Without the faintest hint of a crisis after the drummer Stefano D’Orazio left the band, the Pooh were back making themselves heard as a reformed trio (plus three session musicians that will change on each tour) with an album in old-time symphonic pop style, revised with a surprising modern vitality.
And while inspiration remains high, the artistic-technological cooperation with Clay Paky has also been confirmed. The Bergamo company has over thirty years of history, just like the Pooh, and took its first steps together with them on the stages of the biggest events in Italy and in the world.
Lighting designer Fabrizio “Fabi” Crico has worked for the Pooh during several periods dating back to 1978. He explained that the tour consists of a first stage in halls and a second, in theatres. In the halls, he used eleven battens assembled in a kitesurfing wing shape, and a large background LED screen that traced the history of the Pooh, and showed music clips. The trusses were coloured by the lights, so there was no need for screens to enclose the scenery.
In the theatres, the lighting design had to be adapted to the different spaces in order to maintain the basic characteristic ideas, which meant redistributing the lights. The backdrop consisted of a translucent sheet, reproducing the arabesque of the disc cover, partially illuminated by the wash lights. This was a deliberate choice by the LD to lighten the image and at the same time keep it constantly conspicuous.
The intention was also to create a setting that transmits the idea of a “return to nature and primordial things”. The scenery obtained was therefore purely theatrical: no LEDs or videos, and not even any graphic effects, just a careful blending of colours that immersed the artists in a particularly intimate and cosy atmosphere.
“We wanted to recreate the sets of the 1970s,” continued Fabrizio “Fabi” Crico, who co-designed the stage scenery together with Red Canzian. “A soft but emotionally intense atmosphere where the single light beams take on a meaning and particular poignancy in the roles they play. To do this, we used lighting equipment including the intelligent lighting technology with which the Pooh were born, in other words scanners, as well as the newcomers, namely wash and beam lights. However we used them in a very measured way, without indulging in breathtaking effects, but giving priority to slow, synchronized movements, evocative mixtures of colours, and beams criss-crossing in the air.
Fabrizio “Fabi” Crico could count on Alpha Wash 700s, Alpha Beam 700s, Alpha Wash 300s and Golden Scan 4s. The LD explained how they were used in greater detail: “I chose Golden Scans both because they are a link with our past and because scanners offer features that are still unmatched by today’s moving heads, such as their speed and the thickness of the beam. I love to use them like followspots against the backlight, and I can assure you that they are impressive even compared with the most modern lights!”
Fabrizio “Fabi” Crico then spoke about the Clay Paky moving heads: “I highly appreciate the Alpha Wash 300s and 700s. They have wonderful colours, especially a very deep magenta, and an excellent range of fixed colours on the colour wheel, like saturated red. With the Alpha Washes you can reproduce the same colour intensity and uniformity you get by using gelatin filters, and at the same time there are many other creative solutions available that are inconceivable with fixed lights. I have already said everything there is to say about beam lights: they are truly revolutionary and will still be first choice for a long time in the future. I already had 46 purchased for the 2009 tour, and I am increasingly sure that I rightly recognized their enormous potential.”
The Pooh’s theatrical tour began on 26 January in the Marches, Italy, and will travel through Italy from north to south, ending up on 2 April at the Teatro Verdi in Florence.