main band stage and a large bar / catering and second stage area located in nine large conjoined Tepees, plus an open area featuring a heterogeneity of attractions like vintage fairground rides, archery, falconry, rounders and other field games and there was also a Children’s Tent. All were geared towards providing a fun-fuelled day for all ages and tastes.
The full site build started a week ahead of the event and CPL did their lighting and sound get-in the day before.
The main stage / roof was supplied by Bristol based BES Systems and a flown d&b Y8 audio system was specified, complete wi
Singapore - Nexo’s new mid-size line array, the Geo M10, has made a spectacular and high-profile debut in Singapore, as the main stage PA at the IGNITE! Music Festival.
The two-day outdoor IGNITE! Music Festival is organised by the Republic Cultural Centre (Republic Polytechnic). Featuring an all-local line-up of artists and bands from Singapore, this is the republic’s primary student music event yet it is recognised for its technical staging standards and has a reputation for providing a state-of-the-art audio-visual experience.
Under the banner of distributor Yamaha Music (Asia) Pte, the AV partner for the festival, the latest Nexo and Yamaha products were deployed for the event, which doubles as a showcase for potential customers.
The main stage is powered by Nexo’s newest line array system, the mid-size Geo M10, which partners a 1.4″ titanium diaphragm HF driver with a single, Neodymium-magnet 10” driver and delivers an unprecedented ratio of LF response to cabinet size, outperforming many larger, dual-driver designs.
The system is configured with left and right arrays, each using eight Geo M10 modules flown beneath two Geo MSub15s. Another eight LS18 subs are on the ground in front of the stage. Nexo PS15s are used for out-fill, and PS10s for front-fill. The whole system is driven by four Nexo NXAMP4x4 controller/amplifiers, fitted with NX.DT104 network cards to operate on the Dante network.
The IGNITE! Music Festival is the first outdoor concert event in Singapore to feature Yamaha’s flagship Rivage PM10 digital console
USA - The US capital is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. Yet ironically, the US Travel Association’s annual IPW convention never took place in Washington until this summer, when the group held its first ever convention in the city. Making a positive impression on a select group of the convention’s 6,000 guests from 70 different countries was a lavish VIP dinner held at the majestic Washington National Cathedral.
Accenting the beauty of the towering Neo-Gothic limestone structure during this event was an enchanting and endlessly fascinating lighting design by Elizabeth A Coco that featured 160 Chauvet Professional and Chauvet DJ fixtures supplied by Atmosphere, Inc. of Silver Spring, MD.
Coco, a USA 829 union designer, relied on multi-coloured uplighting to draw attention to some of the historic building’s captivating architectural features, such as the over 50’ high arched columns that line either side of its nave, which was converted to a dinner and reception area for the event.
Coco positioned 82 WELL Fit RGBA battery powered wireless uplight fixtures at the base of these columns from the nave’s inside aisle, and 36 Freedom Par Quad-4s from the outside. By doing this, she created multi-level rows of colour that engendered a sense of intimacy in the massive cathedral (the sixth largest in the world), while still dramatising its impressive size. Lighting the outside face of the columns also allowed her to fill in the dark space in the area outside the main aisle, making the room more inviting.
“The columns a
Taiwan - Two Allen & Heath dLive S Class digital mixing systems were employed to manage the Poetry & Cultural Festival, held in Taipei.
Comprising a DM64 MixRack with S5000 Surface at FOH and a DM32 and S5000 on monitors, the systems were provided by local PA company, Just Music Co.Ltd. dLive managed a variety of acts over the two-day festival including spoken word performance, an 80-piece orchestra, pop bands, and an Aboriginal band.
“dLive has proved to be fast and easy to set up, and the system is very versatile, handling a huge variety of different musical genres. With over 90 channels and quick changeovers to manage, it was a testing event but dLive made the task so much easier,” comments sound engineer, Gao Min-Fu.
Korea - As Korea’s largest island, Jeju has been the country’s favourite domestic holiday destination for years thanks to its beautiful beaches, luxurious countryside - and its theatre for Nanta, a popular South Korean non-verbal comedy show incorporating traditional percussion. Now, visitors to Jeju Theatre can enjoy the show even more, thanks to world-class acoustics delivered by a range of APG loudspeakers.
Nanta premiered in Seoul in 1997 and has since been staged in 18 countries including in Broadway. Run by PMC Production, the show is also performed daily in four Seoul theatres, making it the longest-running show in Korean history. Built for Nanta performances exclusively, the 659-seat Jeju Theatre has welcomed over one million visitors since its opening in 2008 and was due for an audio upgrade to provide the best sonic experience to its audience.
The musical has a simple back story of three cooks attempting to finish preparing a wedding banquet within a strict time limit while the manager installs his incompetent nephew among the kitchen staff. The show involves acrobatics, magic tricks, comedy, pantomime and audience participation.
Korean integrator Soundplace was appointed to refurbish the theatre with pristine audio. For this project, the theatre and auditorium specialist selected a full APG setup. “For the Nanta shows, the traditional samul nori music is performed with improvised instruments such as cutting boards, water canisters and kitchen knives, so sound is at the very heart of this hugely popular mu
USA - t’s been said that “experience is what you get when you were expecting something else.” John Garberson, owner of Creative BackStage, picked up some valuable experience recently when he worked a Hello Arizona-produced show by Nile Rodgers.
Garberson had created a design for the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer that was built around a lot of high-energy aerial effects. At the last minute, though, he learned that he would not be allowed to use haze. With his original lighting concept severely crimped, he and his LD and programmer James Simpson reworked their plans and created a lushly coloured stage design using the 32 Chauvet Professional Rogue washes in his rig. For added good measure, they turned up the eye candy volume with the four STRIKE 4 multi-formatted fixtures on their front truss.
“Lately, we’ve become more aware of building versatility into our rigs,” said Garberson. “In this case, it certainly paid off big time for us. The night before the show we were all programmed with haze for lots of sky effects. But the day of the show management said ‘no haze’. We didn’t have a backup plan.
“Yes, this was a challenge. There were limitations to how we could use our spots. Practically speaking, there really were no walls or ceiling that could be hit with our spots effectively, and our backdrop was custom made with LED tapes, so that wasn’t an option either.”
Garberson compensated for this by changing plans for the Rogues in his rig. He had 24 R2 Wash units positioned throughout his design: 10 on the front truss, eight
UK - When lighting designer Cate Carter first conjured with Elbow appearing at the Barclaycard Summer Time (BST) annual concert series in Hyde Park this year she was immediately presented with two dilemmas.
“One was the sheer scale of the stage, that enormous wall of LED screen cannot be ignored,” she said. Supplied by Video Design, the wall has, since last year, been extended from centre stage across and right down the outside edges of the PA wings. Wrapping the entire performance platform, it measures 200ft across and 35 high, a total 650sq/m of 9mm.
“The other thing was about timing,” Carter continued. “We started supporting the new album Little Fictions, earlier this year in February/March. As it was a theatre tour we decided on no IMAG, relying instead on pure content projected onto a rear cyc. Our slot at Hyde Park made both those factors anachronistic; it would be daylight so the content would be too pale and nowhere near the scale required and you simply cannot avoid IMAG for an audience of sixty-thousand.”
As with the problems, Carter found resolution in two forms, “I engaged Phil Woodhead as video director. We had great success with him on previous Elbow arena tours and, as it turned out, he had some magic tucked up his sleeve. The other was Richard Shipman.” Shipman is retained by Jim King at AEG as overall director of all things video for BST.
The Woodhead magic was VideoDust, a real-time video effects software developed by his own company Thundering Jacks. “I’ve used VideoDust myself for Biffy Clyro las
UK - Space Spectacular, the annual space-inspired music co-production between the Royal Albert Hall (RAH) and promoter Raymond Gubbay, needed a spectacular lighting and effects show to live up to its name.
With limited time to set up and programme the extensive rig, RAH’s lighting design manager, Richard Rhys Thomas, was able to put together a stunning show in only a few hours using a Jands Vista L5 Console.
He commented: “For me it comes down to limited time availability and being able to maximise time to create the actual design looks, effects and sequences with ease. The fact that over 180 moving lights, 100 LEDs and 200 dimmers, together with all attribute controls and palettes were accessible from a single layout on a large screen meant there was complete control at any one time. This greatly speeds up the programming process and is a fantastic credit to the design of the L5 console.”
Presented by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Anthony Inglis, Space Spectacular, a voyage through a galaxy of favourite music from deep space and beyond, ran for three shows over two days and featured the classic John Williams themes from Star Wars, Superman, E.T., and Close Encounters – where a space ship even descends over the hall – as well as many more iconic classical, film and TV pieces by composers including Holst, James Horner and David Arnold.
Richard’s space-inspired creative lighting design used the Royal Albert Hall’s core rig complemented by a range of additional fixtures, and
UK - London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), took full advantage of the capabilities of one of MDG’s ATMe haze generators during their recent production of Rona Munro’s Scuttlers.
“The brief from the director, Hannah Eidinow, was to create the atmosphere of Manchester in the 1890s: hot, industrial, sweaty, dirty, polluted and foggy, so clearly we needed to use a hazer that was up to the job,” says guest lighting designer, Declan Randall. “And MDG’s ATMe haze generator was more than up to the task.”
Scuttlers was first performed at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre in 2015. It follows the exploits of the city’s first street gangs, set against the background of Manchester’s cotton mills and industrial expansion of the nineteenth century.
The recent production at RADA moved the setting from the 200+ seat theatre-in-the-round of Manchester’s Royal Exchange to the very intimate, brick-lined environment of RADA’s 70-seater GBS Theatre. “With such a small space we needed to have total control of the haze produced by the machine,” continues Randall.
“The production called for a continual level of atmospheric haze but also included moments when a little more or a little less was required to for dramatic effect. In such a tight space, where the audience is so close to the stage and the action, it can be only too easy to get it wrong. Using the ATMe’s DMX control, we were able to drive the haze levels precisely throughout the show using a fader to pump it up and, conversely, drop it back down as a
USA/Europe - Canadian singer / songwriter The Weeknd is currently rocking plenty of style and enjoying success, critical acclaim, multiple awards and several hits from his chart-topping third studio album Starboy, propelling him a long way from his underground roots and early anonymous mixtapes uploaded to You Tube in 2010.
Lighting for 2017’s Starboy Legend of the Fall tour has been designed by Sooner Routhier who picked Robe Spikie moving lights together with BMFL Spots and WashBeams to be at the heart of the rig.
Sooner has worked with The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye) since 2012. She and design business partner Robert Long of SRae Productions were contacted by his creative directors Lamar C Taylor and Drop last year and asked to assist with this tour, which involved lighting an impressively beautiful flown sculpture created by production designer, Es Devlin.
Much of the vibe of the show is dark, saturated and moody, and with projection also being central to bringing the powerful scenic centrepiece alive, the task of show lighting started with several brain-teasing challenges.
Nashville based Sooner – known for her fresh and inventive approach – enjoys challenges and thinking out-of-the-box.
She worked closely with lighting director on the road / associate LD Darien Koop on programming and evolving this one, while SRae Productions’ technical director Matt Geasey coordinated practical and physical aspects like integrating lighting with the set building process for a tourable solution.
The 80ft wide by 120ft long triangul
Poland - Stadion Miejski, located in Łódź is the home stadium of football team Widzew Łódź, one of Poland’s best known football brands. Designed by architect Jacek Ferdzyn, Stadion Miejski is an entirely new construction with an all-seater capacity of 18,018. The design meets the requirements of UEFA Category 3 classification, with the option of adapting to higher categories if required.
The contract for design and installation of the stadium’s sound systems was awarded to Tommex Żebrowscy Sp. J. The first stage of the system's design was a detailed EASE acoustic simulation for loudspeaker selection and placement.
For Stadion Miejski, Tommex again chose Community’s R Series loudspeakers for their high power, intelligibility, controlled coverage and all-weather reliability. Flown from the roof canopy in a distributed configuration, Tommex achieved full coverage of the stadium’s four stands with 38 R.5-96MAX 12-inch high performance coaxial two-way loudspeakers. An additional two R.5HP compact voice-range optimized three-way loudspeakers were deployed to cover the playing pitch.
The system is operated from the commentator room, where a Behringer X32 digital console with Dante card controls all sound signals. Adjacent to the console is a PC with IRIS-Net software, customized for Stadion Miejski. This allows for continuous monitoring of all equipment, and adjustment of parameters for particular zones of the system. The commentator room equipment also includes CD/MP3 players, wireless microphone receivers, a digital feedback eliminator an
Russia - The Nashvill rock festival organized by NASHE Radio took place recently at the Trud Stadium in the Russian city of Nizhniy-Novgorod. The festival line-up included popular Russian rock bands and was attended by more than 5000 people.
The grey skies, relatively cold temperatures and rainy weather could not dampen the rock ’n’ roll spirit, and the main stage saw live-shows from legendary Russian bands, Mumiy Troll, Splean, Animal Jazz, Knyazz and Noize MC, performing their greatest hits through Martin Audio’s premium MLA PA system. The second, smaller stage was given to bands such as Magnitola, ХХХХХХХХХХ, Kimakima and Moona.
The Festival sound and lighting systems were supplied by locally based rental provider, Citysound. The choice of MLA for the main stage was clear – the top-rated bands required detailed and powerful sound throughout the festival grounds.
The PA design was based around main stage hangs featuring 11 MLA plus an MLD Downfill on each side, while 12 MLX subwoofers were placed in front of the stage and four W8LC were used as front-fills. The stage monitoring system consisted of 16 LE1500 monitors and four W8LM Mini Line Array elements plus a pair of WS218X subs per side as sidefills.
The ultimate sound balance and SPL’s achieved were clearly noted by the performing bands’ production teams. “Martin Audio MLA sounded really powerful and cool,” stated Yuri Smirnov, FOH engineer for Animal Jazz.
“What I really like about this festival is that it is a challenging one; we had several quite dem
USA - For a recent collaboration with the Cavalettes Dance Team in Austin, TX, Lake Travis High School students Max Dalton and Trenton Schoonmaker used High End Systems SolaSpot 2000s to take the group’s production Love to a new artistic level.
The technicians at the Lake Travis PAC are all students enrolled in the Technical Theatre program at Lake Travis High School, and are part of the LTHS Student Chapter of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology.
Lake Travis PAC managing director K.J. Bartosh comments: “We’ve worked hard over the last decade to transform our dance show from a very basic recital into a spectacular community event that adds a great deal of production value to the talent of our dancers, as well as to stretch the significant educational opportunities for our technical theatre students. The Cavalettes are a highly-decorated drill team, most recently showcased at Walt Disney World’s Waterside Stage, and this is the third year that automated lighting has been featured in the production.”
The SolaSpot 2000’s were hung midstage; Bartosh says from this position they were extremely versatile. “The 2000s were used mostly for their beam architecture, and to add texture and movement to the design. During the opening number, the fixtures served as the primary source of illumination for the performers on the trapeze. They were also used occasionally to highlight important solos.
“The SolaSpot 2000 fit in perfectly with the rest of our automated lighting rig—the output was far superior to the VL 3500, a
Canada - Ontario's Canada Day celebration at Queen's Park has been a tradition since 1967 and commemorates the formation of Canada as one country on 1 July 1867. The event draws audiences in their thousands, offering music and dance performances, roaming performers, games and children's activities.
This year, the festivities extended into the evening, with musical performances to celebrate Ontario and Canada's 150th anniversary. Bespoke Audio Visual was brought on board by the Ontario Provincial Government to provide all the audio/ visual/ lighting/ staging and technical support – site-wide – for the event, and with a bigger lighting package in use to illuminate the event into the evening, the company turned to BroadWeigh to supply load cell monitoring and logging for their rigging package.
Andrew Bernacki, production manager at Bespoke Audio Visual, explained: "With the event extended into the night, and therefore a bigger lighting package to suit, our initial risk assessment identified that while our existing offsite weather monitoring service does an excellent job in both forecasting and monitoring all types of weather threats, adding onsite wind speed measurement and logging would be crucial in executing the event to the highest safety standard.
“Also, with the increase in lighting fixtures in the main stage package, we calculated that several point loads approached the limits provided by the stage manufacturer."
He continued: "Having been introduced to Michael Sorowka of Paradigm Rigging, through his involvement with various event s
The Netherlands - The newly built and inaugurated Atlas Theatre in Emmen, Netherlands is a multifunctional performance space in the heart of the city and part of a 250m euro development.
In addition to the two Atlas auditoriums - with capacities of 822 and 300 – the complex also includes a full convention centre, catering outlets, offices and is an access point for the Wildlands Adventure Zoo - and Robe moving lights.
The plan to replace the old De Muzeval theatre in the city actually took around 40 years to come to realization for a complexity of reasons. The construction eventually commenced in 2014 and was finished in 2016, with its spectacular, gleamingly modern architectural style, the state-of-the-art facility opened in autumn of last year.
In the meantime, the technical specifications had been completed by acclaimed Amsterdam based theatre consultants Theateradvies, and the bid to supply lighting was won by Controllux.
Twenty-four moving lights were on that space, for which Controllux proposed 12 x Robe DL7S Profiles and 12 x BMFL Spots as the most practical and flexible premium-brand options for the theatre. The project was managed for them by Kuno van Velzen.
The construction company completing the build is also responsible for the building’s maintenance for the next 20 years, so reliability was key to choosing kit.
The technical team led by Koos Maris and including Nick Unij and Jan Honouwer – both also involved with the old theatre - were delighted with the choice of Robes.
The original plan was to have 24
Belgium - Thanks to its consistently impressive line-ups and extravagant productions, the five-year old Hype-O-Dream has already succeeded in making an indelible impact on the Belgium summer EDM festival calendar. With this year’s headliners including Lil John and Roger Sanchez raising the bar even higher this year, Creative Rental Solutions were tasked with providing bigger and better visuals then ever for the festival’s five stages.
To achieve this, Creative Rental Solutions incorporated a number of Chauvet Professional Maverick MK1 Hybrid, Maverick MK2 Spot, Rogue R2 Wash and Geyser RGB fixtures into the visual concepts of the Mirage Mainstage and the Flashback Stage.
To complement the Mirage Mainstage’s impressive 20m high Venetian carnival themed main stage, which incorporated three large video screens of eyes masked by traditional Venetian costume, Creative Rental Solutions positioned 10 Maverick MK1 Hybrid, 24 Rogue R2 Wash and 12 Maverick Spot fixtures to provide equally larger than life visuals.
“The Maverick Hybrid fixtures were our main choice of fixtures for their exceptional ability to produce fantastic spot and beam combinations – perfect for a one day festival such as Hype-O-Dream to give us a variety of looks to play with,” said Thomas Vandekerkhove of Creative Rental Solutions.
Because one of the main stage’s key production features was a holographic laser show, Creative Rental Solutions had the difficult job of specifying lighting which could compete with the impressive laser beams crisscrossing the main
USA - The Chelsea Music Festival has prided itself on the diversity of its programming as well as the spaces in which those performances take place. In its first eight seasons, it has presented events at more than 50 locations throughout Chelsea and the rest of Manhattan, from schools to parks to churches. Featuring musical styles running the gamut from classical to jazz as well as visual and culinary experiences to complement them, its crowd mirrors the diversity of its programming.
This year’s festival, which took place in June, utilised the remarkable St. Paul’s German Lutheran Church as the marquee location for its opening and closing weekend performances. Built in 1884-85 in the Romanesque Revivalist style, it is not only notable for its appearance but also for the acoustics of its main chapel. For the first time, live recording experts Jim Anderson and Ulrike Schwarz of Anderson Audio New York were on hand to capture every note performed there during the festival for delivery via Sennheiser’s immersive AMBEO 3D audio format.
The idea for a 3D capture of the performances germinated during last year’s festival, which Anderson and Schwarz had attended as guests. “We were very impressed with the level of musicianship at the festival, and when we heard that several performances would take place at St. Paul’s our interest was further piqued,” says Anderson. “This chapel was legendary in the 80s and 90s for serving as the location for many audiophile recordings of classical and jazz music.”
Anderson and Schwarz had also recently exp
USA - The Sinnissippi Music Shell at Sinnissippi Park in Rockford, Illinois is visually striking: a flaring overhead clamshell roof above a modernistic trapezoidal frame around the stage. These kinds of architectural statements, however, often come with challenges for venue sound, and this was no exception.
For this year’s Music In The Park series - which began on 7 June with the Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps and runs through 3 August with the Funk, Party and Dance Band, and hosts artists performing genres from rock to bluegrass to zydeco to everything in between - Clearwing Productions called on an L-Acoustics Kiva II design to provide a sound system that covers every seat and stands up to weather in a highly exposed location.
The system is made up of 10 Kiva II loudspeakers flown below three SB15m subs in a single centre-hung array, with two SB18m subs on the stage, all powered by three LA4X amplified controllers. That single hang is able to cover every set in the venue, plus grass sitting areas on the sides and at the top of the hill opposite the stage.
“Ideally, you’d always like to have a left-right stereo system, with a hang on either side of the stage, but it doesn’t always work out that way,” says Mik Moore, systems design engineer at Clearwing Productions, who began working at the Parnelli Award-winning sound-reinforcement provider when he was in college over 20 years ago. “At Sinnissippi Park, given the architecture and the load-bearing limits we faced with this kind of stage design, we had to work with just one line
UK - The Depeche Mode Global Spirit Tour is currently scheduled for over 90 dates in stadiums and large-scale venues around the world. It started in Sweden in May 2017 and will finish in Brazil in March 2018.
Front of House engineer Antony King is taking two Solid State Logic L500 Plus digital live consoles on the road with him, supplied by UK rental company Britannia Row Productions. "The SSL is the only serious choice out there," Says King, who auditioned several consoles before settling on the L500 for the tour. "With a company like SSL you're not taking risks. You want something that will work every day, sound good, and travel on the truck. So, SSL is the only choice, I think, at this point."
The band plays a mixture of material from both its 14th studio album, Spirit, and its legacy of 17 UK top ten albums and over 100m worldwide records sold. The set list also includes the Bowie track Heroes - reported to be the song that Dave Gahan was heard singing in a scout hut by founding member Vince Clarke, when he was asked to join the band. Original members Martin Gore, Dave Gahan, and Andy Fletcher are all in the show, along with touring members Christian Eigner (drums) and Peter Gordeno (Keyboards, bass, backing vocals).
The whole show uses nearly 100 inputs, with the biggest contribution to that being Eigner's drum kit, with about 30 channels all to itself. "There are a lot of drums," notes King. "Lots of toms, two kick drums, two snares, two hats, and cymbals everywhere."
Gordeno uses three keyboards, including a Moog for man
UK - When Prolyte received a request for help from a theatre in Scotland, with some doubts as to how to build their new truss structure in a safe way, they jumped to the task. Prolyte organized a one-day on-site training to make sure the technical staff of the company can use their truss safely and efficiently whatever the project.
“Hi there, this is Adam from Scottish Dance Theatre. We have just bought a batch of H30V truss. After using it a couple of times, we now want to use it to build a tower system. I wonder if I could ask some questions…”
This was part of the request that Prolyte received through it’s website in late June this year. The Prolyte team knew this request could not go unanswered and decided to offer the assistance Adam was asking for. Together with distributing partner A.C. Entertainment Technologies, they set out to make an appointment for a full training day as part of their Prolyte Campus initiative.
On 11 July, Eric Laanstra, product manager for Prolyte Structures and Paul Hadfield, distributor manager for Prolyte, met the guys and girls from Scottish Dance Theatre to assist them with a day of training.
Eric Laanstra commented: “We basically just took the team through the whole process of building their own grid. After a morning session to understand more of the technical principles of truss, we followed with a hands-on session, which was very useful to explain the principles of building and loading their structure in a safe way. It made the team more confident and now also more competent.”