My friend Brad from Keller Kinder started Mina's Veil with his wife. I came on board to do all the lighting.
The venue presented many challenges: It was small, cluttered, dirty, had an unmovable front rail, and limited power and hanging positions.
The music has many classical and operatic influences. The design and dress is quite elaborate and dark. I used this as inspiration to design a setting that would amplify these aspects. The footlights and chandelier were directly borrowed from that aesthetic. Dramatic back light and rich colors helped give a sort of dark yet sophisticated look to everything.
After the technical complexity of Keller Kinder, I wanted to do something simple but effective. The rig consisted of two Altman Shakespeares with gobos, two quad-packs of RGBW LED cans, two 4-bulb footlights, and a dimmer.
While I was trying to keep things simple, I could not resist trying to run the whole show from my ipad haha. It basically functioned like a RFU but for full show control.
I used Martin Lightjockey as the main DMX output device and did all the pre-programing in that. I then use touch OSC on the ipad and LJ-Faders to link the midi input to cues and parameters in LJ. This setup let me run a cue list like normal, but also have real-time overrides on all lights. This was great as it let me adjust the look on the fly, experiment, tune, and preform with the lights.
The footlights played an important part to getting the looks and feel associated with opera. The design is a slightly embellished form inspired from a Dr. Who episode (also involving opera).
I bought some 8" pvc pipe, cut it in half, and contoured the tops on the band-saw using a jig. The off cuts were used some small wings/leafs under the main shade. The base was pine with some fancy trim molding around the front. All internal wiring was double insulated and fused, with an IEC connector on the SL end. Aluminum tape was used as a reflector. 60w soft-white bulbs were used to further help diffuse the light.
The paint jobs was particularly crap, but fortunately that didn't matter as no one would see it in the dark.
This was a last minute addition by me. Brad and I had originally talked about how cool it would be, but neither of us could find a real chandelier that used candles, or was in our price range.
Two days before the show, I made a stop at the local hardware store, and for $100 nzd picked up all the parts. The next day was a frantic scramble to make something safe, functional, and pretty.
The arms are planter hangers, screwed to two wooden hexagons. I drilled holes in the top side of the hangers and screwed in long M-3 bolts. These were accepted by holes in the bottom of the candles and also served and a method to attach the wax cups (which were painted pickle-jar lids haha).
The cage hanging from the bottom is one of those hanging planter baskets. The ribbons are aluminum flashing with gaff tape over them, secured at the top to a wood ring. An M-8 rod runs through the whole thing. The dangling bits were just some heavy card cut into teardrop shapes and hung from chain. The bottom spire is also cardboard hot-glued onto a black tube which is threaded onto the M-8 supporting rod.
While definitely an exercise in desperation, and a total kludge, it worked great on stage. Everyone was very excited and it nicely positioned candles in the dark empty void above the stage.
©2023 Kevin Whitfield