Vari-Lite WASH luminaires add on-camera effects for Niels Broos

"Vari-Lite VL5LED WASH gave us the visual extra we were looking for," says LD Jolijn van Iersel. Photo: Living Projects / TivoliVredenburg

Utrecht’s TivoliVredenburg music complex recently hosted a live session by celebrated Dutch musician, Niels Broos, with an effects-rich lighting design by Jolijn van Iersel using the features of Vari-Lite VL5LED WASH, VL10 BEAMWASH and VL6500 WASH luminaires from Signify.

Widely regarded as one of the most creative jazz and electronic music keyboard players of our day, Broos’ performance saw renditions of some of his biggest hits as well as improvised, immersive sound design pieces. It was part of the Gaudeamus festival – staged for young music pioneers – and was streamed to fans.

“Niels wanted something special for the show, so we tried to look for some interesting new ways to light his performance,” said van Iersel, who is also a lighting technician at TivoliVredenburg. “The VL5LED WASH and its LED ring gave us the visual extra we were looking for. It was able to not only be a fixture, but also create a décor and background by using the blades in combination with the rings. This is why I chose to position the lights so closely around the artist and his equipment, so that every camera shot would show at least one VL5. The LED ring also provided the effects we could use to highlight the soundscapes in the music, without overdoing it for the camera.”

van Iersel positioned the VL10 BEAMWASH luminaires as floodlights, on the floor at the back of the room. Vari-Lite VL6500 WASH fixtures were also used, bolstering the wash possibilities from the same point.

“The VL10s are ideal to light up the stage quite wide and bright without the need of many lights,” Van Iersel continued. “They also added a wide range of gobo and beam effects to fill in the look. The VL6500 WASH is interesting too, with the use of the blades both as ambience-effects in the room and on camera. The smoothness of the Vari-Lites is a really big plus with lighting a show this way, the colour mixing of the VL5 is wonderful to look at while fading. As this was mainly a busked show, the Vari-Lites reacted quickly and smoothly.”

The Vari-Lite luminaires were supplied to the show by Dutch distributor and lighting concepts expert Living Projects, overseen by Frank Schotman. “Jolijn van Iersel approached me to say that she needed some feature-heavy fixtures for a very special show, so I took no time to suggest the Vari-Lites,” said Schotman, who is affectionately known as ‘Frank the Tank’.

“I am what they call an ‘industry dinosaur’, with more than 30 years of experience in lighting. To me, the VL5LED WASH is the best LED wash ever, and the VL10 BEAMWASH offers incredible output and optical package in one fixture, and then there’s the VL6500 WASH – what a beast of a luminaire!” he concluded.