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Elation KL Fresnel gets retro for Tom Kenny-designed Robert Plant and Alison Krauss special

Elation KL Fresnel gets retro for Tom Kenny-designed Robert Plant and Alison Krauss special
Elation KL Fresnel gets retro for Tom Kenny-designed Robert Plant and Alison Krauss special

USA – Lighting designer Tom Kenny recently used Elation Professional’s KL Fresnel 8 LED wash light to support the retro set of a special CMT Crossroads performance by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. Kenny had seen the warm-white LED Fresnel luminaire on the duo’s summer tour and realised it would fit in ideally with the show’s vintage look.

CMT Crossroads is a television programme broadcast on CMT that pairs country music artists with musicians from other music genres. The programme, which debuted in 2002 and is celebrating its 20 Anniversary, has helped spawn many successful collaborations including that of Plant and Krauss.

The British singer-songwriter and American bluegrass-country singer have enjoyed tremendous success as a duo since collaborating on 2007’s Grammy-award-winning "Raising Sand" album followed by their first CMT Crossroads special in 2008. The pair toured together this summer in support of their Grammy-nominated second album “Raise the Roof” and returned to Nashville for their second CMT Crossroads show, which aired on 29 November.

When full service event production company DCR Nashville was looking for retro-looking lighting for Plant and Krauss’s “Raise the Roof” summer tour, they chose Elation’s KL Fresnel 8 as part of the visual package. “When putting the tour together they were looking at a theatre-like set-up but then you have to deal with dimmer racks,” stated DCR president Paul Owen, who says they went to Elation and looked at the KL Fresnel line of LED fixtures. “That made things a lot easier and they have that traditional Fresnel look.” Owen reports that Robert Plant loved the fixtures and asked that they be painted white to fit in with the more theatrical look and backdrop draping. “So we sprayed them white,” Owen said, “put them on towers and they looked fantastic. It was just a good subtle workhorse and were fantastic for the tour.”

The KL Fresnel 8 uses a 350W warm-white LED engine to project a high-quality white light that is as beautiful as the warm glow output of traditional Tungsten halogen lights while surpassing them in output and efficiency. Calibrated at 3,000 Kelvin, a high CRI of 97 gives it the ability to distinguish colour and contrast better and the fixture includes a 11° to 57° motorised zoom and removable barn doors. When working with high-speed cameras like on CMT Crossroads, gamma correction and LED refresh rate can be adjusted variably for flicker-free operation.

When it came to taping the CMT Crossroads show, lighting designer Tom Kenny looked at the touring show (lighting design by Brent Clark) and realised the KL fixtures would fit right in. “Robert had the Elation KL Fresnels already on the tour and we kept them for this special show,” stated Kenny, who designed many of Robert Plant’s solo shows, including the historic Page/Plant tours. He has also lit nearly all of the CMT Crossroads shows.

Kenny placed the fixtures behind the artists, both left and right, and said the design was an extension of the tour vibe with beautiful theatrical whites that reflected the folk-based moods of the songs. “They complemented the retro look and drape with their warm white look and added to the whole look of the show. They fit right in with a classic artist and a classic show,” he said. 4Wall Nashville provided the lighting rental for the 90-minute episode alongside DCR who supported Plant and Krauss’s groundbreaking tour.

The Robert Plant and Alison Krauss CMT Crossroads performance included material from the duo’s first album "Raising Sand," as well as numbers from "Raise the Roof" plus a few Led Zeppelin classics.

5th December 2022

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