Martin lighting has been an important visual component of the live British music experience over the years and now, with the recently opened British Music Experience (BME) exhibition, Martin is involved in lighting the retrospective experience as well.
BME is a permanent exhibition dedicated to the history of popular music in Britain. Opened on March 9th, the exhibit is a high-tech, interactive music presentation housed across 22,000 square feet on the top floor of The O2 bubble in London. The exhibition is a music lover’s dream with a wide selection of content - eras in British music, musical trends, music’s influence on art, fashion and politics for example - presented using a range of interactive media.
Lighting design for BME is by David Atkinson of David Atkinson Lighting Design Ltd (DALD) who incorporated 26 Martin smartMAC™ color changing luminaires - supplied by AC Lighting and installed by DES - into the exhibit’s Pre Show and Exit Show areas.
Before visitors access the main BME exhibit, a Pre Show area gives a brief five minute audio visual introduction about BME and how to view the various areas with the exhibition’s Smarticket system, which allows the visitor to activate the interactive elements of the exhibition and also to register further interest in specific BME features.
In this Pre Show area, suspended from a high level box truss, Martin smartMAC moving heads are used to illuminate the audience for walk-in and walk-out. The smartMAC is a compact yet bright 150 W moving head profile luminaire with interchangeable dichroic colors and effects. It is an ideal choice for museum-type environments due to its unique fanless cooling system which makes for long service intervals, total silence and reduced power bills. The lighting was programmed by Stewart Parker.
The music experience is rounded off with a virtual concert, a splicing together of some of the biggest acts to come out of the UK for an impressionable aural experience.
DALD worked closely with the media producers ISO & Land Design to add an almost three dimensional immersive quality to the Exit Show video. After extensive programming from Stewart Parker, dynamic lighting looks from smartMACs, as well as strobes and LED lights, add a realistic quality to the experience. These are used through haze effects within the space.
“The small size of the smartMACs helped to pull the space into perspective when seen in conjunction with the complex video sequences,” Atkinson commented.
The Pre Show and Exit Show areas have also been designed for special events, the dividing wall opening the space up into a large multi-functional venue. All the lighting within the space has been designed not only for the pre and exit show but as multifunctional lighting for live events as well.
BME has proved quite popular since its opening. Visitors can also download music, learn to play instruments, and record their own songs. There is also a full educational program with workshops, lectures, master-classes and concerts.
Exhibition Design: Land Design Studio
Lighting Design: David Atkinson Lighting Design (DALD)
Lighting Programmer: Stewart Parker
M&E: ME Engineers
Software Designers: Clay Interactive, ISO Design & Studio Simple
Software Production: Sue Joly
Sound Design: Peter Key
AV installation: Sysco AV
Electrical Installation: DES Electrical