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Harman Martin Professional’s VDO Sceptrons Frame the Stage for Mumford & Sons’ World Tour
Since forming in 2007, British band Mumford & Sons has toured the world almost non-stop. Now setting out again to showcase their third album, the band’s lighting and production designer Ed Warren selected Harman Martin Professional VDO Sceptron 10s and MAC QuantumTM Washes to make their live show even more immersive and experiential.
Warren developed a captivating new design specifically for the new album, Wilder Mind. He immersed himself in Mumford & Sons’ music until it resonated in his mind – he even played the band’s music while sleeping. “Designing is a very fluid process for me. I don’t force it,” says Warren. “When I’ve visualised my first thoughts and I feel like I’m in the right zone, the concept starts to take shape.”
In the initial stages, Warren presented his ideas to the band using mood boards. They liked it and when finalised, he submitted his design to UK rental company NEG Earth, along with a product specification list. After reviewing Warren’s list, Caroline Beverley project panager, NEG Earth, suggested using the new VDO Sceptrons from Martin Professional as an alternative to the fixtures specified. Beverley said they would be perfect for Warren’s design, and when Warren saw them he was easily persuaded.
“The VDO Sceptrons were perfect for what we wanted to do,” says Warren. “As some of the concerts happen during daylight, I needed fixtures with a good color output and brightness. The Sceptrons do just that – even in bright sunshine.”
The VDO Sceptrons play a leading role in the design where they frame the stage and trusses. The fixtures are mounted onto the downstage edges and the two risers, and along the vertical lines of ten towers upstage. Side trusses and three U-shaped trusses above the band are also lined with VDO Sceptrons, adding a futuristic look to the show. Although capable of displaying video content, Warren uses the VDO Sceptrons in simple RGB mode on four channels. This design ended up suiting Mumford & Sons very well. The VDO Sceptrons and the MAC Quantum Washes are mixed in with older fixtures, comparable to the band’s traditional vibe from previous albums and their new, rockier synth-based material.
Warren believes in creating an experience for an audience. he wants to immerse the audience in every show he produces and make every fan feel at one with the band and the performance.
“The art of lighting design is to support and reflect what the band is trying to evoke with their music without distracting from it,” says Warren. “You want to complement the music and stir the audience as much as possible, but you need to respect that people have come to see the band – not necessarily the light or laser show.”
The VDO Sceptrons support Warren’s approach to lighting design as they add both depth and dimensionality to the stage. This way, the stage jumps out spatially and is not just a flat object at one end of the venue. Also on tour with Warren and Mumford & Sons are 16 MAC Quantum Washes that Warren uses to backlight the band and the stage and light through the open risers.
“They’re great lights,” says Warren. “Just like the Sceptrons they perform very well and stand up against daylight with great colours.”
30th September 2015
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