Much of 2015 was spent working for Summerhall on their 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe program, as technical production manager. Summerhall’s 2015 program included over 150 different shows, with Grid Iron, Northern Stage, Paines Plough and dozens of other companies from all over the globe presenting work, as well as an acclaimed season of live music including gigs from Sun Kil Moon and the Sun Ra Arkestra. It was a massively successful year, with Summerhall’s best ticket sales ever and great critical response, with over 50 4 and 5 star reviews, 2 Total Theatre Awards, and 6 Fringe First Awards. With such a large and diverse program quality technical services were vital, and months were spent planning and specifying venue spaces and dealing with advance requests from companies. A great team of technicians came together for the festival itself and made 2015’s fringe run go off without a hitch.
Sarah Holmes of Paper Doll Militia commissioned us to do a photoshoot showcasing one of her recent aerial pieces. The piece uses a new bespoke apparatus in the form of “Spaghetti Ropes”. The unusual visual interest of the apparatus and the contrasts between the ropes and skin and the dark costume and hair made a simple black box shoot our preferred option, allowing the strong visual of the piece to speak on its own. Sarah was keen to get some close-up shots, which provides a perspective that’s often unavailable to the audience of an aerial piece.
It’s been a busy few weeks! So busy in fact, that instead of telling you all about it, we’re going to post a trailer we made for our friends at Anatomy about a year ago. The trailer was shot at Anatomy #4, which we also lit and provided technical assistance for.
We were really pleased to be asked to provide lighting for the Abnormal Loads techno tent at this years Audio Soup Festival, one of a number of up and coming music festivals in Scotland. We collaborated with VJ Planet Arm, who provided decor and video projections, including a fantastic 3d wolf head which we couldn’t resist equipping with laser eyes.
Pa came from the excellent Elektrikal Sound System and everyone was kept more than happy by superb quality drinks from Cocktail Cahutes. Add to that a great line up of local and international djs and the consensus was that the Abnormal Loads tent pushed the festival to a new level of quality and professionalism. It’s rare to get so many compliments on the lighting, and we’re really pleased to have been asked back next year – the big challenge will be topping this year’s efforts…
We had the pleasure of providing production management assistance and lighting equipment to the recent Polish Scottish Heritage Festival. Prior to the event we took on the task of ensuring all the technical needs of the many visiting musicians, artists and lecturers were met, sourcing various presentation, audio and lighting equipment. Highlights of the weekend’s events at Summerhall was the Katy Carr concert, pictured below, and a Ceilidh combined with traditional polish dances that proved a hit with Scots and Poles alike, showing that the many historic ties between the two nations continue into contemporary friendship and mutual respect.
We once again had the pleasure of lighting the Scottish Business Awards for the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. For the second year the awards were held in the EICC’s new Lennox Suite, this time hosting 1900 guests, a number not seated for a banquet in Scotland since the time of King James VI. We tailored the lighting to the event branding, selecting a base of reds complemented with hues of purple to reflect the main sponsor, Virgin Money, and bringing the room to life with the EICC’s stock of moving led washes. It was a great night, with the highlight being a Q&A session with Richard Branson, who sported a natty denim tuxedo for his appearance.
We were recently commisioned to create a set of promotional photos for electronic musician Maki Yamizaki. We sourced a great albeit somewhat creepy location in the form of a disused large animal autopsy room, complete with crane, giant sinks and some slightly disturbing guttering. We used a mix of 800w redheads, LED pars and practical lighting to create moody and striking lighting, and shot in RAW on a Canon 5Dmk2. The final results turned out very nicely indeed, and Make was great to work with. We’re looking forward to collaborating again in the future.
Friday the 14th of March saw us back in Summerhall, this time providing technical support for the excellent scratch/experimental theatre night Anatomy. The night included theatrical, musical, dance and outright weird performances from Ed Crawley, Jusztina Hermann, Francesca Lacey, Manoli Moriaty & Frances Kay, Klaus Pinter, Sarah Roberts, Sara Zaltash, Scrapyard, and Voice Box Theatre.
We used some recently acquired LED fixtures to create a backdrop of striking colours to complement the variety of pieces presented as part of the “HAPPY RAINBOW RADIO FUNTIME SHOW”. Our friends over at Black Light provided UV lights for Sara Zaltash’s ‘Sex Sex Sex’, which she used to create a stunning effect for her fearless performance piece, and we rustled up some last minute Par16 Birdies for Francesca Lacey’s ‘Happiness’ – both the title of the piece and a description of what the birdies were used for.
There were too many performances to name individually, but they were all excellent. Special mention goes to the finale of the night, Ed Crawley’s ‘Death of a Double Bass’, a moving violent and unrepeatable one-off piece confronting grief and loss in a particularly visceral manner.
Photos courtesy of Richard Dyson
On a cold November night last year we spent an evening providing live visuals for Ten Tracks’ night at Verden Studios in Portobello. It was a great night of new and exciting music in an intimate setting, with Ten Tracks’ own Decagram brew helping lubricate procedures.
Numbers Are Futile are a personal favourite but it was an excellent lineup all night.
We spent 11 days working with PaperDoll Militia as part of their artist’s residency at Summerhall. In their own words, “Unhinged is a duo fabric piece, which is currently being extended into a multimedia and movement driven “Live Photo Essay””.
We designed some of the lighting, and provided help and technical assistance, operating lights, sound and video. We also created a couple of short video pieces that are included in the show, and this time-lapse movie documenting the development process.
The photos that form the main new element of the piece are in the form of 35mm slides projected by kodak carousel projectors, and as solid as they are the age of the equipment has proven a bit of a challenge. We’re putting together a DMX control solution to allow the slide transitions to be run from the lighting desk, as it proved very challenging to run LX, sound, video and slides all at once.
The show premieres in June in the United States, but there will almost certainly be a Uk showing as well, which we’re thoroughly looking forward to.