News

The latest news from NYXdesign.  A design partnership between Abigail Rosen Holmes, Brian Gale and Emanuel Treeson

Power Of Rock Experience

After over a year of design development The Power of Rock Experience opened to the public at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this past July.   NYXdesign was invited to design the lighting for the whole experience, created, designed, and produced by BRC Imagination Arts.   We were thrilled to be on the team for such an exciting project.

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From the beginning of the process, BRC's Creative Director Christian Lachel desired to take the guests on a journey immersing them in the music.  Christian knew everyone has memories and emotions triggered by one song or another.  From a lighting point of view, we wanted to have the whole experience be active and fluid; that all the lighting would be an extension of the music bathing the guest in an immersive environment driven by both beat and mood.   

The theater was created to embody all of these ideas.   We started with the film, directed by Jonathan Demme, that celebrated the legendary performances at the induction ceremony and concert.  

The film utilizes tracking screens with dynamic media locked to them.    Scenic lines made up of video strips outline the space.  We approached these video strips from a generative point of view.   The content is generated in Touch Designer  in real time and manipulated by the lighting console.  This afforded us the ability to treat this scenery dynamically and manipulate it along with the entire lighting rig.

Once the the film concludes, the guests walk out through a curved ramp that rises from the 3rd floor to the 4th around the outside of the theater.   To make this exit more dynamic we created a tunnel of volumetric video that was cued to While My Guitar Gently Weeps.   A rotating vortex of light and pattern pulls the guests  down the hallway.  We wanted the guests to feel that the entire space was directly connected to the music and that they were completely immersed within it.

Upon exiting the hallway, the guests are treated to an exhibit of artifacts from the performances that were featured in the film.  

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Xbox E3 Media Briefing

When we started designing this year's Xbox E3 Briefing, Creative Director Erin Hearne Williams(Zed Ink) told Production Design Kris Bast and I she was interested in floating luminous outlines that existed in high contrast environment.   The result was an exciting process of creation.    The pictures tell the tale.   Glowing lines that carve through the space.  Tight beams of light when we wanted them and prefect inky blackness when we didn't.

We chose to create those outlines with a pixel tape that allowed us even more possibilities of animation for those wide shots during transitions.  I then added other linear LED fixtures to further add to pallet. 

Kris' highly reflective floor added more dimension to our image and we discovered many unexpected delights as camera navigated the set.  Shooting and streaming in 4K this year meant a new camera and truck package.   It afforded us more nuance and detail in the image.   When I compare these images to ones we captured back in the days SD I shocked how constrained our pallet was.

Every year we take a different journey with the project and it easily one of the most visual rewarding show we collaborate on.  Thrilled to be on the team for my 12th E3 for Xbox.

Nordstrom Light Weave Installations

Abigail worked with Co-Designer Bob Bonniol, of MODE architectural, to design volumetric light sculptures for the flagships store escalator cores of luxury retailer, Nordstrom.  Working for the architectural firm Callison, and for Nordstrom; they designed and implemented four elegant LED Light Weave installations which have been installed in the Vancouver, Chicago, and Toronto stores.

The Light Weaves are comprised of breathtakingly light weight custom copper strands which drop 20’ to 60' from the ceiling.  Individually controlled custom LED nodes are arrayed in a regular grid allowing for a dimensional and volumetric display of programmed patterns.

Abbey and Bob created a suite of evolving and varied ambient programming, which modulates with time of day to reflect the energy levels of the store environment.  Additional programs were created for holidays and special events.

The custom Light Weave LED sculptures were manufactured by Tait Towers, and installed by systems integrator 4Wall.

Phish

Abbey was invited by Chris Kuroda to collaborate on a co-design for the current Phish tour - An amazing opportunity to work together on design for this legendary band and their incredible live performances.  The goal creatively for introducing and incorporating a video element into the Phish touring show was that the lighting and video function as parts of one visual system.  

The production design for the show consists of a clean, simple architectural environment created by the video screen surfaces.  A low semi circular video wall encloses the band and defines their performance space.  During the first set a slim, stage wide, rectangle of video screen hangs above the stage;  echoing the minimal, linear array of the floor LED.  The lighting for set one is trimmed low, close to the screens, creating an intimate environment.

At the start of the second set the flown screens pull apart and and deconstruct into an array of irregularly spaced individual tiles.  The lighting positions travel out at the same time, opening up the shape of both systems; enlarging the scale of the performance environment and creating a flow of areas of negative space.  

In the first parts of the show the video content is more spare, and minimal, often filling the entire area of the screens in overlapping, shifting planes of color - to establish the architecture of the set, cleanly present the band in the performance environment, and introduce the visual element of the screens into the show.  In the later parts of the show both the physical environment and the content evolve to be looser, more broken up, less flat, and more active.  The images travel more across the screens; sometimes distorting and redefine the shape and space. 
The content design takes advantage of the Roe Hybrid tiles, which provide both a medium and a high resolution surface in one plane.

Lighting and video are operated completely improvisational by Chris from one console.  The video content was created by Abigail and Dan Scully.  The incredible expanding screen was provided and design engineered by Tait Towers.

Ford Rouge Factory Tour wins THEA Award for Outstanding Achievement

We were thrilled when the folks at BRC Imagination Arts asked us to design the lighting for the  Manufacturing Innovation a 360 degree theater that is part of the Ford Rouge Factory Tour.  We were even more thrilled when we learned it won a THEA Award for Outstanding Achievement.   

The show was conceived to celebrate the launch of the new Ford 150 truck which is built at the Rouge Plant, Dearborn MI.   The audience experiences how the truck was designed and built through six screens that immerse the audience in a 360 degree experience.   The show uses projection mapping on the 150 to illustrate the journey the truck takes through the manufacturing process.   

We designed the lighting throughout the theater to wrap around the audience and immerse them in the experience of the show.   We lit the walls behind the screens as wrap around cyc and we embeded small puck lights in the floor in a grid.   We were then able to extend the canvas of the theater by using the floor and walls together in pixel map.   The effect is a fluid radiating wash of color across the theater in sync with the music and narrative beats of the show.   

A real highlight for us was conceiving the lighting for the manufacturing robots that are central to the show.   It seemed natural that instead of lighting the robots from above or below, the robots themselves should emit and glow with light.  This way no mater where in space their arms move they always are alive with light. 

David Byrne's Contemporary Color

Contemporary Color was a one of a kind show.

Ten color guard teams (an arena floor full of rifle and flag tossing acrobatics)— matched with ten amazing musicians, orchestrated by David Byrne. Each artist—Nelly Furtado, How To Dress Well, Devonté Hynes, Zola Jesus, Nico Muhly + Ira Glass, St. Vincent, tUnE-yArDs, Lucius, Ad-Rock + Money Mark, and Byrne himself—collaborated with an individual color guard team to create a live original soundtrack, paired to dazzling lockstep routines that fill the arena with movement and color; rifles and flags soaring in the air.

Conceived by David Byrne, the shows took place at Air Canada in Toronto and the Barclay Center in Brooklyn; and were the subject of a documentary film by the Ross Brothers.

Abigail was thrilled to be the lighting designer on this unusual project, and to get the opportunity to work with David Byrne on his extraordinary vision.

Commissioned by BAM and Laminate Festival Toronto
With support from WGI Sport of the Arts

See press and images of the show here:
Rolling Stone
Consequence of Sound

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