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.
Back in 2011 we made a promo for Asthmatic Astronaut‘s excellent album, Super Intelligent Common Sense. The visuals are drawn from various overseas trips and formed the basis for a live set that accompanied a number of live gigs as well.
We spent two weeks of December 2013 in Angola in southern Africa with Gandey World Class Productions looking after all the technical aspects of a new circus show specially put together for a short season of christmas shows, following on from a successful visit with the Chinese State Circus the year before.
While we were there we took the opportunity to try out the super slow motion on the GoPro Hero 3, and put together a wee edit of the restults. Quite nice, really. Sadly, we were a bit busy doing lights and sound for the shows to shoot any video or stills of them…!
The first is a trio piece, Ashes, devised by Sarah Holmes with Debbie Robbins and Phil Hardie. It’s a great high energy aerial performance which makes good use of the whole stage space, centred around a newly devised apparatus that uses weighted ropes to create unique and exciting choreography. As well as two HD cameras on the deck, we used a GoPro overhead to capture an unusual angle that really shows the performances dynamic use of space.
Seretide is a new solo piece by Sarah Holmes; again she’s devised new apparatus, this time using a dozen small ropes to create something that sits between aerial silks and rope in terms of choreography and skills. The multiple ropes make for a really interesting visual, and we’re looking forward to getting the opportunity to do some work with this apparatus again.
The 2012 UK tour of the Chinese State Circus was a great 4 months spent on the road. I was technical manager, and it was a privilege to work with amazingly talented artists who had been honing their skills for most of their lives. I’m pretty pleased with this shot of the Shaolin Warriors I took, it really nicely captures one of the many wince inducing moments from their performance. Those are perfectly ordinary housebricks, and there’s no special trickery involved. The guys have a great sense of humour too and are always good for a laugh.
It was a challenging tour, taking in 39 venues all across the UK. The show included a live band, massive double chinese pole and a cast of 30 performers. We visited a huge range of venues, from no.1 touring houses to community theatres, and at each had a single morning to install our rig of over 40 intelligent fixtures as well as rigging, set and props.
We had the pleasure of lighting one of the Big Dance stages in July 2012. Dance Base organised the event and Blacklight provided all the technical expertise, and asked us to operate LX on the Castle Street stage. We had time to shoot a few stills while we were there as well, this one came out pretty nicely.
Here’s the trailer we made for the excellent Edinburgh-based aerial theatre night run by Paper Doll Militia, Open Grip. It provides a great platform for new work by established artists and completely new artists, giving them a public audience and valuable feedback – and it’s a good evening out too.