GLP JDC Line and impression X4 Bar provide inventive staging for Luciano

Timo Martens breaks with convention and creates an unusual lighting and stage design for the German rapper

Berlin-born rapper Luciano recently toured sold-out arenas in Germany, Austria and Switzerland with his seventh studio album, Seductive, which was released in February.

Timo Martens, together with Bertil Mark – part of the creative collective Stop Making Sense – created a full production design (incorporating lights, stage and content) for one of Germany’s most far-reaching artists, who transcends boundaries and challenges conventional viewing habits.

Visually, a 25-metre catwalk and two gigantic LED-equipped, movable ceiling sails dominated the design, with the majority of the lightshow comprising 80 each of GLP’s JDC Line hybrid strobes and impression X4 Bar 20 battens.

From the stage… out into the audience

In addition to the relatively small main stage, which was only used for a few moments in the show, the oversized catwalk served as a performance area for the artist. Describing the underlying thinking, Martens explains: “We wanted to move away from the conventional viewing habits of a main stage situation and move the entire show more towards the audience in order to generate a kind of club feeling… even in the largest arenas.”

This provided completely new perspectives on the action on stage, with the show appearing different from every viewing point in the auditorium.

Eighty JDC Line edged the catwalk on both sides and frame the rear stage area. Often used in a comparatively understated manner, the combination of high-power strobe and two RGB LED Lines provided low-key lighting as well as colour and running lights on the bridge.

“I chose the JDC Line because I really wanted a linear light along the length of the catwalk from below,” continues the designer. “This gave me the opportunity to react to the music in as varied and powerful ways as possible, in addition to the basic lighting. The JDC Line is, in my opinion, the ideal tool for lining a catwalk.”

impression X4 Bar 20 frames two 16 x 4-metre ceiling sails

Towards the end of the show, an illuminated 10-metre circle floated above the main stage, bringing beam-work into play. In front of it, two movable 16 × 4-metre ceiling sails, equipped with LED panels, ensured ever-changing visual impressions and control of the viewing angle. The sails were framed on all four sides by GLP impression X4 Bar 20.

“Depending on the position of the sails, we used the X4 Bars with a classic narrow zoom, as a light curtain, or alternatively we visually expanded the video content on the sails,” says Martens. “When the sails were folded towards the audience, they also served as blinders. For example, when the sails made butterfly movements, completely unusual effects would appear. Because the sails were constantly changing, some looks were particularly impressive from the front, while others looked better from the side. Sometimes the sails moved very far into the audience or floated very low above people’s heads. This created special and very energetic moments in the Luciano show.”

This unusual production design received a fantastic response from the media, as Martens points out: “Everyone who witnessed it found it exciting and different. Viewing perspectives that differed from the norm had a particular impact on the audience.”

Timo Martens’ design was brought to life in conjunction with Bertil Mark and Raphaël Demonthy (Sunrise Studios GmbH). “We work very well together and can draw on a proven workflow that allows us to achieve good results very quickly,” adds Martens.

Captured Live was responsible for executing Luciano’s Seductive tour. Lighting and sound were provided by TDA Clair, the staging came from satis&fy, Faber Audiovisuals supplied the LED system, and Rec Tec AG Switzerland supplied the media server technology.