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Astera Goes from Earth to Mars with Alfred Garcia

Spanish lighting designer Joan Teixidó (known industry-wide as Teixi) used 30 x Astera AX3s ‘Lite Drops’ on the most recent tour for Spanish singer Alfred García, who played over 50 dates around Spain.

Emerging from popular TV talent show Operación Triunfo, this was Alfred Garcia’s first full production tour to date and the first time that Teixi had worked with the artist, who headhunted him to be part of his creative team after the series’ 2017 season. Alfred Garcia’s first studio album 1016 was released at the end of 2018 and shot straight to number 2 in the Spanish album charts, and the tour campaign to support it ran from February to November 2019.

The lighting design was initially inspired by scenographer Lluis Danes’ set, and the brief was to bring a bit of extra ‘magical touch’ to the stage with the lighting. “From Earth to Mars” is one of Alfred Garcia’s biggest hits, so the aesthetic took a bit of a spacey and intergalactic direction.

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A textured piano and matching risers onstage were a central part of the look, ideally lending themselves to being lit. Together with an upstage set piece constructed from metal plates, a spaceship-like appearance started to evolve.

It was onto this metal surface … that the 30 x AX3s were magnetically fixed each day … in a 6 wide by 5 high matrix pattern.

It was the idea of working with a back wall of light that had originally made Teixi choose AX3s … because the fixtures can simply be snapped on to the metal plates via their magnetic bases!

This neat, hugely practical genius design from Astera enabled the fixtures to be quickly and easily deployed to the correct places on the metal wall.

Teixi then mapped them and programmed a bunch of eye-catching dynamic effects via his lighting console using the wireless DMX option. “This was fantastic, especially at festivals with super-quick changeover times – no cables, no power, no fuss!” … they were ready to roll in minutes!

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The back wall was a core element of all the festival dates. While the top rigs changed sometimes dramatically from one event to another, the AX3 wall was a consistent part of the aesthetic. The lights were supplied by Arcoiris Lighting.

AX3s anchored to set pieces were also used in 2019 for Mark Rosson’s European festival tour.

Teixi himself had used Astera products before, including AX1 Pixel Tubes on tripods for pop-rockers Maldita Nerea.

While he didn’t use it for the actual show control on this Alfred Garcia tour, he thinks the Astera App is very practical and useful, especially to know the fixture status at any time and being able to tweak parameters like battery life and intensity equally for all products on the network.

The last concert of the Alfred Garcia tour was in Barcelona’s Sant Jordi Club when they added an LED video screen upstage and adapted the positioning of the metal plates / AX3s to surround that screen.

Since then Teixi has used Astera products on other events including the XII GAUDÍ Awards – Catalan’s version of The Oscars – which was staged at Barcelona Convention Center where 22 x Titan Tubes were part of Laura Clos’ “CLOSCA” set design. He has also used them on numerous corporate and private brand shows and activations … and is generally a big fan of this innovative manufacturer.

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Photos: Roser Gamonal

TAGS: Lighting
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