Vari-Lite Fixtures Jazz up Cincotti Performance
Published Monday, August 16, 2004

Lighting Designer Jason Showers used a lighting rig consisting predominately of VARI*LITE® automated fixtures as renowned jazz musician and Columbia University student Peter Cincotti performed for a special crowd of Columbia University Benefactors. Working with Philadelphia-based Expert Events, Advanced Staging Productions provided all of the sound and lighting equipment for this high-profile evening concert which took place inside the grand architectural Rotunda of the Low Library on Columbia University's Manhattan campus.

The main stage lighting system consisted of six VL2000T™ Wash units, two VL2000™ Spot luminaires and nine VL5™ fixtures as specials on each performer. The VL2000 wash luminaires were used primarily as a stage wash but also as general room lighting as the benefactors arrived for the evening entertainment.

"My only accessible location for placing these fixtures was about 55 feet from the stage and about 45 feet off of the stage floor," Showers explained. "Even from this distance the VL2000 wash units were still able to get to a tight enough beam to highlight each of the three band members separately, with plenty of intensity and color, even with the specials on each performer."

"The large zoom range also enabled me to cover the entire audience area with only six fixtures," he continued. "I was able to use them as a deep blue audience wash during the opening ceremony and not be limited to the white house-light that is standard inside this venue. It's this sort of versatility that makes the VL2000 wash consistently reappear on equipment lists for my designs."

The two VL2000 Spot units were used primarily as image projection units, providing an additional scenic element for the stage backdrop. "The clarity of gobo projection produced by the optical system of the VL2000 Spot luminaires is unsurpassed," Showers noted. "The image quality coming out of these lights is just outstanding. We've just added some of these fixtures to our existing inventory and I look forward to adding several more in the coming months."

The backlight system consisted of a free-standing arched truss rimmed with the VL5 fixtures. These units provided individual specials for each member of Cincotti's trio as well as a full backlight wash.

"The small profile, light weight and unique colors produced by the radial color system are features that keep bringing me back to the VL5's," Showers said. "The tungsten source and lack of any onstage fan noise were also critical factors in my decision to spec VL5 units."

The large granite columns, graceful arched windows and dome ceiling of this remarkable venue provided a unique setting for the evening performance. It also provided an additional opportunity for Showers to complement the stage lighting design with a group of thoughtfully placed architectural fixtures. The architectural system consisted of 16 VL5 Arc units, four VL2000 Spot luminaires and four VL2416 Wash luminaires from the company's inventory.

"Bathing the perimeter of the room and the ceiling with color highlights and soft pattern variations really added to the mood of the evening and this special musical performance," Showers said. "The impact of colored light and intensity fluctuation can greatly alter our perception of a space. I really feel that this space was made more intimate by the architectural lighting additions and this greatly enhanced the audience/performer connection."

Event Details -
Producer: Expert Events
Production Manager: Jason Cataldi
Lighting Design: Jason Showers
Electricians: Jason Livingston, Kevin Hiddleson
Equipment: Advanced Staging Productions

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