The cavernous Shlomo Arena in Tel Aviv was brought to life - for the first time ever with the buzz of dance music - as the fantastic sounds and musical distinction of Tale of Us swirled around the environment in a limited-entry show presented by The Tripping, the country’s most discerning electronic music promoters.
The event was atmospherically engineered by visuals designer Eran Klein who utilised Robe Pointes and Spiiders and PixelPATTs at the core of his design.
Eran has worked with The Tripping for the last couple of years. His reputation for innovation and creative daring is a great match with their fast growing oeuvre for staging sought-after shows for raw music lovers embracing the cool side of unbranded.
Central to The Tripping’s show philosophy is the belief of putting guest experience at the heart of the performance, and with this, the right production values are always high on the agenda.
For this event, staged in the round - another first for the alternative dance community in Israel - the 360 degree performance space which also revolved, was the starting point for Eran’s design for which there was huge expectation, along with the venue itself.
Robe is always his moving light brand of choice, so he picked 42 x Pointes and 24 x Spiiders, together with five PixelPATTs which were positioned above the DJ booth … all supplied to the event by rental company Gil Teichman Ltd.
The in-the-round format automatically meant there were more audio speaker arrays around the booth for Eran to consider when lighting the space than with a standard end-on format, and in addition to that, the extra amount of roof points needed for audio resulted in fewer being available for lighting.
This and the fact that the arena’s central video cube scoreboard could not be de-rigged for the event … resulted in the majority of the lighting rig having to be ground supported.
A large structure was erected around the DJ booth in the centre of the arena and lighting fixtures were also positioned along the upper bleacher seating areas which were closed off to the public.
The 42 Pointes were the main lights of the design.
Eran likes the power, punch and flexibility, which is ideal for all genres of dance music, and especially for the more spacey and cerebral journey embarked on by Tale of Us – Canadian Carmin Conte and Matteo Milleri from New York who met when studying music and sound engineering in Italy in 2008.
The overall idea of ‘layering’ the lighting for this event was inspired by images of satellites and power generation, and a cone of trussing was flown (off the ground support) above the DJ booth created with a 6 metre diameter circle at the top with 4 and 2 metre circles below that, with the three spheres connected via 12 scaff pipes.
Eran likes a design to have a definite shape, which can then be morphed and transformed -into others ... like a chameleon with the intelligent application of lighting.
When positioning the Pointes onto the circles, he imagined how it would look having similar elements but at different levels and how the slightly changed perspectives brought by these subtle differences could play out in the arena as the night progressed.
“I wanted the lighting to function just like a power generator in the centre of the room, pushing pulses and bands of energy out into the crowds for them to absorb and regenerate”.
He took full advantage of the speed of the Pointes and them looking equally as good as a hard or soft-edged fixture. “There are really a lot of elements you can play with using Pointes”.
The Spiider is actually his favourite lighting product right now!
He was the first to use them in Israel, on a gig where they were cleared through customs at the airport … and delivered directly to the gig by Robe’s Israeli distributor Danor Theatre & Studio Systems.
For Tale of Us, 16 of the 24 Spiiders were on the cone with 8 on the floor around the DJ booth where they were used to shoot upwards and out around the arena.
“The zoom is amazing – taking the lightsource from a potent fat beam to a soft wash in an instant,” declares Eran. “The colours are fantastic and there are absolutely no limits to them”, and he loves the fact that the effects engine adds another layer of surprise to any Spiider-tastic look and scene.
With the structure and musical journey of most dance genres built on transitions and transformations, dramatic or subtle, “It really is the perfect tool for sculpting this type of light-art”, he says, and being so light, you can have more fixtures when there are lesser weight limits!
Eran has actually been using Robe fixtures since 2004, when they first arrived in Israel and were the new brand on the block! Now it is the best established and most popular moving light in the country thanks to the hard work of Danor and the growing international reputation of Robe.
Cochavi & Klein also works extensively around the world on a range of premium clients as well as on selective dance events which is an eclectic mix of events that harmonise nicely together – and Robe is always on his specs.
He observes that Robe is available “almost everywhere” now, “especially in the US” where they recently lit a large party in San Francisco where Robe moving lights were supplied by Felix Lighting.
He operated lighting for Tale of Us using a grandMA2.
As always the challenge is what everyone is going to say tomorrow about dance events - in general conversation, word-of-mouth on the underground networks and via social media – and how something looks and sounds is often a topic so production is important from all angles.
Eran has been lighting dance events since the essence of the movement germinated in the 1990s and so it’s second nature for him to synch the lighting and visuals with the flow and rhythm of the music. “Especially with The Tripping events, it’s about the life and soul of the party and making the space special and magical for the duration of the experience … rather than being about the DJ”.
This alternative curation is part of what makes The Tripping different and desirable.
Eran enjoys the creative challenges of imagining new and fresh ideas and the creative space they give him to innovate and suggest ambiences to bring to the party.
Tripping founder Oren Heknin started off running a small club which organically grew into larger shows and the phenomenon it is today. Their shows shy away from featuring overpowering LED screen elements, instead choosing to experiment with technicals like new lasers and lighting coming to the market which is more suited to their sense of musical adventure.
Also central to the event’s smooth running were technical producer Elad Mainz, stage manager Eyal Ben Natan, sound designer Yohai Fachima and lighting crew Chief Moti Aroshas. Sound was supplied by a combination of two companies Kolot Ramim and MorKol and lasers by Saar Lasers.