Rapper Jay-Z began a 5-city summer tour with Ciara accompanied by grandMA. Lighting designer Patrick Dierson and Justin Collie of Performance Environment Design Group selected a pair of grandMA consoles, one controlling lighting and one controlling the show’s video. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of grandMA in North America.
Since the logistics of the tour required Dierson to cover large areas with equipment that had to be erected quickly each day he simplified the lighting design to a standard three-truss set up. “The main thing the lighting had to achieve was filling in negative space around the video elements,” he explains. “Elation’s new Design Wash LED Pro, a standard moving-head LED wash fixture on five custom-made octagonal arrays, filled in the gap of the negative area.”
Dierson also employed Coemar ACL units and Main Light MF3s for audience lighting. “Because the MF3s are digital LEDs, the grandMAs’ bitmap engine was very useful,” he notes. “I was able to use them as digital eye candy as well as a replacement to traditional Molefay units.”
He explains that the opening segment was triggered off a MIDI percussion drum pad which Dierson played with drumsticks. “The grandMA makes doing things like that very easy,” he reports. “It was the first time I had hooked up a device like that to the grandMA for touring purposes but I had it up and running in about 45 minutes. It’s quite reassuring to be able to execute a technical gag so easily.”
On the video side, operator Drew Findley manned a grandma, which ran a Control Freak Systems, Encore bridge array and six MBoxes.
“Patrick is a wonderful designer. He was the very first one using grandMA in the U.S. He has a very wacky creativity that requires the flexibility of the grandMA system,” comments A.C.T Lighting President and CEO Bob Gordon.
The lighting rig for the tour was supplied by Atomic Lighting.
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