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New York City Lites turns to Elation for “Illuminance” on Bannerman Island

Some of the only ticketed live concerts in New York State in recent months took place September 30-October 4 on Bannerman Island, a seven-acre isle that lies in the middle of the Hudson River fifty miles north of New York City. “Illuminance”, a fundraising concert by the Daisy Jopling Band, received special permission from the State of New York to hold five nights of open-air concerts amid the natural surroundings and the ruins of Bannerman Castle.


“Illuminance”featured performances by the Daisy Jopling Band, Michael Feigenbaum, Sal Lagonia, and local youth musicians with proceeds benefiting the Daisy Jopling Music Mentorship Foundation and the Bannerman Castle Trust. Five days of sold out shows, two shows per day with twenty guests per show, were lit by New York City Lites using a lighting package of Elation Professional IP-rated luminaires.


Deke Hazirjian and Jimmy Lawlor of New York City Lites served as lighting designer and associate lighting designer respectively on the project. Hazirjian, President and Senior Lighting Designer at the company, was approached by the Bannerman Castle Trust to light the concert series.


Proteus series luminaires chosen for the project included Proteus Hybrid, Proteus Beam and Proteus Rayzor 760 moving heads, along with IP65-rated Fuze PAR Z120 IP LED Par lights. All of the Elation gear was provided by BML-Blackbird except the Rayzor 760s, which came direct from Elation.


The lighting system was used to illuminate three areas: the Bannerman Castle, a ruin on the north side of the island that once served as a military surplus warehouse; the castle residence (now a museum) that lies higher up on the island; and the performance stage itself with five-piece band and lead violinist. The original thought was to hold the concerts at the Bannerman Castle but after a site survey, the decision was made to move the event closer to the residence and use it as a backdrop.


All gear was transported by barge, unloaded and hauled to the castle and residence sites through a forest and up a crumbling stone staircase. The power issue was solved by crane-loading a generator onto the barge and tugging it down the Hudson to the island. After lights, trussing and cabling were unloaded, the barge with generator sailed to a different part of the island and could only dock at high tide.


The castle ruins, because of the distance away from the stage, was its own autonomous system of lights completely separate from the residence and stage system. Here, working with LED strobe wash units and LED pars, Proteus Hybrid IP-rated arc source fixtures textured the broken down facade while highlighting the “Bannerman's Island Arsenal” legend on one side of the ruin.


Up at the residence site that played backdrop to the shows, Proteus Hybrids were used as followspots and key light for the performances with several units positioned behind the stage for air effects behind the band. “Behind the stage where it falls off into a multistep garden we placed a truss on the ground that held Proteus Hybrids”, Lawlor says. “We lit some of the trees with static pars and then added some movement with the Hybrids.”


Lawlor says that the original idea was to do more air architecture with Proteus Hybrids but as they adapted to conditions at the site they realized they needed to use them to light performers so they became their followspots and main backlight idea behind the stage. IP-rated Proteus Beam arc source fixtures handled those air architecture looks.


With nine cameras on Bannerman Island, two of which were drones, filming the Daisy Jopling shows for a later film release, the video audience was just as important as the live event. Proteus Rayzor 760s, a compact IP65-rated LED wash luminaire, played a key role in both the live and on-camera looks. Used for side and front washes onto the band, they also bathed the residence in complementary color, the main backdrop for the band.


Fuze PAR Z120 IP fixtures, single source LED wash lights mounted on the residence roof, provided backlight for each individual musician. Lawlor says, “That way we could do something over the stage with the Proteus Hybrid and then pop the musicians with the Fuze Pars.”


Assistant LD on site was Christopher Annas-Lee. Brad Kaplan was the Production Electrician/Gaffer, Ryan Phillips was the Moving Light Programmer. The Daisy Jopling Band “Illuminance” film from Bannerman Island will premiere November 13-15.




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