Pulse Lighting Taps Ayrton Fixtures for Jason Isbell’s Ryman Residency

Ayrton Ghiblis and Mistrals luminaires - Jason Isbell’s Ryman Residency, Greg O’Loughlin

American rocker Jason Isbell has completed a sold-out, six-night residency at the Ryman Auditorium, the iconic live performance venue in Nashville. Pulse Lighting’s Ayrton Ghibli and Mistral fixtures helped light up Isbell’s shows, which have become an annual event for his fans.

Mikey Cummings, Head of Design at Pulse Lighting, is also the Lighting Designer for Isbell. He had designed a rig for Isbell’s current tour cycle, which he revamped for the Ryman residency.

“We gave the rig a facelift and switched out some fixtures,” said Cummings. “I had been looking for more power conservation and greater consistency in colour, but I hadn’t loved any of the LED fixtures I’d seen. Then Doug Mekanik of ACT Lighting (Ayrton’s exclusive distributor in North America) demo’d the Ghiblis and Mistrals for us.”

The Ayrton Ghibli is Ayrton’s first LED spot luminaire with a factory-equipped framing system and it delivered a light output of 23,000 lumens in a highly compact format. The Ayrton Mistral TC is a versatile, ultra-compact and fully equipped LED spot luminaire designed for applications requiring perfect colour reproduction.

“I was really impressed by the Ghibli,” said Paul Hoffman, owner of Pulse Lighting. “I came from a position of extreme scepticism when it came to LEDs in general. I’d seen other LED profiles before the Ghibli, but Ghibli was the first whose level of quality was such that I was ready to buy it. In my opinion, it’s the first LED profile worth its salt.”

The design for Isbell’s Ryman residency was centred on his personal anchor-and-sparrow logo. An active set piece featured the crest illuminated by 20 universes of LED tape lights and incandescent lights.

Cummings positioned four Ayrton Ghiblis upstage and six more mid-stage, while the Ryman house fixtures included 18 Ghiblis in the grid. Cummings also mounted six Ayrton Mistrals on ladders upstage and six on the floor towers. Depending on the song, the Ayrton fixtures provided band back, side lighting and effects lighting.

“We like to use fixtures of different wattages to add texture to a show, and the Ghiblis and Mistrals worked very well together. You couldn’t tell the difference between them on camera – they looked great,” Cummings said. “The fixtures far exceeded what we hoped for, and have become active members of our inventory and part of our design process. Another benefit is that we can fit two fixtures in the same cases that used to carry only one.”