LD Ben Mansfield praises punch, brightness and colour rendering in compact form factor
GLP’s new impression X5 washlight has provided a perfect solution for lighting designer Ben Mansfield when trying to capture the considerable movement of Norwegian singer-songwriter Sigrid around concert stages.
Mansfield, who runs Tourlite Design with brother Josh, has been working with Sigrid since 2018 when she first started playing clubs and theatres. However the latest tour to promote her second album, How To Let Go – which started at the Spectrum Arena in Oslo in May 2022 – is her largest production tour yet, and included the 12,500-cap. OVO Arena (Wembley Arena).
Mansfield is well used to the stage athleticism of the synth-pop star, in front of her four-piece band, and designed a rig that was flexible, scalable and video-driven for festivals. “As a performer she is very active, running around the stage a lot – so lighting her consistently can be a challenge,” he says.
“The show is very colourful, so we always key light Sigrid in white light, with her band in a desaturated colour. This really helps to lift her from the stage and add depth,” he continues. The impression X5 also provides a key source, “to give a two-tonal effect on her face”. For arena shows, the addition of a two-point follow spot system on top ensures the spotlight remains on Sigrid wherever she moves to.
Mansfield was keen to use the impression X5 as his preferred washlight from the get-go, and James Davies, from Tourlite’s regular vendor TSL, wasted no time in securing the fixtures. “James understands what we need and works relentlessly to make sure we are happy,” praises the production designer. David Stewart at GLP’s UK office was equally supportive, immediately making a demo unit available for programming purposes and supplying the 10 fixtures requisitioned.
Explaining the underlying reason for this preference, Ben Mansfield states, “It is our first use of the X5 for us, aside from as part of a festival rig. But In my eyes, if a fixture is impressive at a festival and good to work with, that’s a great sign.
“For Sigrid, we needed a bright, tight and punchy wash – something that we could rely on for consistent colour rendering, which was also fast and lightweight. Output was the main requirement. The impression X5 Wash was the frontrunner on paper for what was needed, and proved itself in the show, cutting through especially with saturated colours. Other fixtures we’ve used in the past tend to only have impact when in white or tight beams.”
Each X5 contains 19 powerful 40 W LEDs in GLP’s trademark baseless compact chassis. These provide enormous output, and the expanded colour gamut and high colour rendering, with tungsten simulation and magenta/green shift options, along with individual pixel control and built-in pattern macros.
In addition to these, a further 24 GLP impression X4 Bar 20 were deployed – mainly driven by the media servers to light the scenic elements that wrapped the video screen. “This brought the depth of the video content out onto the set and brought the elements together.” The show was piloted from a grandMA3 (run in Mode 2).
In summary, the designer says, “The X5s behaved exactly as we would have wanted them to. We used them in their basic mode and didn’t utilise the pixel elements – this meant they cloned very easily from programming in the show.
“The impression X5 is going to be our large wash fixture of choice going forwards. It’s compact, feature rich and has the great colour rendering we want to see in a fixture.”