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  • Matthew Dunford

Dessa & The National Orchestra of Wales

Updated: May 14, 2020

When the BBC National Orchestra of Wales asked us to up their production for a collaboration with noted US Rapper Dessa (of Doomtree), we couldn’t have been happier to oblige.

An interesting challenge, this show involved bringing the high energy lighting of a hip hop show to an orchestral hall, in a way that would not interfere with the performance of the classical musicians. All with only one day to build and rehearse. Not a problem.

After a serious CAD session we settled on a core floor package of moving lights, consisting of Chauvet R3 spots for the hard edge and R1 and R2 washes for the soft. We also placed a row of LEDJ uplighters along the prominent wooden wall at the back of the room and 4 Robe Pickle Patts among the musicians for some eye candy. The show was operated from our Avolites Sapphire Touch.

The show was programmed on the fly during rehearsals with input from the musicians, with a final style quickly taking shape. The wide and expansive wooden walls and overhead panels proved an excellent canvas for big gobo looks, while keeping the lights away from the eyes and the sheet music of the instrumentalists.

The show was very well received by audience and performers alike, and will go down in our records as a perfect example of how to bring musicians and fans of two very different styles together in a way that is informed by both and offensive to neither.

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