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5 Aug 2015

Roadskills: Hermitude

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2015 has already been a big year for the Blue Mountains boys who are the electronic duo Hermitude. They signed a worldwide deal with Nettwerk Records, played their first headline tour of the US, taking in South by Southwest festival and going on to festivals such as Governor’s Ball and Lollapollooza.

In support of their new album Dark Night Sweet Light, Hermitude has just completed a sold out national tour, afterwards triumphantly announcing that they will play Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion and Melbourne’s Festival Hall in November.

Nicholas Beachen of Colorblind Production Lighting is the band’s lighting designer and for this tour he had to be very flexible with gear as the venues varied greatly. Whilst most were nightclub performances, Sydney fans were treated to a ‘proper stage show’ at the Enmore Theatre.

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The band had recently finished participating in the Groovin the Moo tour and Nicholas had planned to use the same light show for the album tour.

“I had a stage design with a floor rig incorporating Ayrton MagicPanels and a show plotted with media content pixel mapped to the MagicPanels,” he explained. “Unfortunately at the Sydney show we couldn’t hire MagicPanels so I had to design a completely new rig just for that one show. On top of that they decided to film the show so I had to allow for that too.”

Hermitude - Mikki Gomez

The Enmore stage was dominated by two risers housing the duo’s extensive gear, such as turntables and MIDI gear, as well as the guys themselves. Nicholas’ stage design incorporated two more risers upstage of the main risers forming wings onto which lights were placed.

“These risers can easily be pushed into place which was useful on the Groovin the Moo festival run as I could set them up backstage then push them on during change over,” said Nicholas. “At the Enmore gig I had Clay Paky Mythos and Stormys as well as Martin MAC101s on the risers. Overhead I had eight Sharpys, six Stormys and eight MAC101s with another two Mythos on the front truss for profiles.”

Hermitude - Enmore Theatre - Mikki Gomez-8738

Although Nicholas states that he can easily replace any light in his design, he was fortunate enough to get Fusion Entertainment’s new Clay Paky gear that had literally just been unpacked from their boxes.“When I knew I had to replace the MagicPanels, I looked for a light that could create nice beam looks yet was not a beam fixture – rather a profile that could deliver sweeping beam looks,” he added.

“I had never used the Mythos before and I didn’t have a lot of time to program, but there was a lot you could do with them. I’m quite a fan of LED strobes and I found the Stormys to be pretty cool. I know a lot of people don’t like LED strobes, whether they’re Stormys or SGM models, as they don’t believe they’re bright enough but I find them plenty bright enough. I also like to use them as a ‘wash flash’ where they don’t strobe. The Stormys had great colours especially the reds and purples.”

For control, Nicholas used Hog 4PC with a Nano Hog 4 wing describing the Hog 4 as his main platform these days.

“I’ve been using a Nano Hog 4 wing on every show I’ve been doing recently,” he remarked. “I’ve been doing a lot of shows in nightclubs recently and taking one small case with a wing in it plus my laptop has proved to be very handy. You have a full, professional control system that is totally portable.”

Nicholas’ lighting design for Hermitude leans towards more static positions with movement and intensity saved for effects. He matches colours to the custom designed video content which he also runs through the MagicPanels, when he has them.

Lighting Designer - Nicholas Beachen

Lighting Designer – Nicholas Beachen

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