Ayrton Cobra and Spider meet in Poland
Creative visual director, lighting and multimedia designer, Paweł ‘Spider’ Pajak, of Percepto incorporated a wealth of Ayrton’s latest lighting products into Dawid Podsiadło’s three sold-out stadium shows in Poland, which included a record-breaking attendance at the Silesian Stadium in Chorzow. Singer-songwriter Podsiadło is one of Poland’s biggest touring artists with whom Spider has worked for the past ten years.
Pajak chose the latest Ayrton IP65 rated fixtures including 68 Perseo Profile, 21 Domino Profile and 46 of the new Cobra laser-sourced fixtures. The remainder of his rig consisted of 24 Ayrton Huracan Profile fixtures which were sited under the protection of the stage roof.
“IP rated fixtures are essential for the type of outdoor work I do,” Spider explains. “Recent years have seen a massive change in the development of IP rated fixtures like Ayrton’s Perseo, Domino and Cobra which are fully ready for both outdoor and indoor use. This means you don’t need to swap fixtures in the rig when changing from an arena tour to an outdoor festival, for instance. This is a big game changer. Ayrton fixtures are verybright, reliable, supercool units, with nice design, great optics and quality of light, and have everything you could want for internal features. They just happen to be IP rated too!”
Already familiar with Perseo Profile, Spider chose to embed the fixtures in eight LED screens fixed to eight overhead moving clusters. Another group was dedicated to a large trapeze shape truss that framed the moving clusters and was also used as a moving set element.
The Domino Profile fixtures were employed mostly as front lights and key lights on the singers and soloists, maximising the colour potential of Domino. “Domino was quite new when I first specified it for the Dawid Podsiadło concerts but I’ve found it to be a powerful outdoor profile that has proved ideal as front light on festival rigs,” says Spider. “I use a lot of colour for my key lights and paint the artists according to the mood of the song, video content and environment. The colour mixing in Domino is very useful because the output is bright enough to play with, especially when creating darker and more saturated colours which can be problematic if there’s not enough output. Domino and Huracán have enough power to combine all the feature layers of colour, gobo and animation to achieve everything you could want with beam, aerial or front light with which to paint your space. The results are vivid and punchy.”
The newly released Cobra fixtures were a late addition to the Podsiadło shows and used simply and effectively on each of the left and right wings flanking the IMAG screens, and upstage as floor lights behind the band risers. “I made full use of Cobra’s prisms to achieve almost laser looks and was surprised how vivid this effect was,” says Spider.
The Podsiadło shows marked the first use of Cobra in Poland and Spider’s first opportunity to put them into action. “I took my time in getting to know Cobra – as I do with all my fixture choices – to understand the small optical details that would enable me to get the maximum visual impact from it,” he says. “Everyone expects its fabulous white beam, but Cobra is much more than that with its different modes, colours, gobos and especially prisms. Apart from the beam, playing with two of the prisms was a favourite of mine – it gave me some really unique looks.
“As a lighting designer you need to know your tools in detail to squeeze the maximum out of every unit. Especially when it comes to all intelligent lighting equipped with lots of control channels, many different features, layers, pixel mapping options, dependencies between different parameters etc. Once you know the advantages and limitations of your fixtures and what you can achieve with them, you can really have fun!”
The combination of Perseo, Domino and Cobra proved so successful that Spider specified them as a lighting package which he used continually for the Summer 2022 festival season. “IP rating is equally as important for rental companies as for LDs. We no longer need to have separate rigs for indoor and outdoor gigs during the summer season,” he says.
“Perseo was the first fixture to make me realise this was possible. You need to find the best balance between budget, environmental and technical aspects to be the most effective and creative. I started with Perseo which has really good balance that fits into any environment from stadiums and festivals to arenas and clubs: compact, light-weight, with nice colours, features and output. Then, when I needed more output, Ayrton introduced Domino which is basically an outdoor version of Huracán which I knew already! This allowed me to combine a greater number of features whilst retaining plenty of output. I can use it without any rain coverswhich I am not a fan of at all.
“IP rated fixtures have become an important element of my lighting specs due to their great quality of light and compact design compared to few years ago.”
The festival package saw an increase in the number of fixtures to over 100 Perseo Profiles which, along with the Cobra, Domino LT and Domino Profile fixtures, withstood the heat, dust, wind, full sun and rain of a busy Polish summer season. “The IP rating gave us a full toolbox and a lot of confidence throughout the summer season. They were well tested and stood up to everything.”
The Ayrton fixtures were supplied by Polish rental company, Wizja Multimedia, which purchased the Cobra units specifically for the Dawid Podsiadło show from Ayrton’s exclusive distributor for Poland, Lunatec Sp. z o.o.
“The possibility of offering new ‘toys’ for lighting designers is pure pleasure for me!” says Michal Bisikiewicz of Lunatec Sp. z o.o. “Cooperation with Spider is always very good. His unconventional approach to fixtures and the way he looks for nuances, flavours, and how to use them is a great joy. For Lunatec, the biggest challenge was to deliver the Ayrton Cobra fixtures on time as they were in such demand at that time. Everyone wanted to have and use these lights!
Text: Julie Harper
Creative Visual Production: Percepto (ig @percepto_lab)
Production, Lighting & Multimedia Design: Paweł ‘Spider’ Pajak
Lighting & Multimedia: Wizja Multimedia
Production Agency: EastEventz
Photos: © Percepto / H Karapuda