Clay Paky supplied the new Alpha Beam 700 “Beam Moving Lights” for Gianna Nannini’s GiannaDream Tour, which stopped off at all the major Italian indoor stadiums in autumn 2009. The stage setup was highly original and had great visual impact. The artist interacted several times with an enormous six-metre-high four-metre-wide cylindrical structure covered with LEDs that stood in the middle of the stage. This darkroom-like object produced lighting effects and surprising light graphics: “a stage show that lies somewhere between a dream and hyperreality,” as the musician herself described it.
Its creator, the lighting and stage designer Mamo Pozzoli, told us how he conceived the idea: “This LED screen is a powerful object. Thanks to its three-dimensionality, it can create graphic shapes through the textures it transmits, as well as physical shapes, since the whole structure of trusses and lights accentuates its circular features.” It is actually a dual LED screen, since it has two faces – one concave and the other convex – both turned towards the audience. Its inside can also be used thanks to its semi-transparency that simulates 3D effects. No narrative animations were used, just effects: suitably chosen textures and graphic loops.
Mamo Pozzoli is a lighting and stage designer. He specializes in designing stages and lights for concerts, festivals, live events, fairs and theatres, and boasts experience with several artists including Riccardo Cocciante, Cesare Cremonini, Subsonica, Elisa, Afterhours and Giorgia. On this occasion, the lighting designer was called by Cose di Musica and assigned the task of designing a high-impact modern dynamic stage, in keeping with Gianna Nannini’s image.
In Mamo Pozzoli’s most recent works, his efforts to combine scrupulous design with a systematic approach that considers lights, video and stage as a whole is evident. We wanted to make a further qualitative leap for Gianna Nannini compared with previous tours. So, once the size of the production was established, Mamo Pozzoli was allowed to work freely and experiment to some degree. This was very well received by the artist, who was most appreciative of his project, as the lighting designer himself revealed.
The lights used included a large number of washlights and beamlights, and deliberately avoided spotlights precisely in order to intensify the presence of the LED screen aggressively, as Mamo Pozzoli explained: “All the lights were external and effectively embraced the scene. I used washlights and beamlights as backlighting, side lighting and front lighting without distinction, since I was interested in making an even impact without a preferential front view position. This is the main feature when curved shapes are used. Whereas I used several conventional incandescent lamps for the floor so I could play with the different colour temperatures.”
Such a large LED screen placed right in the middle of the stage behind the artist needed a very powerful tracer light so it could be seen. The Clay Paky Alpha Beam was therefore an almost “unavoidable” choice, as Mamo Pozzoli himself confirmed: “Clay Paky has ‘invented’ a new way of conceiving shows with its concentrated beam lights. The Alpha Beam 700s are very powerful, practical and flexible lights that make a difference. I very often use ‘indiscriminate’ positioning, and beamlights are absolutely perfect for this type of arrangement. I also wanted to experiment to see if the Beams could replace spotlights if I got rid of them completely. I must say that I partly managed, although I continue to consider them a third innovative type of light for shows.”