48 LED CYCLORAMA LIGHTS FOR TOUR’S GIANT VISUAL BACKDROP
Jean Michel Jarre’s current European tour, designed for a minimalistic look with Jarre and his three accompanying musicians performing in front of a giant 30 x 9 metre cyclorama, features ADB Lighting’s new ALC4 LED cyclorama light as its principal visual element, along with a relatively small number of moving lights and, of course, a spectacular laser show.
The Frenchman’s outdoor spectaculars are legendary for their unique scale and ambition in combining music and light. So when it came to designing an international arena tour, powerful visual ingredients were called for.
The 2 1/4 hour show, which has recently played the UK before moving on to northern Europe, was created by lighting designer Ignace D’Haese of Arf&Yes in close collaboration with Jean Michel Jarre himself. D’Haese comments: “Jean Michel wanted to achieve the most complete and total way of thinking with these shows. The idea has always been doing outdoor spectacles, always huge one-offs, so there wasn’t really a history of doing this kind of thing on tour.”
D’Haese continues: “We started with a really minimalist idea, keeping the stage as simple as possible and using all the instruments, all the keyboards, as the scenery, with Jean Michel and his three accompanying musicians as the key elements of the show, which is completely performed live.
“Of the main elements, the cyclorama is a very important issue, and it had to be as big as possible in each venue. So we mostly set it up at 30 x 9m, and it’s great to have the contrast between the cyc horizon and the few band members – that pure rectangle to silhouette the band – and I especially like the ADB ALC4; it was fabulous, there were things with it that we just couldn’t do before.
” The cyclorama is both backlit by an array of 48 ADB ALC4 units – 24 at the top, 24 at ground level – and back-projected with video.
”He explains: “I was looking for a cyclo light for quite a while which was better than a normal cyclo light. I’d used ADB’s regular cycloramas before, which were really brilliant, good quality, a great reflector, one of the best. But on tour, especially when they have to form an important piece of the set, we needed a large quantity of cyclo lights and of course that means a lot of power and it’s tricky to choose the right filters to achieve the colours we wanted.
It worked really, really well. ”The ALC4, launched in late 2009, is an energy-efficient dimmerless fixture that delivers the equivalent of 1250W of halogen power for 160W, featuring a 1 million-color palette via DMX, including seven white presets.
An internal colour-feedback system ensures precise and consistent colour output from the Lexel LED module, with colours combined in a mixing chamber to eliminate coloured shadows or separately visible colours.
The cyclorama is complemented by a rig of moving lights, stage-front LED moving heads and lasers which drop in and out of sight on motorised hoists. All lighting is supplied by EML Productions, whose crew was headed by lighting crew chief Vincent Ex and lighting operator Olivier Demoustier.