Robe in the Clouds with ИF
Talented US rapper ИF toured his Clouds (The Mixtape) album in October with a raw and stylish production design created by Chris Denholm (also musical director) and Clay Joiner (also lighting designer) … tuning in to the artist’s big presence, smart words and intimate one‐to‐one live performance bond with his fans. To capture the narrative flow and massive energy of his music on this first ever shed tour, Chris and Clay needed some seriously bright lights … and chose over 200 Robe fixtures as the ‘lead luminaires’!
The lighting rig included 64 x Robe Tarrantula wash beams, 128 x Spikies, and 16 x BMFL Spots plus two BMFL FollowSpots on a RoboSpot remote follow spotti ng system. The ‘big box’ geometry featured a large upstage screen, and the lighting both maximized the space and enabled it to be broken down into tightly concentrated areas.
With a heavy emphasis on upstage and back lighting, two pods of 4x4 Tarrantulas were positioned upstage left and right – four in total, flanking the screen.
The 128 x Spikies were deployed in eight raked Svoboda‐style pods – again in the 4x4 format – above the stage. With this concentration of Spikies, Clay could program lots of beautiful fluid kinetic eﬀects to match the rhythm and beat of the music. Fourteen BMFL WashBeams were equally spaced out along the lowest section of the upstage truss, with the two BMFL FollowSpots in the center for backlighting ИF.
The Tarrantulas were picked for their sheer output! “That extra ring of color and LEDs (one more than Robe’s standard Spiider wash beam) is fantastic,” commented Chris, adding that it was the first time he’d used them at the suggestion of lighting rental vendor, Solotech. “It’s a great fixture to program and the flower eﬀect is also excellent,” reckons Clay. Combined with the Spikes to produce over 200 flower eﬀects onstage gave them latitude to create some fabulously rich multi‐ dimensional looks!
The BMFL WashBeams are another favorite of Clay’s. They wanted something powerful with a discharge lamp at the back to bring some contrast to the aesthetic. The two upstage center BMFL FollowSpots were chosen for backlighting ИF for practicality and ease of use. “The overall RoboSpot control footprint is really small, so the BaseStation sat at dimmer beach and was run by one of our techs,” explained Chris.
As the console programmer / operator, Clay had control of all RoboSpot parameters via his grandMA2 apart from iris and zoom which were tweaked by the operator as needed, and having these two spots follow him everywhere was essential for the show. Also on the rig were LED pixel strips, blinders, and strobes.
Clay pre‐vizzed the lighting for 10 days in Solotech’s Nashville oﬃce using Vectorworks and imported the show into Depence2 via MVR.
Photo © Eddie Diaz