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       Art of Rock Concert Lighting

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Showcase » Psychedelic Lighting Workshop 2006 » Responses

Psychedelic project responses

On Collaboration/Communication/Projects

Ali:
Our second lab session provided us time to put everything into place, and add in a few minor things. While the previous session had been more experimentation, during this session we put a format to our performance. We listened more carefully to the song lyrics and the differences between chorus and verses to settle on lighting methods we would use and when to use them.

Annelise:
During practice we played around with the lights and liquids, and started to become more honest about what we liked and disliked... Combining liquid lights and dry lights was my favorite part of the show. It created the same effect of music: the dry lights making the beat by flashing and adding theme colors, and then the liquid lights as the moving melody and harmony.

Robert:
My favorite visual effect that [we] created was making two cardboard cutouts into a design that seemed to look like dripping paint [for] the closing of our song.

Jim:
Communication was important while our group was jamming to the music…whenever anyone saw anything they particularly liked and thought should be included, the spoke up. As the project came together, communication remained key because everyone was performing a different part and had to take cues from each other. Even during the final performance we were nodding to each other.

Ben:
…discovering the creative power of an over-head projector and various household ingredients such as dyes and oils was the real thrill of this project—I was fascinated by the visual imagery produced by the magnified plates.

Patrick:
When handing out jobs, everyone took a task they had been practicing and just went with it. The final improvisational piece was a mixture of everyone’s ideas put together.

David:
…Communication between the individuals involved with the light show was essential. Whether it is a whisper or a nod, or making eye contact, these small gestures or signals proved to be very important. We…created...a timeline of events that are to happen with the song so that everyone could have a general idea of what was going to happen. ...There is something about the lights, patterns, liquids, colors, and music that meshed together and formed something that was both auditory and visually stimulating…

Pierce:
Combining elements of adventure, cooperation, inventiveness, and outright psychedelia, the liquid light show experience was a great way to kick off the year... It was quickly realized that our challenge for the show was not going to be finding elements to put in, but deciding what few elements would work best.

Lidia:
Although we rehearsed our show less than a week prior to presentation day, improvisation was required throughout the final presentation. Eye contact and verbal communication among the members of my group were vital factors to our ability to improvise.

Martin:
I have a newfound appreciation of just how much work goes into these [liquid light] shows. After seeing pictures of some of the effects they created and comparing them to our crude replicas, [I got] a feeling of just how talented these people were at what they did.

Ashley:
Everyone was really attentive to one another and considered different ideas. Over-all communication went well, before the performance our group communicated and planned out each others roles in order to have the show run as smoothly as possible.

Hannah:
We all offered our ideas when we were in the development stages of the process, and we experimented with many different ideas until we found something we all agreed looked good. If we had not cooperated so well, I don’t think our presentation would have turned out as well.

Whitney:
Everyone in one in a way gravitated towards whatever they were most comfortable with, whether it be the light, the mixtures, or a different element. While collaborating...we discovered many neat visual effects…

Alex:
With each person’s input, ideas were flying from everywhere. With all of these ideas afloat many of them ending up meshing with another person’s idea and thus developed into a large core of our presentation… [through our] improvisations… our group [was] able to truly discover our own creativity…for we were then part of the performance and our creativity… led to some truly awesome visuals.

Lauren:
This project was unlike anything I had ever done before. I don’t do many creative projects, so this was a great learning experience for me. …At first this project was a bit daunting…there were so many choices when it came to which kind of lighting to use and when… After we each became an “expert” as a certain effect, we began suggesting different elements for different parts of the song. Thus our performance was born!

Blake:
Lighting is indeed a team sport. Before the big performance plays are drawn out, duties are assigned, and everyone relies on each other. If one person drops the ball, or the spotlight, it could leave a black hole in the show. In this sense communication is essential.

On the Joshua Light Show/Rothschilds "Theatre of Light"

Ali:
I think that the [Joshua Light Show] was as fun as Rothschilds describes it. Because they were improvising, it was a different experience each time.

Jim:
I believe [the Joshua Light Show] would be just as exciting today if there were music to match. The light shows of that era would not really fit with today’s popular music…however, it isn't impossible to imagine a resurgence in the [liquid] light show when the right music…comes along in the future.

Robert:
The [Joshua Light Show] must have been quite the spectacle to spur people to attend it…

Zach:
The project…required a lot of imagination…collaboration, and teamwork. In the end a lot of imaginative visual effects were produced through extensive collaboration and gave the group a feel for the exciting psychedelic light show experience.

Ben:
The Joshua Light show was exciting and an art form in its own right…it was innovative…experiencing the music, in sync with dancing color, flashing lights, all in an intimate setting like the Fillmore must have been…awesome.

Ryan L:
The Joshua Light Show was probably fun to work [on]…but it probably began to lose its appeal once people began to focus more on the music, the [lighting] performance seen more as a gimmick than an integral part of a production.

Lidia:
The Joshua Light Show was symbolic of life in the 1960s because of how instantaneous and improvised the presentations were…

Hannah:
Perhaps the light shows mocked a drug trip or tried to enhance the trips of the audience or maybe both...

On why the light show died

Robert:
I believe the “Light Show” art form died so quickly because the growing counter-culture associated with specific music groups became a culture within itself…[and] sky rocketed in popularity leaving the light show as [a] main feature, a thing of the past.

Ali:
I think [musical] artists wanted their own personality put into the shows and the Joshua Light Show was its own institution.

Antonio:
The Joshua Light Show could only have existed [when it did]. Part of why it was so popular was the drug induced hallucinations of those who watched the shows…once the drug era started to die down, the light show went...with it.

David:
…I think this art form died is because of the negative association with drugs…

Pierce:
It is a shame that the light show, in all of its vibrancy and wonder, was only a short-lived preoccupation. Nonetheless it holds a firm place in American cultural history and many of its forms are manifest today. This past weekend…at a local venue…I noticed…behind the bar…two large projections of colorful liquid and oil mixtures. …Their presence was somewhat profound given my new appreciation of psychedelic lighting.

Ryan G:
I think that...the light show was dropped because it couldn't be sold. How could people expect to capture and make a commodity out of a dynamic individual live experience?

Ashley:
I don’t believe that the art of the light show really died because lighting is still a big part of concerts today. However, I do believe at the moment in the 60s that the lighting had more influence and demanded more attention than it does now.

Blake:
I think that the light show by its very concept, only appeals to very few people and would have little appeal in the mainstream media.