London, UK - An Avolites Arena lighting console was used to program and operate the striking lighting design for producer and singer-songwriter Tom Misch at his outdoor headline show at the Summer Series music festival held at Somerset House, London.
The annual festival took place between 6 and 16 of July in the courtyard of the iconic Neoclassical building on the Thames. 2017 marked Misch's Summer Series debut, joining other British and international festival headliner stars including Norah Jones, Goldfrapp and Damian 'Jr. Gong' Marley.
Misch's lighting designer John Partridge (JP) has been working with the British-born artist since July 2017, and the Somerset House show marked the design's first live showcase. For Misch's current tour, JP has created for the artist a pared-back design, aiming for a 'strong and purposeful' aesthetic.
"The lighting design for Tom is centred around a single, bold focal point on stage, with the rest of the lighting blending into the background," says JP. "A row of 10 GLP X4 Bar 20s, raised behind Tom, accent the show with a striking horizontal line of light that emanates from behind the band. This gives a bold impact and centre point to the overall design."
Fellow lighting designer Tom Campbell assisted JP in programming and operating an adapted version of the design for the Somerset House set. The designers utilised an Avolites Arena console, one of the two house consoles provided by the venue to visiting lighting designers.
"John had a really clear idea of the look he wanted for the show," says Campbell. "The X4s provided us with a near-solid wall of light that we could run effects and colours across using the control features of the Arena console."The Arena was loaded with Avolites' latest on-board control software, Titan v10.1, complete with features such as BPM Sync, Scene Master and new updates to the pioneering control feature, Keyframe Shapes.
"During the programming stage I relied heavily on v10.1's Keyframe Shapes and Palettes," continues Campbell. "I could change the intensity, colour and zoom effects of the stage's lighting fixtures using the console's two touchscreens. This allowed for a faster, more intuitive workflow between John and myself."
The Keyframe Shapes feature offers tools such as transition curves, phases and spatial direction to build a visual, interactive control platform to aid lighting designers with programming. "During the show we also brought in some on-the-fly control," explains Campbell. "The Arena has a large number of faders. We pre-programmed these with some mole/blinder chases and fixture stabs. The faders are amazing for using as back-up on top of pre-programmed cue stacks."
The Avolites Arena is the British brand's latest large-scale console and provides over 40 precision playback faders in three pageable groups. Control is further delivered through 20 programmable macro executor buttons and three optical attribute encoders.
"One of the first consoles I used was an Avolites Azure with Graphics tablet," concludes JP. "Avolites have so many years' experience in rock and roll, I know that any of their consoles is going to get the job done."