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HARMAN’s Martin MAC Axiom Hybrid delivers at Eaux Claires 2016

Tue, 08 Nov 2016 11:07

Eaux Claires 2016. Photo by Aaron Wallace

Thousands of festival goers were treated to a weekend of incredible musical performances, breath-taking art installations and dazzling light displays at Eaux Claires 2016—the second annual music festival curated by Bon Iver front man, Justin Vernon. Held in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, the festival received widespread acclaim for its eclectic line-up and an innovative lighting design that turned the festival grounds into an extension of the stage. Creative director Michael Brown created the impressive display, using new Martin MAC Axiom™ Hybrid fixtures, which were deployed onstage and across the festival grounds.

The Eaux Claires musical line-up included Erykah Badu, James Blake, Deafheaven, Beach House, Bon Iver and many other acclaimed artists. In addition to the musical performances, art installations and sculptures were on display throughout the festival grounds. The centrepiece was a massive cuboid organ sculpture called “Baroque,” which was created in collaboration by Brown and renowned Italian artist Edoardo Tresoldi. In-between sets on the main stage, classical organists would perform on a console organ housed within the sculpture, which was reinforced with its own PA system. In order to light the structure and increase the dramatic effect, Brown used 12 MAC Axiom Hybrids in weather domes surrounding the perimeter of the grounds. The domes were then placed on top of scaffolding towers, with throw distances up to 700 feet from the sculpture.

Brown’s production design for the main stage was built around Bon Iver’s performance and live premiere of their new album, “22, A Million.” The 10-track album features iconographic song titles that are made up of different symbols with artwork created by visual artist Eric Carlson. To showcase this imagery, Brown designed a layout of 10 LED panels staggered over the stage with lighting incorporated to their rigging that reflected and related to each song/symbol. The LED panels wrapped around the stage to form a pyramid layout, which was reinforced by a pyramid grid of MAC Axiom Hybrids overhead and on the floor. The CMY colour performance from the MAC Viper colour system in the fixtures enabled Brown to deliver deep and saturated colours with exceptional brightness.

Milwaukee-based lighting and sound provider Clearwing Productions supplied the lighting rig for the festival and worked closely with Brown to implement his design. Clearwing supplied the rig for the first Eaux Claires festival in 2015, and they were excited to show Brown the capabilities of the MAC Axiom Hybrids for the 2016 festival.

“I feel like we’re actively watching a revolution in lighting technology,” said Brown. “For the MAC Axiom Hybrids to have the brightness, the beam ability, a CMY colour system and the ability to do multiple prism effects—it’s a dream come true scenario for me. I’ve been waiting for the moment that all of these things would coalesce into one fixture.”