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Martin by HARMAN shines bright for Wilco and Nathaniel Rateliff

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 11:07

Wilco. Photo: Jeremy Roth

Veteran Lighting Designer Jeremy Roth recently deployed Martin by HARMAN MAC Quantum Wash fixtures for Wilco’s current West Coast tour as well as a special performance by Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado. For both shows, Roth set out to create a lighting experience that was both organic and timeless, with an emphasis on mood, colour and texture. Roth selected the MAC Quantum Wash for its exceptional wash fields, colour palette and innovative beam twister projection effects.

Wilco’s tour is in support of their latest album “Schmilco,” and the performances feature a unique and highly original lighting design based on imagery from the Scottish Rite Temple in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Wilco’s lead singer Jeff Tweedy came up with the idea while visiting the temple, and Roth began designing the lighting and scenery around the concept. The final result is a blend of hand-painted portals, forest backdrops and an open-sky background that features different lighting effects.

“All of the lighting for the show is intended to look completely natural—there’s very little that would seem out of place if you were in a natural environment,” said Roth. “For example, if the sun is coming up, all of the light on stage comes from a single direction and has the same temperature. For Wilco, the MAC Quantum Wash was definitely my number one choice. I’m using them to light parts of the scenery, for sunlight effects coming down from above and for rear projection effects, using the beam twister function. The powerful output and ability to have multiple colours and gradients were key.”

Roth also designed the lighting for a recent performance by Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats at Red Rocks, which was programmed and operated by Lighting Programmer Bobby Mathias. The show was held in celebration of the one-year anniversary of the release of the band’s debut album and filmed for a live webcast. The band’s sound is very much a throwback to 60s and 70s soul, and Roth wanted the lights to provide a timeless and classic look. The performance was designated haze-free, so Roth decided to project effects on the rocks themselves.

“The stage at Red Rocks is very large and iconic, so it was really important to me to fill that space up with as much light as possible,” said Roth. “We used the MAC Quantum Wash to create a variety of looks, from solid colours to two-colour washes to beam twister effects. We were able to carpet the entire stage and the surrounding rocks with a multi-coloured beam twister effect, which allowed us to create an incredible visual display without relying on any haze in the air.”