The distinguished Swedish lighting designer, Palle Palmé has provided an imaginative lighting design for a pre-Christmas season at Stockholm’s famed Berns Salonger — using exclusively LED fixtures from the GLP impression catalog.
The ‘Motown Featuring Afro-Dite’ revue is one of the Dröse & Norberg entertainment productions for whom he has been working for the past four years. “We presented the Motown show in the north of Sweden last year, but without Afro-Dite, and when Robert Dröse told me that they planned to stage the show at Berns Salonger it felt like time to expose it to a big audience.” And for this he needed big lighting.
As technical manager at Berns Salonger from 1989 to 1992 Palle knows the venue well, and helped relaunch it after a four-year refurbishment. ”The room is absolutely fabulous and gives the designer plenty of possibilities.”
In fact the Motown show is all about the music, voices and lighting, made up entirely from 72 GLP heads. ”We do not have any set at all—the visual look of the show is entirely in my hands. Because it is a 90 minute show
without intermission we have to keep the audience engaged, both with the choice of songs and the lighting states.”
He admits to being an old hand at using GLP’s technology. ”Like many of my colleagues I am a long-time user of the impression 120RZ, which was among the first LED washes that I connected with.”
GLP’s new representative for the Nordics, Daniel Rüdén, was eager to bring Palmé up to date with a new portfolio including X4, X4 XL, X1, X4 L, X4 Bar 10 and Spot One. “I had seen the X4 and Spot One on LDI last year and on some TV specials, but the others were new to me,” he said. ”My lighting colleague Calle Grimaldi told me that Daniel was starting GLP Sweden, and once I had seen a demo I thought it would be wonderful to try a large number on a single rig.”
Palle said he was immediately inspired. ”The color temperatures are amazing and the skin colors really smooth—in fact I didn’t need any tungsten for this purpose as I expected. Normally it is not the easiest thing to mix a color from an LED unit that lights the skin well but here it was really simple.
”I love the colors and try to use looks that people can relate to—I also like the huge zoom in the lamps.” The different effects that the GLP units can generate are slowly introduced after the first 20 minutes. ”It is a very musically designed show and we run everything on timecode,” he says.
Easy to program and quick to respond at the grandMA2 desk, the new roster of X4, X4 XL, X1, X4 L, X4 Bar 10 and Spot One received an immediate thumbs-up from both Palle Palmé and his head of lighting, Calle Grimaldi.
As for the deployment of the fixtures, the small X1, X4 Bar10 and X4 L are all mounted on towers, with the different units detailed for different effects. ”The X1 and X4 Bar10 are used for effects only,” he says. ”The bigger units [X4, X4 XL and X4 L] are used for front, side and backlight. I also have Spot One on the floor behind the artists.”
It is clear that in addition to GLP, Palle Palmé also has a love affair with the venue. “Las Vegas cannot compete with this—I am always so proud when I work at Berns because in my opinion it is one of the few real fantastic showrooms in the world,” he says unequivocally. ”When we have the opportunity to do a proper show with all those lights, other producers should come along and look at the potential.”