Kait Hall lights Missy Higgins and Symphony Orchestras

Posted on Thursday, December 8th, 2016

November has been a busy month for Kait Hall, from Let There Be Light Designs, as she has toured Australia doing lights with Missy Higgins, Dan Sultan and Peter Garrett. Kait has worked with Missy for many years but this tour was a bit different as it featured Symphony Orchestras from around the country.

Kait created a stage design with striking images projected onto white voile strips that hang in front of an LED star cloth.  She used projection a few years ago that was quite complex but this time, with the orchestra being the main feature of the show, the content was much simpler. Kait used a lot of still images that were more about metaphors, mood and colour.

Trying to find an idea that would work in Sydney’s State Theatre, the Brisbane Convention Centre and the Plenary in Melbourne (plus outdoor shows in Perth and Adelaide) was difficult given each one is so inherently different in size and mood.

“At the State, the asymmetry of the stage and fly bars upstage is very narrow in the centre at the rear,” she explained.  “I was really trying to create something much grander for this show but the orchestra was so big they filled the entire stage from wall to wall which left no room for flying backdrops or traditional masking. Soon it occurred to me the only way the projector idea would work in this venue was to abandon the idea of hanging the backdrops from the fly bars and instead follow the line of the two rear brick walls with one 20K projector on each.”

Kait used a coolux Pandora’s box media server to run the content and mask around the orchestra which she operated via her grandMA2 console.

Lighting wise the primary consideration was ensuring a suitable playing atmosphere for the orchestras. The angles of lights, positions of hazers, sconce lights and projector spill all had to be considered to ensure everyone in the orchestra was happy. Only about half the show features the orchestra but the songs are equally interspersed throughout the set so the lights are used to isolate the different areas of the orchestra and band when they are not playing.

Kait chose to use ten Martin MAC Viper Profiles for her gobo options and fifteen MAC 700’s for specials.

“MAC Vipers tend to be my first pick for gobos these days but for front light on people the MAC 700’s are fine,” she said. “In Melbourne, all the MAC 700’s were swapped out for MAC Quantum Profiles. Twenty MAC Quantum Wash and five Claypaky B-Eye K20 were used for front and back wash on the band and orchestra. Initially I had requested all K20’s because I like having the option of eye candy for a few songs. I hadn’t used the MAC Quantum Wash before but they were actually perfect for the job. I like the fact you can isolate the rings to break up the look too.”

For beams Kait chose to use ten Claypaky Alpha Beams because colour mixing was important for this show and her first preference of Mythos were not available. Resolution X provided the gear in the eastern states with Eve Conroy looking after the system.

“Res X really prep and package their systems well so as a designer I always feel really comfortable with their gear,” concluded Kait.

Photos: Troy Constable