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  •   A.C. Special Projects at the British Music Experience

A.C. Special Projects at the British Music Experience

16th April 2009

A.C. Special Projects Ltd. supplied a varied range of lighting fixtures for the spectacular new British Music Experience (BME) at The O2. The BME is an interactive music exhibition within one of the world’s most popular music venues. Four years in the making, the exhibition enables music lovers to trace historic moments and trends through the decades, learn about music’s influence on art, fashion & politics and tailor the experience to their own music tastes through interactive elements. Furthermore, there is a full public and educational programme with workshops, lectures, master-classes & concerts.

BME exhibition designer Land Design Studio approached David Atkinson Lighting Design (DALD) to provide the lighting scheme for the 22,000 square feet interactive music exhibition, as they felt that the company’s combination of theatrical and architectural lighting experience would add a dynamic quality.

A.C. Special Projects assisted DALD with the specification of all the theatrical based lighting fixtures and a cutting-edge lighting control system for the immersive exit show; a virtual concert which features live performances from some of the biggest acts to come out of the UK.

DALD worked closely with Land Design Studio and media producers ISO to add an almost three-dimensional immersive quality to the exit show - “The Beat Goes On”. With the close proximity of the video projection to the audience, DALD selected theatrical lighting fixtures capable of producing a high output from a small footprint, to create the impression and atmosphere of an arena-sized live show.

With its punchy 1250 lumens output and compact design, the Chroma-Q® Color Punch™ LED fixture was ideal for providing a bright wash of colours over the audience. In addition, the small size of the Martin SmartMAC moving head spotlight helped to pull the space into perspective when seen in conjunction with the complex video sequences. Other equipment supplied by A.C. Special Projects for the rig includes Robe 250AT wash lights, Pulsar Demon strobes, Director DR2 moving spotlights, CITC StarHazer effect machines and all DMX buffer, interface & replay equipment associated with the show lighting control system.

In addition to featuring the virtual concert, the exit show is adjoined to the exhibition’s pre-show area by a removable wall to enable the areas to be combined as a larger space for conferences and special live music events. The show lighting requirements for this space necessitated a console with a rapid programming environment suited to both corporate and entertainment lighting modes.

DALD project lighting designer David Atkinson specified the Jands Vista T2 lighting console. He commented: “The Vista’s highly intuitive graphic interface lends itself to a multitude of programming situations. The console covered all bases with its quick and easy approach to programming and provided an extremely flexible patching system that could cope with numerous changes, whilst retaining the base show information.”

The shows were programmed by Stewart Parker using WYSIWYG, with console training and some pre-programming assistance provided by A.C. Special Projects at their High Wycombe office. Using the Vista’s unique timeline feature, the team were able to upload the exit show audio soundtrack to the console and accurately plot scenes, ensuring the lighting and sound were perfectly synchronised. To enable simultaneous playback of the pre-show and exit show lighting designs, the shows were uploaded onto an Enttec E-Streamer DMX replay unit triggered by the AV control system.

A.C. Special Projects provided various lighting fixtures, lamps, filters and associated equipment to DALD for other areas of the exhibition. In the core exhibition area, ETC Source Four HID Jnr fixtures provide custom line-up grids to the sides of a large central drum projection screen and Teclumen Multibeam 150 MFL fixtures create pools of saturated blue light over the floor area. The ‘Dance The Decades’ area, where members of the public can interact and learn to dance, is lit for camera by Anytronics DMX controlled light boxes. Director DR2 and Martin SmartMAC spotlights provide all-purpose lighting for the pre-show area. Other interactive software producers were Clay Interactive and Studio Simple.

Summarising his experience working with A.C. Special Projects, DALD lighting designer David Atkinson commented: “From the outset Peter Keiderling and his team provided an invaluable service that demonstrated a true understanding of the particular challenges presented by this project. Secure in the knowledge that any technical issues would be addressed with typical efficiency, DALD and I could concentrate on the design and programming aspects of the show.”

David Atkinson Lighting Design (DALD) won the Lighting Design Awards 2010 'Lighting for Leisure' Award for the project.

All Chroma-Q LED products are licensed by Color Kinetics. Chroma-Q and Color Punch are trademarks of A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ltd. The rights and ownership of all trademarks are recognised.

The information contained herein is correct at the time of printing, however as we are constantly refining our product range we reserve the right to change the specification without notice. E&OE.