Colour Sound flows with Tash Sultana
Colour Sound flows with Tash Sultana
Colour Sound Experiment – working via production company Bigabox – supplied lighting, video and rigging equipment plus crew to the recent Tash Sultana UK and European tour. The talented Australian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist – who can play 20 instruments – is wowing fans worldwide with debut album ‘Flow State’ and enigmatic one-person show.
Detroit based lighting designer Cam Anderson started working with Tash at the end of 2017 during a US tour, and evolved the current stage design with the artist to compliment the performance and style. It includes a distinctive flown triangular truss upstage, together with a series of staggered video panels behind the centre-stage position which bring structure and form to the performance space.
These elements were crafted working closely with Tash and her international production crew. The resulting set is highly visual, and the rig can be up / down-scaled to deal with venues up to 6000 capacity … and still fit expediently in one truck!
Cam then added wing trusses to reinforce the triangular shape, together with two side trusses on stage left and right. When it came to populating the trusses with lighting units, he needed fixtures and positions to cover all eventualities, from intimate moments to ripping guitar solos and other dramatic and dynamic peaks, and “an arsenal of eye candy” to amaze the audience without taking the focus off Tash.
He loves Robe’s Spiiders, especially for the zoom, and there were 18 on the rig – six on the main triangle, four on each of two short trusses that were sub-hung each side of it, and two a side on the side trusses.
They were all running in Mode 1 which unleashes a host of ring effects. Utilising the outer ring he created halo effects, and utilising just the centre 60W LED, they became a completely different luminaire! The famous Spiider flower effect was used just once in the set and Cam comments, “It’s invaluable with deeper colours where CMY fixtures lose intensity”
For profiles, he chose Robe BMFL Spots which he reckons, “excel in every aspect” and he also knew they would be a perfect complement to the Spiiders. Eighteen of these alternated with the Spiiders on each of the same trusses – the main triangle, its sub-hung trusses and the two side ones.
The BMFLs were used primarily for aerial effects and for keeping Tash highlighted centre-stage. On the front truss, key lighting came courtesy of 10 Chauvet Rogue R2 Washes with 10 Showtec 4-cell blinders for audience illumination. All the trusses were lined and toned with Showtec 2-cell Moles – which offer DMX control and onboard dimmers, so no need to tour a separate dimmer rack!
Another six were mounted on two short vertical truss sections located in the downstage corners, part of the floor package with another 6 Rogue Washes. Cam used the 2-cells mainly in the 2 to 10 percent intensity range, to evoke a nice tungsten glow.
Completing the lighting count was a Claypaky Sharpy sitting on top of each of the five video towers. The video towers were made from 38 panels of Colour Sound’s new Unilumin Upad – III, 2.6mm LED screen – built into lightweight and practical touring frames, part of a million-pound investment in new LED video screen by the north west London based company this year. These were cleverly rigged to appear to be floating, and spaced to fill up as much of the floor as possible.
Cam describes the content, produced by designers Tim Grove and Pat Fox as “mesmerising, beautiful and reflecting the music really well” and this was run via Resolume triggered by his Jands Vista S3 lighting console.
Much of the lighting is programmed to harmonise with the colours and animations of the video material. Colour Sound lighting tech Simon Robertson was on the tour, and his experience and extensive knowledge was invaluable in solving the day-to-day challenges of rigging, the biggest of which was hanging the triangle!
“Some days it fought us most of the way, but Simon had it flown and powered up by lunch time every day” says Cam, who has really enjoyed his first experience of working with Colour Sound. There wasn’t the room to fly the entire rig in every venue on the itinerary, however with the options of B and C versions, 90% of the set concept was used everywhere.
“It’s been stellar working with Colour Sound” concludes Cam, “Their gear is clean and well maintained, the staff are friendly and helpful and I’m excited to work with them again in the future!”