Latest News Headlines

Ambersphere brands have the right chemistry for Normandale

Ambersphere brands have the right chemistry for Normandale
Ambersphere brands have the right chemistry for Normandale

The Chemical Brothers are a band who like to do things differently. Their most recent world tour has so far delivered shows at festivals across Europe and the UK, most recently at Creamfields. Taking up a significant amount of space on that stage are George and Mildred, two 15ft high robots, alongside Paul Normandale’s lighting rig which is entirely floor based and features fixtures from two of Ambersphere Solutions group of brands: Clay Paky and Ayrton.

The Chemicals’ long-standing design team of Marcus Lyall and Adam Smith chose to invert accepted lighting protocols and put the entire rig on the floor. As part of the design, two dollies were built to house nine Clay Paky Sharpys each in a pre-rigged and cabled framework. This served a double purpose as dolly manufacturer, Dave Smith of Specialz explains: “This production toured throughout the festival season and having the fixtures pre-rigged and ready to roll made for a quick and effective change-over in the often frenetic festival environment. Moreover, the frames are mobile during the show so the Sharpys are moving in more ways than one! The dollies were carefully designed so as not to restrict the Sharpys’ movements.”

“Altogether there are more than 80 Sharpys in this design,” explains Normandale himself. “Having them mobile within the dollies means we can offer the audience different dynamics throughout the show and mask some of the ‘slight of hand’ theatrics. As a fixture of choice I believe they still remain the moving light to beat; they allow that defined line for building the basic geometric shapes I am looking for and of course their superb brightness against our giant video wall is of paramount importance. This tour has, and will globally, need to work with pre-specified lighting on occasions – there are few places in the world who can’t supply us with a Sharpy rig – and I know that with Clay Paky reliability built in, it will be a lighting rig that works.”

The Ambersphere family of brands has also provided another built-in solution for Normandale’s design. Built once again by Specialz, one of the massive robots is fitted with Ayrton MagicBlades. “We have a number of MagicBlades mounted on vertical pipes but it just seemed an obvious choice to place them within one of the robots as well. Their continuous pan and tilt works perfectly with the lasers and smoke machines and their brightness means they remain effective despite everything else that is happening around them.”

“Both these lights have been on the market for a while now,” concludes Normandale, “but the Chemical Brothers’ production proves quite clearly that fixtures of this quality and level of innovation will continue to offer designers new and creative solutions for audiences to enjoy.”

25th September 2015

© 1999 - 2020 Entertainment Technology Press Limited News Stories