Latest News Headlines
Ben Jarrett Supports Coheed and Cambria’s Storytelling with Help from Chauvet Professional
USA – It’s been said that every writer works in response to that ancient plea: tell us a story. Claudio Sanchez, for one, has been answering this call since 2004, when he released the first instalment of The Amory Wars, a riveting ongoing saga that takes place in “Heaven’s Fence,” a collection of 78 planets and seven stars, bound together by interlocking beams of energy.
As frontman for the award-winning prog band, Coheed and Cambria, Sanchez doesn’t tell his tale with only the words and graphics of his comic books and novels, he also narrates it in music. All but one of the group’s ten studio albums, has been centred on The Amory Wars, including its current Vaxis II: A Window of the Waking Mind.
Helping this fantastical story unfold on stage during a national USA tour in support of the 2022 released LP, and adding to its depth and power, is an evocative Ben Jarrett lighting design that features Chauvet Professional fixtures supplied by Squeek Lights.
“This has been an especially rewarding project, because it is so tied into the telling of a great story,” said Jarrett. “All 15 songs in the set, plus the two encores are related to the narrative. Each of them is very different from the others, so I got to create a lot of varied looks. Before I start programming I give each song a different palette, being careful not to overuse an one colour.”
Much of those colours come from the eight Rogue R1 FX-B fixtures in the touring rig, arranged in groups of four on each side of the drum riser. Jarrett relies on the RGBW moving linear fixture to do more than provide himself with a rainbow of options, he also uses them to create shapes on stage that supported the band’s narrative.
Taking advantage of the infinite pan and tilt rotation of the fixture’s five individually controlled moving heads, Jarrett weaves an intricate variety of patterns over the centre of the stage. The configuration, which changes colours depending on the song, is suggestive of a keyhole, an appropriate metaphor, since the band’s logo (and the energy that holds the Heaven’s Fence celestial bodies in place) is called “Keywork”
The matrix of light patters from the Rogue R1 FX-B fixtures adds an air of mystery to the stage, especially when Jarrett covers most of the area in darkness. During these moments different band members seem to be peeking through the shafts of light.
Also peering through the light screen is an artwork backdrop feature Vaxis and his parents Nea and Nostrand, characters from Vaxis II A Window of the Waking Mind. The effect of this artwork imagery against the overlapping layers of light creates a haunting, redolent air befitting of an cryptic saga.
“Since the music is all about the story, I wanted to keep it as the focal point on stage, with the images of the characters,” said Jarrett. “I made sure to dedicate part of the house rig to light it from the top, and panels to light it from the floor.”
Through the process of lighting the tour, Jarrett has gotten caught up in its narrative himself. A moment that stands out for him came during the melodic song “Afterman,” is when the blues and greens from his rotating Rogue fixtures seem to drift through the audience. Matching the melancholy mood of the song it creates, he says, “a sense of floating through space.”
In so doing, it transports the audience to another world, one of endless imagination, which is the goal of every storyteller, and one that Claudio Sanches and this band is achieving, with help on this tour, from a supportive lighting design.
19th April 2022
© 1999 - 2023 ET Press Ltd News Stories