DJ, Michael Canitrot recently presented his Monumental show at Cathedral Notre-Dame of Laon in the city of Aisne in the Hauts-de-France region of France, in collaboration with AV-Extended led by Jérémie Bellot. Video projection was mapped onto the front of the Cathedral’s imposing 56m-high façade, supported by a light show designed by Mikael ‘Mika’ Trochu utilising 56 Robe moving lights.
Robe FORTEs and MegaPointes – creating multi-layered effects and striking and potent beams into the skies – were located around the front of the building on the ground and on a balcony approximately 50m up on the front of the building.
At the front of the building, on either side of the stage, seven MegaPointes were deployed on the garden side. Lined up adjacent to one other on special platforms, they highlighted and textured the Cathedral walls including the arch ceilings of the two large, recessed side doors.
On the front balcony, 15 MegaPointes were deployed and used for colouring the top half of the façade, on the back walls under the higher up arches, and to blast beam effects towards the city, while cutting through the night skies.
This was a painstaking and laborious task in terms of rigging. The technical teams had to access the balcony and manually carry each individual fixture through a network of narrow, twisting staircases up to the first-floor level, and beyond that for the MegaPointes that were positioned even further up in the two towers.
Five MegaPointes sides were positioned inside the top of both the Cathedral towers at an elevation of 20m above the balcony. These were used to illuminate the underside of the tower vaulted ceilings which added depth and volume to the video mapping in this area and indeed to the whole picture!
Mika deployed three FORTES inside the Cathedral, one central to illuminate the main rose window flanked by the other two left and right to back-light the two lancet windows of the façade. A further eight FORTES were positioned at the back of the forecourt behind the audience at the control room level for key-lighting the artist and for picking out specific façade details like a central rose window.
Mika highlighted the power of the FORTEs, which allowed him to “texture the Cathedral’s façade both during the quiet moments as well as make major statements during the intense moments” of the narrative.
One idea with the lighting design was to be able to fragment and “cut” the façade vertically to create an illusion of parts disappearing or being removed from the overall picture thanks to the strong contrast between the lit and unlit areas. “The accuracy and flatness of the FORTE shutters when 100% open and zoomed simply blew me away,” Mika stated, praising the power and shutter linearity and accuracy of the lighting fixture.
Mika used an MA Lighting grandMA2 console for programming and operating lighting, supplied by BDL Event Group. The build was completed over two days by a crew of eight for lighting, video, audio and power under the supervision of Bellot of AV-Extended and Technical Director, Martin Javouret, along with eight stagehands. This unique musical and visual show on Laon Cathedral was experienced live by over 2,500 spectators gathered in the square in front.