White Light Goes for Goldie at Royal Festival Hall
In 1995, British electronic musician Goldie released the album Timeless, which was seen by many as one of the most influential albums of the decade. It made a huge impact on the UK bass music scene and was featured in the book ‘1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die’ along with the New York Times’s Top Ten Albums of 1995. The album was so influential that last year the Heritage Orchestra and Goldie were commissioned for the James Lavelle Meltdown Season to recreate the album in full as part of a live performance at the Royal Festival Hall, London. Both Goldie and the Heritage Orchestra have since expanded and reworked the album for a full orchestra, band, choir electronics and guest vocals. On 22nd – 23rd July, they returned to the Royal Festival Hall to once again perform the album for its twentieth anniversary. Lighting Designer Richard Godin was tasked with devising an impressive spectacle that would help celebrate such an iconic album. Following his long working relationship with White Light, which included the Glastonbury Festival earlier this year, he once again approached the complete production solution specialist to help create an unforgettable occasion.
Having been recently named by The Guardian as one of the fifty most significant events in the history of dance music, Timeless is a truly iconic album. As Lighting Designer, it was Richard’s role to blend the presence of a full orchestra in the Royal Festival Hall with the sensation of the nineties rave scene. He comments: “The music is full of sweeping symphonic strings and orchestrations along with heart-pounding drum and bass and breakbeats. The key for me was to integrate seeing the orchestra with the sensation of experiencing the music in a club or a rave”. Due to it being an orchestrated event, Richard used the musical score to pre-empt and position all of the cues. He adds: “Many of the tracks go on quite a vivid musical journey so I needed to carefully structure the cues to allow a build-up which would capture and entice the euphoria of the audience”. In order to achieve his desired effects, Richard cued the entire show as he would a theatrical performance. He comments: “It was certainly a unique approach yet one which I felt was needed for a concert of this nature. I appreciated that it would require technical expertise and state-of-the-art technology. As a result I contacted White Light as I knew they would be able to provide this”.
For the concert, Richard created a very specific lighting set-up. He explains: “I used a rig which was supplemented with a bar of nine Clay Paky Sharpys. These were carefully positioned so that they could be shot over and under the audience, allowing for an immersive experience”. Richard used the Martin MAC Aura and Clay Paky Alpha Spot around the actual orchestra which were then utilised throughout the show, creating the dynamic look he originally envisaged. He also worked with the ETC Eos console which was supplied by White Light. He comments: “This was the perfect piece of equipment as it gave me the level of control I required. The ability to increase the speed and size of the effects from one cue to another was essential, as was the ability to curve the position moves. Ultimately, the console helped me to create a perfectly timed show”.
Richard spent two days working in White Light’s pre-visualisation suite in order to make the necessary preparations for the concert. He states: “Working on such a large show, there is a great deal to programme hence the pre-visualisation suite was ideal to pre-plot many of the numbers. Once a few positions had been modified the cues ran exactly as I had visualised. I could not have created such a complex show without this facility”. Rachel Gale, White Light’s Moving Light Hire Manager, comments: “This was a great event for us to work on. Not only did it celebrate an iconic piece of British music history, but did so in a unique fashion. We were able to offer very specific pieces of equipment to help fulfil Richard’s brief as well as provide him with the facilities to make his vision a reality”. Richard adds: “White Light once again gave a phenomenal service. They are always there to help me achieve the most with my shows and are extremely accommodating when working towards both a tight budget and schedule”.
The concert marks one of many that White Light has recently worked on, following its production support on shows for Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, Gladys Knight and most recently 50 Cent and G-Unit at the London O2 Arena. Rachel comments: “We currently find ourselves working on more concerts than ever before. Despite each artist and set-up varying, each one wants to create a musical experience that draws on all of White Light’s expertise. We are determined to help designers such as Richard push what is achievable on stage and make each concert memorable; whatever the occasion”.