Jaclyn Ash, the lighting designer behind Stand Atlantic’s three-continent tour in support of their third studio album, F.E.A.R, describes the looks she’s conjuring for the Sydney-based band as a ‘blend of pop with a punk edge’.
“For my lighting, it makes it easy to incorporate subtle chases and effects with very harsh strobes to balance each song. Whenever there is a screaming vocal or a breakdown in a song I love to emphasise with a full package strobe. The band is definitely punk in their sound, but they also have a lighter rocking through a chorus, or if there’s a lot of hi-hat – I love to match with a fun chase or a flashy Gobo.”
Helping Ash conjure up this mix of moods on the US leg of the band’s tour is a Squeek Lights supplied rig that features CHAUVET Professional Rogue R1 BeamWash fixtures. Arranged mid-stage between the drum risers, the RGBW hybrid fixtures are filling a variety of roles in the lightshow, from creating redolent backlighting to covering the entire stage in colour.
“The R1’s are excellent as washes, but I am also fixing them as a narrow beam to give the look of a spot or beam and provide even more direct movement to the background,” said Ash. “I love using them to define those intimate moments of the set. I also vary the size of their beams to add depth to the stage.”
Changing the beam angles of her Rogue fixtures, also helps Ash unfold her design in the fashion of light narrative. This is the case in one of her favourite looks of the show. “I love how the song Wavelength turned out,” she said. “I have gobos defining the intro and ‘waves’ across the fixtures throughout the song to break apart the chorus and verses. I use a lot of beam changes to provide depth and make it feel like you’re in a completely different realm.”
Colour in general is playing a key role in setting different auras on stage to reflect the undercurrent of emotions that power each song. Varying the palette of her back lighting, and contrasting different colored beams, Ash is able to conjure up a continuous flow of changing looks. She also relies on monochromatic colour schemes to create a demarcation between songs.
“I really enjoy using monochromatic palettes in transitions,” she said. “As a viewer, you are able to feel the arrival of a new song. With that being said, adding any sort of colour pop to a monochromatic palette is exciting and noticeable. In the song Lost My Cool, I use a mixture of blues and whites, and break up the important lines with a contrasting red. This defines the song, so the audience feels the emotion behind the lyrics.”
Dark space is thrown into Ash’s creative mix too, as a nod to the title of the band’s new album. “The title F.E.A.R. definitely inspired me to play around with darkness due to the album’s dark nature,” she said. “I feel just as lighting can affect someone’s mood, so can its counterpart. A lot of times people expect an LD to only use lighting to convey a mood, but shadows and blackouts can be just as effective.”