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Bjork’s “Cornucopia” plays Perth Festival with Robe

Iconic Icelandic singer / songwriter Bjork’s acclaimed visually and sonically immersive “Cornucopia” theatre masterwork played a four‐night residency at the recent Perth Festival in Western Australia. It delighted fans and was staged in a purpose‐built 5000 capacity pavilion in Langley Park, ensconced amid a ‘cybersonic Garden of Eden’ uniting nature and technology!

The tour’s lighting is co‐designed by UK‐based creatives Richard White and Bruno Poet, and for the Perth shows, equipment was supplied by local rental company Showscreens, including several Robe moving light fixtures from their extensive inventory.

Gracing the rig were 18 x Robe BMFL Blades, 20 x BMFL Spots,15 x BMFL Wash Beams, 30 x Spiiders and 12 x LEDWash 600s plus two more BMFL WashBeams on RoboSpot systems that are specified for the whole tour.

“Showscreens were an excellent choice of rental partner and came up with a great package for us,” stated Richard, who utilised the BMFL Blades for all the key lighting and sidelight. Their accurate framing shutter system is “essential” for this show, he noted, and that is due in a large part to the video projection’s multi‐layered tracking curtain system.

The BMFL Spots and WashBeams also made up the remainder of the flown and floor fixtures, and these were primarily used for effects and imaginative beam work.

Working as an over‐stage wash light, the Spiiders were highly efficient for covering all the necessary areas.

Spiiders were also rigged on the audience trusses and augmented with the LEDWash 600s.

Cornucopia’s sound design features a full 360‐degree d&b Soundscape audio system with approximately 100 speakers all around the auditorium, with numerous audio tracking and spot effects mapped to the lights, which requires plenty of fixtures above the audience to gain the full effect.

A two base station RoboSpot system running with two BMFL WashBeams has been specified for “Cornucopia” right from the start, when this thought‐ provoking collage of image, lighting, sound, music and movement was first staged at The Shed in New York in 2019.

Richard describes the RoboSpots as “vital” for the show. All the tracking / following and sizing of the beams is undertaken by the RoboSpot operators, while he retains control all of the other parameters via the lighting console, a set up that allows for lightning quick reactions to the sudden changes in the stage space that come with the repeated curtain moves happening live throughout the performance.

Richard also reveals that in terms of quality of light, he prefers the slightly softer feel of the BMFL WashBeam for this task.

In Perth, Richard worked alongside festival production managers John Carter and Rio Hall‐Jones and the Showscreens team comprising production manager Kale Tatam and lighting techs Cameron Munro and Josh Tilson.

“Showscreens definitely listened to and fulfilled the brief,” he commented, adding, “it’s not an easy show to walk into as a local supplier, but Kale and Rio were super supportive throughout, while Cameron and Josh

ensured that everything ran smoothly and we were always well looked after!”

Showscreens’ owner Ryan Varley stated, “We were delighted to embrace the challenge of fulfilling Richard’s and the Bjork teams’ requirements to deliver a spectacular show in the largest free‐span tent in the southern hemisphere!”

Cornucopia focuses on nature and the environment and touches on many frontline issues and hot button topics! The visual starting point for Bruno and Richard’s lighting design was the stunning video content created by artist and designer Tobias Gremmler together with Chiara Stephenson’s striking and intricate scenic concepts.

Bruno and Richard both also enjoyed working with show director, award‐winning Argentinian filmmaker Lucretia Martel, whose influence brought an epic cinematic perspective and its own distinctive spirit and rhythm to the show.

Photos © Santiago Felipe


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