Astera Titan Tubes and PixelBricks are woven ingeniously into the elegant lighting design by Bruno Poet and Ricard White for Icelandic singer/songwriter and live performance trailblazer Björk, who is touring her “Cornucopia” theatrical show globally through 2023.
This is a fantastic example of using lighting inventively to enhance a much larger mixed-media ‘bigger picture’ that helps capture the many and varied expressions, emotions, moments and messages of Björk’s stunning work.
The show concept was initiated by the artist herself and developed with creative collaborators James Merry and Argentinian film director Lucrecia Martel. The eye-catching and cerebral video content was produced by Tobias Gremmler and the set is designed by Chiara Stevenson.
Richard explains how lighting was seminal to the quest to create a fully immersive audio, visual and musical experience based on the utopian themes of the album.
With a host of strong visual identities from the stage design, the theatrical performance of the musicians and the incredible video content, he felt that lighting “needed to complement, embellish and tie-in with all these elements and become the link between the physical and digital worlds,” in the process making performers appear in that same physical space in front of everyone’s eyes.
The ‘utopian planet’ stage set features some spectacular main performance risers that appear like huge organic floating platforms, nicknamed ‘The Mushrooms’ by the crew. They needed lighting in a very specific way to give the illusion of floating, and Richard and Bruno immediately thought of Titan Tubes.
The riser undersides are constructed from a set of flocked / latex fungal gills, and the 24 x Astera Titan Tubes are positioned around the base of these ‘gills’. When operated in ‘pixel’ mode, fluid waves of colour bring the stage to a stunning three-dimensional life!
The stage/video design has three sets of automated tracked projection surfaces that interact with the risers to constantly shift and change the architecture of the space throughout the show.
Often, performers are positioned in between layers of projection fabric, so Richard and Bruno needed a small, punchy and flexible lighting fixture that could be used at ‘close quarters’ in places frequently inaccessible via a moving light overhead.
PixelBricks proved a great solution and “perfect for this task,” noted Richard. Their neat-and-discreet size and light weight was just the ticket, and – together with the Titan Tubes – being wireless generally assists with keeping the stage cleaner and being quicker to install.
Using the Astera products in this almost scenic context is popular right now not just for live shows, but also for TV and broadcast scenarios.
Richard has been specifying and using Astera products in his work for several years, primarily for lighting decorative aspects and for being environmentally more sustainable.
However, with the introduction of the RGB, Mint + Amber engine initially for the Titan Tube, the excellent CRI and their already strong presence in the movie-making, TV and broadcast worlds, “all of the products have leapt forward,” he reckons.
Richard is now also happy to use Astera luminaires on events, and even for key lighting for a series of shows like this.
“Having sets of small, reliable and camera-friendly fixtures to hand with the ability to quickly deploy is a game-changer,” he concludes.
Like many, Richard and Bruno appreciate the forethought of having kits of fixtures complete with a whole set of accessories that are ideal for those inevitable last-minute amendments and tweaks which are part of every show evolution process.
Photo by Santiago Felipe.