PROJECT BACKGROUND


Duke Dumont is a British Electronic Artist best known for his hit singles “Need U (100%)”, “I Got U”, “Ocean Drive” and “Won’t Look Back”. His songs have received Grammy nominations and reached number one on the UK Singles Chart. His current 2021 tour is spanning the United States, and sold-out performances at the Shrine Expo room in Los Angeles unveiled a new touring set piece, which will go with him to shows around the world through 2022.






QolorFLEX NuNeon at Duke Dumont hero banner 1

Photo by Lucas MK



CHALLENGES


Duke Dumont is an artist whose shows are sought after for being highly interactive with the audience. He insists on creating an environment that is new and unique for his fans, and he encourages his creative team to develop design concepts to go above and beyond the norm.

After assembling a team of designers for the original Duke Dumont shows scheduled for 2020, the tour and its set design took a 180-degree turn following the delays to live performances affiliated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, Scenic Designer Cort Lawrence had drafted a scenic design concept such that the façade of the stage area would be shaped to resemble the Duke Dumont logo. After working on the project intermittently off-site for a year during the pandemic, the set design went through many revisions and new concepts. Ultimately, the artist was craving a “mad scientist” feel. The design team developed a final concept that included loose cables and wires coming from a focal set piece to center the room, as Duke Dumont’s “office” on stage.

To realize this hectic, asymmetrical design concept, the design teams, including Lighting Designer Chris Thoms, sought an LED linear lighting solution with natural movement to it. They also sought color-changing technology, to cater to the colorful music, and a bright light source that could stand out in darkness. Plus, perhaps the biggest challenge was that the solution needed to be durable enough to travel with the artist to upcoming performances around the world for a year to come.









QolorFLEX NuNeon at Duke Dumont at the Shrine banner 6

Photo by Lucas MK



SOLUTION


City Theatrical’s QolorFLEX NuNeon, RGB was selected as the solution to adorn Duke Dumont’s central set piece, creating the look of a complex system of loose, color-changing cables coming from his performance area. The design was first realized with 22 reels of 5-meter long QolorFLEX NuNeon, which made the artist fall in love with the look, and want more. The design and fabrication teams then added another 20 reels, for a total of 42 reels of QolorFLEX NuNeon, or 210 feet of lit “cables”. Six additional reels of QolorFLEX NuNeon were inlaid on the top of the table, to provide a glow that picks up the artist’s face and movements amidst a backdrop of pure black, as well as the table, in order for him to see his instruments.



Cort Lawrence, Scenic Designer

Cort Lawrence, Scenic Designer (bycort.com)



 
 

“QolorFLEX NuNeon’s flexibility is endless. It can be placed and used in different mediums. It functions in a way the artist is happy with, wherever it goes. As a set designer, QolorFLEX NuNeon opened up creativity in many ways.”


- Cort Lawrence, Scenic Designer/Production Coordinator, Duke Dumont at the Shrine Auditorium
 
   






QolorFLEX NuNeon at Duke Dumont at the Shrine banner 7

Photo by Lucas MK



PROTOTYPE


The artist and design teams saw a sine wave – a visual representation of music - with each glowing QolorFLEX NuNeon “cable”. This is how they were able to represent Duke Dumont’s music in a visual way.

The initial prototype included many musical cables coming from the performance area. In the set design renderings, Cort Lawrence lit the cables as if they were LEDs, and found that the added light looked so stunning, that they had to find a product with a natural feel, that fell in a soft way.



RESEARCH

Among the toughest aspects of the pandemic for creatives was the requirement to spend a lot of time researching solutions off site, with a less hands-on approach to bringing a concept to life in the early stages. It wasn’t until the fabricator, Rise Fabrication, came on board to start building the set piece that the designers were able to test and compare their recommended LED linear lighting solutions for Duke Dumont’s performance area.

The fabrication team had one small sample of QolorFLEX NuNeon on hand to show to the design teams. The designers found that the way it bent and conformed made it the only solution that could create the organic, color-changing assortment of boldly lit cables needed to draw the audience’s attention to this central set piece.




QolorFLEX NuNeon at Duke Dumont in performance area set piece

Photo by Lucas MK



 
 

“The beauty of QolorFLEX NuNeon is the way it falls. It’s very relaxed. It can curve and bend, but just letting it fall by itself, adding simple zip ties at the end, allowed it to fall in a natural way.”


- Cort Lawrence, Scenic Designer/Production Coordinator, Duke Dumont at the Shrine Auditorium
 
   






QolorFLEX NuNeon at Duke Dumont at the Shrine banner 7

Photo by Lucas MK



DIMMING CONTROL


QolorFLEX 24x3A Dimmers were used to provide dimming control for the Duke Dumont show at the Shrine. The team found they were intuitive to use with QolorFLEX NuNeon, with input and output on both DMX and Cat5 cables.


TOURING

In order to create this set piece in a way that it would endure a year-long world tour, the fabrication team created it to break down into six pieces. The QolorFLEX NuNeon was placed strategically such that the cables on the set piece look continuous. The beauty of the piece is that each re-assembly causes the QolorFLEX NuNeon to change a little bit, such that each show’s look is unique. In this way, the set piece becomes a living art piece. The more the piece is filled with QolorFLEX NuNeon, the more it adds to the intensity of the design.

The top and bottom of the set piece were split into sections, as two dynamic parts of the show. With the magic of the GrandMA2 full DMX Controller and the QolorFLEX 24x3A Dimmers, the designers were able to input color and make it change in random or specific color patterns, depending on the song, and dim smoothly, even at low ends of the dimming curve.




Chris Thoms, Lighting Designer

Chris Thoms, Lighting Designer



 
 

“QolorFLEX 24x3A Dimmers made cabling things easy. We were able to plug them into the LED product, and get it working. With time always ticking away, these dimmers helped us achieve the full scope of this project efficiently.”


- Chris Thoms, Lighting Designer/Production Manager, Duke Dumont at the Shrine Auditorium
 
   






QolorFLEX NuNeon at Duke Dumont at the Shrine banner 8

Photo by Lucas MK



SHOW LIGHTING


During the show, the audience could see the QolorFLEX NuNeon “cables” on this new scenic element being used in two ways: on, with white or colorful light, or turned off. While off, designers used the power of Robe spotlights to uplight the set and the artist. They also used of lasers, haze, special effects, and ambient light moves around the set piece to create silhouettes, volumetric shadows, and textures in the air.

Designers found that uplighting the “cables” while they were lit created yet another look, making them look as though they were “alive”. They researched the different looks by pointing lights at the QolorFLEX NuNeon, to find the most beautiful reactions to the other lights in the environment.




Duke Dumont Photo by Jorge Meza

Photo b Jorge Meza



 
 

“Touring isn’t easy. QolorFLEX NuNeon has been a pleasure to use. There’s nothing out there that was close to what it can do. And, it is rugged and will last. I look forward to using it going forward on this tour.”


- Chris Thoms, Lighting Designer/Production Manager, Duke Dumont at the Shrine Auditorium
 
   






QolorFLEX NuNeon at Duke Dumont at the Shrine banner 9

Photo by Lucas MK



CITY THEATRICAL PRODUCTS USED


To learn more about QolorFLEX LED Tape, Dimmers and Accessories, click here.

QolorFLEX NuNeon

QolorFLEX NuNeon, RGB
P/N N914-RGB-5



QolorFLEX 24x3A Dimmers
P/N 5810






  


 Case Study: QolorFLEX NuNeon at Duke Dumont      View/print this case study via PDF.  









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