Colour Sound Experiment supplied a lighting and video floor package for the latest run of live shows by talented music producer Bonobo (Simon Green), with a new lighting look for the stage designed by Will Thomas.
The tour is in support of Bonobo’s recent UK Top 5 album, Migration, released in January on independent label Ninja Tune Records. Will Thomas has previously worked on Bonobo’s extensive Black Sands and The North Borders tours, which culminated at the end of 2014 with a sell-out show at London’s Alexandra Palace.
Will has produced an energising and refreshing show to match the vibe of the music of Migration and its transitory themes. A major starting point for this was the visual material commissioned by Bonobo and produced by Strangeloop from LA, who also created the screen design which brought an architectural presence to the stage.
It was largely left to the ingenuity of Will and technician / rigger James Hind – with support from others at Colour Sound.
Enjoying a great working relationship with Colour Sound, Will and James started building structures in the warehouse and experimenting with different ideas for five individually supported LED screens.
The route they chose utilised six Guil Engineering UKL 800 XL tower lifts which were rigged with assorted trussing pieces to which the screens were then attached. These lifts are like a modern version of the classic rock ‘n’ roll Genie superlift . . . and were supplied, brand spanking new, by Neg Earth.
The screen was Colour Sound’s proprietary BT-6 LED, and the centre of the five screens was supported by two lifts.
Lighting had to fit in between the screens and not impose on the shape, so Will’s design was based on six vertical Litec QX30 towers, hinged for quick erection, standing on X-Bases. The centre pair were 4.5 metres high, the next were 4 metres and the outside pair were 3.5 metres, with the lights sitting a little bit higher when attached.
The workhorse fixtures of the design – programmed to maximise the stage space and enhance the idea of shape and form – were Chauvet Rogue R2 LED washes.
Of 21 x R2s in total, two were rigged to each tower, complimented by five on the floor and two a side on Manfrotto stands downstage, used for all the keying and maintaining an essential subtlety to the lighting.
Also on the towers was a 2-cell blinder, with another six on the floor, then six Robe Pointes positioned upstage on the deck for effects and aerial work.
Spread around the towers and on the side Manfrotto stands were 19 Chauvet Rogue 1 FX-Bs – newly purchased by Colour Sound.
Will ran lighting from a ChamSys MQ500 console – one of two also newly purchased by Colour Sound – which he thinks is “excellent”.
The video was run via a Resolume system side-stage, which fed it straight to the screens, but Will had control over the intensity via ArtNet.
Commenting generally on working with Colour Sound, Will comments says: “They are an excellent company with great people. Having space in the warehouse to set up and experiment – as well as great feedback from others around – was invaluable to getting this working smoothly on the road.”