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Perpetuum Jazzile Entertains Robe

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Crt Birsa from Slovenian design studio Blackout recently utilised Robe moving lights to realise the raw and edgy lighting aesthetic wanted by Slovenian vocal orchestra Perpetuum Jazzile for a video shoot in Ljubljana.

The artists have won international acclaim for their acapella versions of several famous songs and for their lively and invigorating live performances.

This video shoot was directed by Rok Maver and took place in the new VPK Mediapark “Media Centre” nightclub in Ljubljana which has just opened. The Robe elements were 16 x FORTES, 28 x MegaPointes and 22 Spiiders, all supplied by Ljubljana based rental company Intralite – who just invested in FORTES at the start of the summer which were delivered by Robe’s Slovenian distributor, MK Light Sound.

These were all rigged quite closely together on three overhead house trusses and the deck which boosted the intensity and drama of the lighting in relation to the camera angles. Crt also used 36 x LED strobes on the rig.

Crt was booked to light the video shoot, but the exact date and venue were not decided until the week before, so he prepared a ‘base’ design anyway, planned around Perpetuum Jazzile’s standard lighting rider, plus 40 % additional lighting for the floor and sides.

“It was a straightforward rig,” stated Crt, “Sometimes that is all you need! I am a big believer in less-is-more when used well – thoughtfully and not overdone! I know that this set of strong moving lights would have all the features to allow me to be imaginative, flexible and to get the range of looks.”

He was working directly for the band, who were recording videos for two songs. One a medley of classical pieces and the other, a cover of the iconic Nirvana anthem “Spells Like Teen Spirit”. The 36 singers were set up on the bare stage in a block. standing on 4 levels of orchestra risers.

In and out in a day, they needed to maximise shooting time and there was absolutely no time to experiment or try ideas speculatively, so Crt leaned into his extensive creative lighting experience, his knowledge of the band and what he knew would work for the style of video Rok wanted to produce.

The Robe fixtures were all spec’d for their power and multipurpose functionality. Knowing he’d be limited on time, Crt also chose lights with which he was familiar and knew he could achieve the desired end results super quickly.

“I added the 10 x MegaPointes per side on the floor to effectively connect lighting together from all corners and angles,” he explained, “but just those 20 x MegaPointes alone could produce some brilliant looks,” and these included darting intense shafts of light and texturing onto the floor in between the singers, which, together with the wide pulses of light from the strobes, brought a truly three-dimensional feel to the space.

Eight of the remaining MegaPointes were on the floor on cases at the back behind the band with the FORTES and Spiiders above.

Eight Spiiders proved more than enough for key lighting all 36 singers, and another fourteen Spiiders were rigged, seven each, on the two back trusses.

The 16 x FORTES were rigged on the two back trusses and used as the main upstage lights for which they were “completely brilliant” for the task enthused Crt, adding, “They are an incredibly smooth luminaire with a beautiful quality of light which is great for any picture.”

Crt and his team of lighting designers and directors at Blackout have been working with Perpetuum Jazzile since 2021.

The video shoot involved two cameras. The stark, fast-cut, highly animated Teen Spirit video flips between monochrome and red with the lighting playing an essential part and is very effective.

The recording preceded a series of four completely sold-out 40th anniversary shows by Perpetuum Jazille at Ljubljana’s Cankerjev Dom at the end of October 2023.

Photo Credit: Crt Birsa

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