Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – HARMAN’s Martin Professional MAC Aura™ and MAC Aura™ XB fixtures lit stages from New York to Los Angeles and many stops in-between on Passenger’s recent USA tour. British musician Passenger, also known as Mike Rosenberg, topped the charts worldwide in 2013 with his single “Let Her Go.”
Lighting and live production design group Okulus, made up of James Scott and Louis Oliver, was challenged to create a top-flight lighting show to complement the eclectic quality that characterizes Passenger’s performances and visually enhance the concert experience.
Okulus joined forces with Passenger for his USA tour in September, which included eight shows at iconic venues like the Wiltern in Los Angeles, the Beacon Theater in New York, and a show with British pop star Ed Sheeran at the Gillette Stadium. For Passenger’s tour, the Okulus duo needed lightweight fixtures with a single point of rigging. Scott and Oliver decided on 22 MAC Aura™ and MAC Aura™ XB fixtures from Martin Professional which they were familiar with from previous productions and knew they could rely on. The recent tour featured Passenger as a solo artist, so Okulus needed fixtures that would fill up the stage and captivate the audiences, which the MAC Auras fulfilled.
The design concept was based around a semi-transparent mixed-media drape hung mid-stage, being lit from the back, front and sides. The MAC Auras were rigged on dropdown extensions from the pre-rig truss that the drape was suspended from. The dropdowns varied in height, following the horizontal curve of the top black masking of the drape. The MAC Auras were also used downstage for side and front lighting and to create drape effects.
“The drape is a simple, effective centerpiece,” Scott said. “We use a variety of different fixtures to create stunning effects, gobos and animation wheels. The lighting really serves to complement the passion and energy Passenger delivers to the audience at every show.”
Passenger, who spent years as a busking musician, impressed Scott with his ability to turn a 2,000-seat venue into an intimate setting for the audience. With the MAC Auras, Scott was able to light the stage in a way that enhanced, rather than overpowered, Passenger’s acoustic sets. What convinced Scott on the MAC Auras, however, was their dependability and ease-of-use.
“The most important feature of the MAC Auras for this tour is their reliability,” said Scott. “The entire stage setup rolls in and out in a carefully designed pre-rig truss system that saves us time during changeovers. Therefore, we need lights that work the first time we turn them on, with minimal setup time. The MAC Auras are a model of consistency, and we know we can count on them, night after night, to enhance the performances of this dynamic artist.”
Okulus was founded in 2014 when James Scott and Louis Oliver merged their two lighting companies, Wasted Light and Times Design. Earlier this year, Oliver was named a “Young Designer to Watch” by Live Design magazine, and Okulus has already collaborated with prestigious names such as Chvrches, Sam Smith, Disclosure and The Zac Brown Band. For more information on Okulus, please visit: http://www.okulus.co.uk/.
HARMAN (harman.com) designs and engineers connected products and solutions for automakers, consumers and enterprises worldwide, including connected car systems, audio and visual products, enterprise automation solutions and connected services. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson® and Revel®, HARMAN is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform around the world. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and connected car systems. The Company's software services power billions of mobile devices and systems that are connected, integrated and secure across all platforms, from work and home to car and mobile. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 28,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $6.4 billion during the 12 months ended September 30, 2015. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE:HAR.