Lüz Studio Lights Børns with GLP X4 Series

Photo: Steve Carlson

Lüz Studio continues to provide highly inventive lighting solutions from its base in Montreal, most recently for American singer-songwriter, Børns, on his world Blue Madonna tour.

Set up in 2005 by versatile lighting/video designer Matthieu Larivée, Lüz Studio has frequently turned to German Light Products’ X4 platform for its requirements, and this latest tour has been no exception. The LD has made versatile use of 16 X4 Bar 20 battens and 14 impression X4, supplied by Upstaging of Chicago.

Børns’ 2016 Dopamine tour had been non-production tour, with no lighting whatsoever, so instead Lüz Studio designed a backdrop that was lit by local LD’s. “There were 3 separate layers of Red, Blue and Green, so depending on the lighting used, a different backdrop would be created.” Lüz themselves were involved in lighting some of a few bigger shows.

When they started working on what would be Børns’ first full production tour, Matthieu Larivée wanted to do something special with the lighting that reflected the artist’s world. “He is always super chic, has a super strong artistic vision and his music is poetic,” he said. “Designing a club tour usually means a lighting floor package. I wanted to keep that in mind but I wanted to have a visual reference that would differentiate a Børns concert from the other acts that play in a club.”

His idea was for a unique canvas that would work well with the lights. “The Blue Madonna album has a very summery vibe but Børns wanted to have a classic rock look too. So we came up with the idea of having a wall of tropical leaves as a nice scenic backdrop onto which we could front project and create dramatic rear projection effects.”

The hand-crafted canvas is made of 1,000 different leaves, hung on a camo net. They are painted grey to catch all colours of light and yet disappear when not lit. “When lit from bottom, side, front or back, it creates different shapes and looks,” explained the LD, who deployed 4 X4 Bar 20 on either side of the backdrop and 8 concealed in the backdrop itself. impression X4’s were also located at the bottom of the backdrop to create a dramatic lighting angle, while the pixel mapping effect projected on the leaves was also very effective. “Pixel animation can be very modern but on this one, because the source was hidden, it created a mystic look. It’s just so versatile.”

“The X4 Bar was a key element in the design,” he continued. “We were able to create nice theatrical side lights to highlight the music punches with the fast zoom and create some nice moments with the tilt effect. The hidden fixtures behind the backdrop were stunning, and this is one of my favorite looks. With the zoom and tilt possibility we could achieve so much — and I could be very precise while providing dynamic support for the rock show.”

Larivée added: “The speed of each parameter of the X4 was super important. The fact that you can go very narrow and very wide was also important. So, I could side light the leaves and on a snare hit, I could punch the zoom to create another dimension.”

Matthieu Larivée himself programmed the lighting with assistance from Jean Sebastien Guilmette from Luz Studio, with the whole show time-coded. Above all, he said, a lighting fixture needs to be versatile. “And the LED GLP fixture line is certainly that, and they are well designed, easy to program, precise and offer endless colour possibilities. I can use the X4 on a whole range of events, from musicals to rock shows.”