When celebrated genre-defying Dutch musician Niels Broos played at Utrecht’s majestic TivoliVredenburg music complex, he wanted a special lighting design for the show. Working with lighting designer Jolijn van Iersel, an effect-rich concept was born, designed to get the most out of the Vari-Lite VL5LED WASH, VL10 BEAMWASH, and VL6500 WASH luminaires from Signify (Euronext: LIGHT), the world leader in lighting.
Moreover, the show was to be streamed online for his fans, meaning that the lighting needed to be camera-ready and translate from room to screen.
“Niels wanted something special for the show, so we tried to look for some interesting new ways to light his performance,” says LD Jolijn van Iersel, who is also a lighting technician at TivoliVredenburg. “The VL5LED WASH and its LED ring gave us the visual extra we were looking for. It was able to not only be a fixture, but also create a décor and background by using the blades in combination with the rings. This is why I chose to position the lights so closely around the artist and his equipment, so that every camera shot would show at least one VL5. The LED ring also provided the effects we could use to highlight the soundscapes in the music, without overdoing it for the camera.”
Widely regarded as one of the most creative jazz and electronic music keyboard players of our day, Niels Broos’ performance saw renditions of some of his biggest hits as well as improvised, immersive sound design pieces. It was part of the Gaudeamus festival – staged for young music pioneers – and was streamed to fans.
Jolijn van Iersel positioned the VL10 BEAMWASH luminaires as floodlights, on the floor at the back of the room. Vari-Lite VL6500 WASH fixtures were also used, bolstering the wash possibilities from the same point.
“The VL10s are ideal to light up the stage quite wide and bright without the need of many lights,” Van Iersel continues. “They also added a wide range of gobo and beam effects to fill in the look. The VL6500 WASH is interesting too, with the use of the blades both as ambience-effects in the room and on camera. The smoothness of the Vari-Lites is a really big plus with lighting a show this way, the color mixing of the VL5 is wonderful to look at while fading. As this was mainly a busked show, the Vari-Lites reacted quickly and smoothly.”
The Vari-Lite luminaires were supplied to the show by Dutch distributor and lighting concepts expert Moonbears (formerly Livingprojects), overseen by Frank Schotman. “Jolijn van Iersel approached me to say that she needed some feature-heavy fixtures for a very special show, so I took no time to suggest the Vari-Lites,” says Schotman, who is affectionately known as ‘Frank the Tank.’ “I am what they call an ‘industry dinosaur,’ with more than 30 years of experience in lighting. To me, the VL5LED WASH is the best LED wash ever, and the VL10 BEAMWASH offers incredible output and optical package in one fixture, and then there’s the VL6500 WASH - what a beast of a luminaire!”