Europe - Grammy award winning singer/songwriter The Weeknd kicks off his 2017 world tour this month in Stockholm, with concert dates scheduled through July in Europe and the Americas. The dynamic stage design boldly features 88 new Solaris Flare Q+ LR linear fixtures.
“The Flare LRs are lining trusses inside the flown structure,” explains lighting designer, Sooner Routhier. “They are very bright and create a smooth linear light effect that you can’t get out of most LED strips. We were looking to line the trusses in a smooth field of light that could give us some beautiful modern looks. The Flare LRs are the perfect choice for this tour and we’re very happy with the results.”
Sooner continues, “In addition, the Flare LR linear fixtures have all the features of the original Flare, which we’ve used for a very long time on The Weeknd and several other designs. I absolutely love running content through Flares. There are ethereal sounds in some of The Weeknd’s tracks that lend themselves perfectly to the effect created when slow moving video content is pushed through the LED engine. I also love using Flares as a powerful wash light behind a band. They create a beautiful, even field of colour and do an incredible job of lighting the air in a hazy room.”
Sooner Routhier, Parnelli 2015 lighting designer of the Year, is co-owner of SRae Productions, with partner Robert Long. She’s worked as a lighting designer and director for many shows in modern dance, theatre, and concert touring. In addition to The Weeknd, she’s worked with Rage A
China - For Ocean Park, staying at the top of Hong Kong’s hotly-contested amusement park market means luring audiences with ever more thrilling attractions. Running up to five times per day from mid-December 2016 to mid-February 2017 in the park’s Applause Pavilion, this holiday season’s major event was the Cyber Illusion Spectacular.
Built around the visual excitement of magicians, illusionists, aerialists, quick-change artists, acrobats, dancers and a master fan manipulator, this 30-minute, energy-charged, attack on the senses was performed on a constantly-changing stage, featuring striking visuals from LED panels, moving lights, pyrotechnics and atmospheric effects.
The primary scenic element for the show was an impressive 8m x 15m (26ft x 50ft) wall of 8.0mm LED panels, complete with sliding sections in the centre for fast scene change access. Additional irregular panels of 3.0mm LED flanked the stage to provide an immersive video environment.
It was Hong Kong-based Cosmo Pro AV who supplied, installed, configured and programmed the complete video system, including LED wall panels and the AV Stumpfl technology to drive them.
Given the short and intense production period and the tight integration of the video content with the performance, in particular where some acts were interacting directly with the images, it was critical that the video content could be swiftly adjusted during rehearsals.
Cosmo Pro AV’s Jason Yeung, CTS, selected AV Stumpfl’s WingsVIOSO system to control the production’s video content. “It’s an e
UK - Lighting designer Andy Webb seized a recent pantomime production of Aladdin staged at the Grand Theatre in Blackpool as the opportunity to design an all-LED moving and specials lighting rig which was all Robe.
Andy had been working on an LED lighting concept for the last two pantomime seasons with an increasing percentage of the rig becoming LED, and this year he felt the time was right to make a complete switch to LED moving lights and specials.
“Robe currently has an excellent selection of LED products which are suitable for any theatre or performance show,” he commented, after making Robe’s DL4 series, LEDWash 600s and Spikie moving lights plus their PARFect 100s central to this design.
The demands of panto are quite specific. Lighting has to be colourful and psychedelic to mimic the outlandish fantasy sequences at the core of the genre, and everything has to be mega-fast to keep pace with the onstage action, snappy dialogue, not to mention the endless one-liners and constant innuendo.
Given all that, Andy also decided to take an aesthetic departure this year in making the show darker, edgier and altogether more sinister. “I wanted to really ramp up the contrasts between the evil environments like Abanazer’s Cave and the bubble-gum pop-tastic full cast scenes,” he explained.
Eight out of the 10 Robe DL4S Profiles were rigged on LX bars 1 and 2, with the other two on the FOH balcony position for front gobo coverage and texturing the numerous cloth drops, a job at which they excelled in the Grand, which was desi
Vietnam - Three Vietnamese houses of worship have recently installed a Qu-16 digital rackmount mixer from Allen & Heath to manage all of their audio requirements.
The Vietnam Quoc Tu national pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City, and Long Toan and Long Dien churches in Ba Ria, Vung Tau province, all required a new compact digital mixer as part of an audio upgrade. Specified by installation company, Nguyen Vinh Hoang, the Qu mixers manage all of the audio sources for the venues’ services and ceremonies.
“All houses of worship installation projects require an audio system offering premium sound quality for speech intelligibility,” explains Mr. Khuong, technician at Nguyen Vinh Hoang. “The Qu series is renowned for easy and precise audio control, and also has the added benefit of a comprehensive suite of FX to manage the challenging acoustics of the building. All of the venues are very happy with their new sound systems.”
Germany - For the long-awaited inauguration of the Elbphilharmonie concert hall located on the harbour-side in Hamburg, a massive light and video setup was installed. It all culminated with a spectacular show in the evening of 11 January. As a crucial part of this show, no less than 500 P-5 and P-2 wash lights from SGM were applied.
Hamburg’s new concert hall is one of the largest and most acoustically advanced in the world. It is popularly nicknamed Elphi. The 108m tall building consists of two sections. The new glassy construction resembles a hoisted sail, water wave or quartz crystal, which is constructed on top of an old warehouse building. A terrace placed in middle, ties the new and the old sections together. This is where most of the P-5s were installed. Additionally, all balconies on the upper part were also equipped with P-5s.
The overall concept was thought-out by the global agency, Jung von Matt. Their task was to visualise the concert taking place inside the opera house on the outside of the building in real-time. Jerry Appelt was the lighting designer who ensured that the light was synchronized with the music and video content displayed on the bottom part of the building.
All lighting was supplied by PRG and their account manager for the event, Michael Casper, explains why they chose to apply P-5s over other wash lights for this event: "They are water resistant, bright and reliable – that's why we have a lot of them. They absolutely live up to all our expectations. The role of the P-5s was to bathe the new part of the building in
UK - Any major refurbishments on cruise liners are best done when the ship is in dry dock to minimise passenger disturbance. However, when Fred Olsen decided to upgrade the stage lighting in the Neptune Lounge on board MS Braemar a more unconventional option was taken. Hastings UK-based EW Production Services Ltd. was able to make the upgrade during a fully booked cruise to minimise costs and expedite the process (dry dock opportunities are often two-three years apart).
To fit the requirements of the Neptune Lounge and the stringent install conditions, EWPSL specified six Chauvet Professional Rogue R1 Spots, four Rogue R1 Washes, two COLORdash Batten Quad 6s and 12 COLORdash Par-Hex 7 fixtures. EWPSL worked alongside the crew on MS Braemar to make good use of the lounge overnight, on port days and at other times when not in use by passengers.
“The beauty of the Chauvet install was that having previously prepared all the cable runs, we could perform the fixture swap out overnight when the ship docked at port, thus saving all parties time, money and effort,” said Paul Byrne, operations manager at EWPSL. “This is a testament to the light weight and ease of install of the Chauvet fixtures.”
Given the multiple roles filled by the Neptune Lounge – which functions as a conference room and activity centre by day and theatre venue in the evening – it was essential that the new lighting system offered maximum flexibility. “We require a fantastic all round level of performance for both day and evening programmes from any fixture we installed,”
USA - For Ghost’s North American Popestar tour, lighting designer Christian Wienberg Bonde specified 11 High End Systems SolaSpot Pro 2000 fixtures as the floor lighting package.
Operated by lighting director Mike Holm and supplied through Gemini Lighting Sound Video, the SolaSpots serve as powerful workhorses, providing massive looks and amazing special effects lighting to the band’s high energy live performances.
Bonde says, “We’ve been touring since 2014 and have had the opportunity to use many different fixtures, including a variety of LED instruments. The SolaSpots fit perfectly in our fixture sets. In this design we always have a line of floor fixtures, as a wash from the back, so we place 11 SolaSpots on the ground.
“This design requires a big, powerful fixture, and we surely got that in the SolaSpots. We like their LED colours, because we get a little more out of the dark colours compared to metal halide sources. We use them in all songs in the set.
The designer originally specified the SolaSpots while Ghost was touring in Europe. “Victory, the Danish rental company used by Ghost in Europe, performed a shoot-out with fixtures from all major manufacturers. Among all the great fixtures we tested, the SolaSpots came out on top.”
Germany - Described as ‘in the daytime a modern convention and congress centre, in the evening a classy concert and event location’, Eurogress Aachen is a major multi-space venue in Germany’s westernmost city. The installation of a pair of Yamaha CL5 digital mixing consoles has brought the mixing facilities in its main halls right up to date.
Eurogress Aachen’s many spaces range in size from the Europa, Berlin and Brüssel halls (which accommodate up to 1700, 650 and 430 people respectively) to a number of rooms of varying smaller sizes. For the past 13 years, the Europa and Brüssel halls have each featured a Yamaha DM2000 digital console with AD824 and DA824 I/O units, but the recent installation of a CL5 console with Rio3224-D in each hall by Köln-based Teqsas GmbH has upgraded the facilities.
A DME24N digital mixing engine was already in use as a central matrix, managing the network of analogue feeds between the various spaces. This was fitted with a Dante-MY16-AUD interface card, allowing seamless integration of the Dante network for the new consoles and R-series units into the existing infrastructure.
“The Eurogress sound engineers were comfortable with the DM2000 and so, when they compared the current consoles from several different manufacturers, they preferred the Yamaha CL series,” says Teqsas technical director Rainer Laschet.
“They found the CL5 easy to transfer to and were very impressed by the ease of use, the flexibility and the neutral sound. For them the Dan Dugan automixing functionality is particularly useful
Cyprus - Audio specialists tube UK designed sound for a dazzling Opening Ceremony to mark the start of the ancient and mythical city of Pafos, Cyprus’s year as joint European Capital of Culture for 2017 (together with Aarhus in Denmark).
Working for Pafos2017, tube was recommended for the project by Liz Pugh from outdoor arts specialists Walk the Plank, producers of the main Opening Ceremony (OC) show in central Pafos together with a team of Cypriot creatives and artists.
A special soundtrack for the show was written by Pafos-born international composer and music director Christina Athinodorou, who combined classical and electronic elements into the intricate soundscape.
tube’s Melvyn Coote took up the challenge of delivering sound for a cast of hundreds and an enthusiastic audience of around 12,000 who packed into the 28 October Square in central Pafos to enjoy the occasion which was also broadcast live by national TV network, Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CYBC).
He liaised with a number of locally based audio suppliers and compiled a control specification which was sourced from tube’s rental stock in Manchester, UK.
The project involved three site visits by Melvyn to scope out the location for the spectacular mixed-media show.
It’s arguably the largest integrated live show seen on the island, which from a sonic angle involved a lot of organising and communication “to amalgamate kit from around seven different companies, who are all geared up to provide a good system for about one medium sized live show - which is the
Turkmenistan - Polimeks inşaat ve Sanayi A.Ş. is a Turkish construction company based in Istanbul that primarily operates in Turkmenistan, Turkey, Russia and Kazakhstan. According to the American magazine Engineering News Record Polimeks occupies 59th place in the ranking of 225 largest international contractors.
For their recent New Year Show in the Turkmenistan Ice Hockey Arena in Ashgabat, lighting designer and programmer Umut Yurtseven, who is just 16 years old, used one grandMA2 full-size, one grandMA2 light and one MA NPU (Network Processing Unit), controlling dozens of moving lights including 46 x Claypaky Sharpy, 24 x Claypaky Alpha Spot HPE 1200 and 24 x Clay Paky Alpha Wash 1200.
“In my opinion MA Lighting manufactures the best lighting control solutions in the industry”, stated Yurtseven. “The continuous development of the software is just great as we, the users, can evolve our shows further and further and let our imagination run free. It gives me the power but also the possibilities to create the shows I want to create. Over the years I’ve become pretty familiar with MA’s products – I started using the grandMA2 onPC software when I was nine years old so you can say I grew up with the system.”
Serdar Özgür worked as operator. Phantom Event Engineering provided the lighting equipment. SF SES VE Isik Sistemleri A.S. is MA Lighting’s exclusive distributor in Turkey.
UK - Dan Ridd and Steven Haynes of Clearsound Productions in Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire, positioned eight Robe MegaPointes on the roof of their warehouse –and beamed them around the town and up into the night sky, creating a special piece of light art to connect the local community and show support for the efforts of frontline and essential workers and the National Health Service (NHS).
The action was inspired by the now weekly Clap For Carers initiative (started in the UK by Annemarie Plas) which united millions across the country who appeared in windows and doorways clapping and rattling or thumping percussive objects, the first of which had happened at 8.00 p.m. on the previous Thursday.
Dan participated in this and realised just how much you can actually hear. This prompted him and Steve to think about what you might be able to see, coupled with the magical effect that the medium of light can have in unifying people and environments.
Taking advantage of the warehouse being on one of Shipston’s highest spots, the following night – carefully observing the social distancing rules – the pair experimented with a couple of different fixtures positioned on the warehouse roof, and hit on MegaPointe as the fixture to shine bright and slice through the darkness.
They then engaged in some industrious social media posting on the Saturday telling people in the area to watch the sky at 8.30 on the Sunday evening for a nice surprise, which generated a buzz of interaction even before the impromptu installation started.