Rage, rage against the dying of the light
Posted on Thursday, December 17th, 2015
The Light is a sculpture by Canadian artist Sarah Beck that honours the final days of the tungsten lamp.
This excerpt from Sarah’s blog talks about her reason for making the work.
As of 2015 the light bulb as we know it, will no longer be produced in North America. While this marks an advance in environmental responsibility, it also marks the death of a technology that changed the world.
The light bulb ushered in a new era with an impact was so great that it came to symbolize a bright idea. As this technology fades into the past, The Light is an epitaph that invites contemplation of change, hope, passage and death.
“Rage, rage against the dying of the light” is a line from a poem by Dylan Thomas titled “Do not go gentle into that good night”. The poem was written by Thomas in 1952 to examine the death of his father. A year later he himself would be dead, at the age of 39, from his own hard living tendencies.
The Light is currently on display at Jubilee Plaza in Fort McMurray Alberta until all 360 tungsten bulbs die near the end of 2015. The lights will twinkle out at staggered rates, some holding on longer and some snuffed out early. The work invites contemplation of the inevitability of the viewer’s mortality. To resist change is as futile as the fight against death. On the contrary, lights represent hope and ideas, allowing viewers to bring layered meaning into their contemplation of the work. Because the piece is time based, it is likely be different each time it is experienced.
Sarah’s Blog: sarahbeck.com
SolaSpot Pro CMYs perform their Civic duty in Townsville
Posted on Thursday, December 10th, 2015
Seating a respectable 967 people in Lyric mode, Townville’s hardworking Civic Theatre has been catering to touring companies and local groups since 1978. At the end of 2015, senior lighting technician Nate Leslie is busy with a full schedule of dance recitals, end-of-year presentations and Christmas concerts. Always a busy time of year, 2015 has been made a little easier by his lighting rigs recent expansion to include eight units of High End System’s SolaSpot Pro CMY.
The SolaSpot Pro CMY is the perfect LED fixture to integrate with an existing rig. Producing 13,000 lumens from a 320 watt LED source, the SolaSpot PRO CMY also includes Linear CTO, two gobo wheels, a fixed colour wheel, incredibly quick zoom and focus, a prism, iris and high quality frost. “What prompted me to look at the SolaSpot PRO CMY was how brilliant they are for theatre,” Nate explained. “So many other fixtures in the same range don’t offer nice variable colour correction and don’t have a quality frost. The Pro CMYs are stunning in their intensity. They can match to a conventional halogen rig and give us that quality we need in theatre lighting, even with an LED engine.”
Assisting Nate with his choice, facilitating the sale and providing local service was Graeme Hicks of Entertainment Production Supplies. “Nate had some existing fixtures that were starting to fail, and I thought the SolaSpot PRO CMY would suit the Civic Theatre well,” Graeme related. “It’s bright and punchy, running costs are minimal, and the LEDs and optics are very good. When used as a profile, you don’t get multi-coloured shadows. The whites are white and the colours are great.”
Matching whites and dimming curves with existing equipment was important to Nate, as it would be to any LD in theatre. “The SolaSpot PRO CMYs are matching against ETC Sources Fours and old Strand fresnels. We have an eclectic conventional rig, and the clean white has been amazing for texturing on stage and on cyc.” High End also hit their mark with another theatre must; quiet operation. “They are so quiet!” agreed Nate. “They’re quieter than my LED pars! I’ve had people stand next to them and ask to turn them on when they were already operating.”
Nate’s work involves quick decisions and fast creation of looks onstage. “The bulk of our shows are speed plotted, with a rehearsal in the morning and a show at night, or live busking, and the SolaSpot PRO CMYs have been fantastic for all of that,” he continued. “From band concerts to orchestras and school awards nights, they’ve outdone themselves. I’ve lit up a choir of forty with four PRO CMYs and created a look that I used to use 20 movers and conventionals to do. The efficiency is amazing. Also, an added bonus for us has been that, despite being a reasonably large and heavy fixture, their movement is quite smooth. We don’t get as much swing on a bar when they do a big sweep.”
Nate is confident in the back-up that he can rely on from both High End Systems distributor Lexair Entertainment and Entertainment Production Supplies. “Lexair are good, reliable and reputable,” recommended Nate. “They’re always quick to respond to requests, and they know their stuff. It’s always a pleasure to have Lexair and Entertainment Production Supplies visit us on their road trips, and they’re now helping us as we plan upgrades to our house lighting as well.”
MA, Martin and Clay Paky star at the Event Centre
Posted on Tuesday, December 8th, 2015
The Star Event Centre in Sydney has taken delivery of some extra special lighting just in time for the busy summer period. An MA Lighting MA2 full size, twelve Clay Paky Sharpy Wash PC, six Martin MAC Viper Performers and six MAC Viper Profiles have given the venue new possibilities.
The venue already housed an MA ultra-light console which was initially specified for low grade events with the belief that larger scale concerts would come with their own console.
“We soon realized that most of the work we were doing was of a high grade and we were constantly hiring in an MA full size,” commented Bruce Dwyer, Head of Lighting. “It made sense to purchase our own especially as the MA is the most popular console on the touring circuit. Plus our network infrastructure is all MA so it made sense.”
Bruce and all of his operators love their new MA2 full size which frees them from the limitations of the MA ultra-light.
“The MA ultra-light was fine for small shows but once you need to organize a large amount of elements to be activated at various times, it gets very difficult when you don’t have those buttons,” said Bruce. “I like that it’s all contained and you don’t need to have outboard monitors, plus you have triggers for everything that you need and all the parametres that you need.”
On choosing Martin MAC Vipers, Bruce remarks that he believes them to be the most stable, state of the art option on the market.
“I’ve worked with Martin products before and they are very reliable,” he said. “The build quality on the Vipers is extraordinary and their light source is beautiful. Finally I have an output level that matches my room. The gobos are good which means I can produce some really nice looks and they are reliable day in and day out.”
Bruce commented that he particularly likes the Sharpy Wash PC’s capacity to colour mix which allows him to transition from one look to another nice and gently.
“I decided on these fixtures for their colour mixing as well as their look for corporate work. Plus we have an LED wall which can make the entire lighting rig disappear as it is so bright and the Sharpy Wash PC’s cope very well with that.
“In my opinion, Show Technology are the best supplier and in terms of after sales support they rock. No one else in Australia matches them.”
Photos: The Queen Extravaganza show by Troy Constable.
Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL Club upgrades with Martin and MA
Posted on Thursday, December 3rd, 2015
The Starlight Room at Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL Club is the clubs showpiece venue for large functions and entertainment. This popular space recently had an upgrade of lighting equipment including eight Martin MAC Aura, eight Martin RUSH MH1 Profile Plus and a MA Lighting MA2 light to add to the existing six MAC250 Entours already in the room.
Michael Burton, lighting and technical director at the club, specified the MAC Auras for their gorgeous aura effect, brightness and the colours they produce.
“I’m very impressed by the brightness of the RUSH MH1 Profile Plus and they compete with the Auras quite nicely,” added Michael. “Their price is very attractive too.”
The MA2 light was chosen simply because it’s the industry standard in Australia, a console all visiting operators know how to use.
Barbizon Australia supplied the club with new lighting equipment and Michael notes that Paul Lewis was an invaluable help when it came to the design and install.
Astor Theatre refits with Martin, Clay Paky and ShowPro
Posted on Wednesday, November 25th, 2015
Tim’s company recently redesigned and installed a new lighting system into the venue including eight Martin RUSH MH1 super bright LED profile moving heads.
“I am so impressed by the RUSH MH1 and they are perfect for this install,” he remarked. “We put them up against the MAC700 and they were an easy 20% brighter. The gobos are sharper, the colours are sharper …. they are amazing.”
ShowPro product in the rig include six Quad 18, four Quad 18 Tour Pro and four LED Profile 15/30s, the latter described as ‘the most magic thing ever’ by Tim.
“I’ve had lighting designers come through who think they know everything and I turn on the LED Profiles for half an hour, then walk up and physically remove the iris with my fingers and they’re like ‘dude!” laughed Tim. “They are lovely and warm, you cannot tell the difference to non-LED model. I’ve been doing this work for 35 years and if you can pick the difference, I’ll give you $500.”
A couple of Clay Paky Stormy Strobes have been added to the venue and again Tim is very impressed.
“It’s great to be able to easily pick any colour I want and they are so silent,” he added. “There’s no tick-tick-tick through any of the amplifiers. Actually, the whole rig is silent. There are no cooling fans kicking in during intimate moments in the shows.”
As well as their noiseless operation, Tim is a great fan of the eco-friendliness of LED products and the fact that they produce no heat to compete with the air conditioning.
“The supply from the Show Technology team in Perth has been seamless and I’m sure the backup will be great too,” he concluded.
Martin, Robert Juliat and ShowPro for GYC
Posted on Friday, November 20th, 2015
Tasmania’s Guilford Young College recently opened their Don Bosco Creative Arts Centre, a 600-seat proscenium arch theatre with full fly tower capabilities. Hobart’s Alive Technology supplied the venue with 40 x Martin RUSH Par2 RGBW Zoom, 15 x ShowPro LED Cyc RGBAW and 2 x Robert Juliat Topaze followspots.
Matt Andrewartha, Arts Technician at Guilford Young College, explained why they chose the Martin RUSH Par2 zoom fixtures.
“We wanted a fixture that could provide colour wash but also have a zoom. As it is a RGBW fixture we can get pretty much any colour wash we need out of them to augment the small amount of tungsten we have in the rig.”
The RUSH PAR 2 RGBW Zoom is a bright single-lens LED PAR Can with fully premixed colour from 12 RGBW LEDs and a spectacular 10 – 60 ° zoom. It offers electronic dimming and strobe and comes with a flexible bracket for floor or truss mounting.
Matt reports that the RUSH Par2’s have performed spectacularly well and that the students have absolutely no issues whatsoever controlling them. In fact, they do everything that is asked of them!
The ShowPro LED Cyc fixtures were chosen for their low heat emission and ease of colour mixing that the LEDs offer. Using RGBWA LED chips complete with amber depth control, means that this unit is suitable for real world use. Complete with individual LED electronic dimming, stand alone or in built programs as well as being DMX controllable, means this unit is suitable for every level of the pro-lighting industry.
When it came to the followspots, Matt wanted the best and knew that would be Robert Juliat. Still, he looked at some other manufacturers’ offerings but nothing could beat the Topaze for this application.
“It really suits the space and the students can easily operate them with minimal instruction,” commented Matt. “They have a lot of fun with them and it’s great that we are able to teach them with the best the industry has to offer is a big positive for us.”
Topaze 1200 MSD followspots combine a powerful output within an economical package, both in initial expenditure and running costs. Topaze use a long lamp life and the full range of features on these units brings Robert Juliat quality within reach of all budgets.
MA dot2 core for The Glasshouse
Posted on Tuesday, November 17th, 2015
Launched this month, The Glasshouse combines sophisticated design with panoramic windows and vast 3.8 metre ceilings, whilst offering a choice of magnificent function areas to take full advantage of the stunning views across the Yarra River and surrounds.
Boasting interior design by the world renowned Hecker Guthrie Studio with beautiful finishes and fixtures, and the latest in audio visual technology, The Glasshouse is the perfect venue for sophisticated soirees, weddings, conferences, parties, meetings and presentations.
Harry the hirer look after the audio visual requirements for this stunning new venue and they chose an MA dot2 core console as the venue’s lighting console.
The dot2 core is a compact lighting console designed for small to medium sized productions up to 4,096 control channels. The dot2 core is the heart of the dot2 range and includes the full programming section, master playback section, 6 fader playbacks and 12 individual playback buttons. Two built in touch screens and support for one external touch screen ensure the dot2 core has the flexible hardware required for almost any kind of show.
The dot2 range will feel very familiar to anyone that has used MA in the past, but with its intuitive interface, should be easy for most operators to program.
“It’s ideal for this venue because we have quite a few operators come through here who are really audio or video based, and hence are very new to lighting,” commented Terry Lowe, Harry’s production manager at the venue. “The dot2 core is an excellent way to learn about lighting control as it offers helpful hints, patch & go and basically guides them through. This way they learn on the smaller MA console and when they move onto our bigger venues, they can easily use our full size MA consoles. It’s a really good introduction to the platform and is really quite simple to learn.”
Intuitive operation is the core of the dot2 philosophy and with a comprehensive set of connectivity hardware on all console models, the dot2 provides onboard Help and Direct Hints to guide a new user to operate the console to its full potential.
“I like that when you are patching, it highlights green showing you all the multiple universes as well as what is full and what hasn’t been filled up,” remarked Terry. “I also like that it comes up with the label straightaway – when you save or store something it says to label an object which is a good reminder to people who are learning.”
The venue houses ten trusses, each of which has an individual patch point which comes down to a data splitter so that multiple universes can be attained.
“We have a standard rig in the venue which we supplement for bigger events,” said Terry. “We use the multiple universes on the back of the dot2 core; two for the house rig and the other two for additional gear. It’s a nice, tidy little rig. We’ve been using the dot2 core for the past month and there hasn’t been one issue with it.”