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Clay Paky Mythos delivers ‘phenomenal optics’ for The War on Drugs
Lighting Designer
Ben Silverstein & John Frattalone
Siyan Ltd
Photo Credits
The Fifth Estate Ltd
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UK – The Production Design team of Ben Silverstein and John Frattalone have become one of the first to use a large number of new and award-winning Clay Paky Mythos fixtures on a major touring show. The New York-based duo specified the fixtures as part of their intimate and immersive design for The War on Drugs’ UK tour.

Supplied by Siyan Ltd, Silverstein chose 30 Clay Paky Mythos, alongside 19 Sharpys, on recommendation from Siyan account handler, Tom Grant.  Playing with a set comprising a semi circle of white scenic notched panels, the team created something akin to a light sculpture that wrapped around the American indie rockers.

The key to the design was indirect lighting, where the source of the fixtures that illuminated the panels needed to be hidden from the audience but nevertheless able to create a wide range of looks.

“We placed 12 of the Mythos on the floor, following the arc of the panels, along with seven Sharpys on the floor further upstage. The Mythos fixtures were spaced precisely between the panels so as to isolate the light from each fixture,” Silverstein explains. “They were phenomenal, delivering amazing zoom and texture effects as well as perfect washes of light between the panels, enveloping the band.  The furthest offstage ones were also able to extend out to really bring the audience in.”

The team also rigged 18 Mythos and 12 Sharpys in the air to create some fantastic cross beam aerial effects.
“The Mythos’ optical system is phenomenal,” Silverstein continues. “The first time I zoomed all the way down and put the tight gobo in it I couldn’t believe it. To go from that to how wide it can go is really impressive. It was awesome, the first time the band saw them, they were all like ‘we didn’t know we had lasers!’”

The Mythos is a highly advanced form of hybrid light, with a zoom that ranges from 4° to 50°. The team also used the fixtures for front lighting to keep the band perfectly illuminated as they played, with Silverstein saying: “Because of the impressive range of the Mythos, we were able to use them as front light, wash light, and spots, seamlessly switching their beams between soft and sharp and textured.  This was amazing for programming and it also meant we got the exact color matching we wanted throughout the rig.

“We’re really glad we took Tom’s advice; he’s been great throughout this whole process. Coming to the UK was a bit tricky, scaling between really small rock clubs and two nights at Brixton academy. However we worked it all out with Tom to put the perfect package together. The Mythos fixtures have been amazing to use and we’re very pleased.”

The War on Drugs are now playing throughout the USA, with dates at festivals this summer including Coachella.