Birthday Party for 17,000: grandMA2 Joins „autoSYMPHONIC“

Horst Hamann’s multi-media show used lights and lasers to illustrate the history of automobiles

The multimedia “autoSYMPHONIC” show recently ended celebrations for the 125th birthday of the automobile in Mannheim, Germany. An audience of 17,000 attended the spectacle that traced the history of cars and gave an insight into their future development.

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For the show, the whole Friedrichsplatz was transformed into a concert stage area of 65,000 square meters. Entertainment included a gig by leading band “Söhne Mannheims” in addition to the “autosymphonic” show that was specially commissioned for this event and performed by the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden Baden. One hundred percussionists joined in by opening car doors in time with the music, or turning on windscreen wipers as well as playing on wheel rims and other car body parts with sticks.

Horst Hamann’s multi-media show used lights and lasers to illustrate the history of automobiles. Lighting designer Thomas Gerdon, opted for a grandMA2 system for control, comprising 4 x grandMA2 full-size and 4 x grandMA2 light consoles, 4 x MA NPUs (Network Processing Unit) and 18 x MA 2Port Nodes.

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“I made the decision to go with the grandMA2 because there are no comparable consoles and it is extremely straightforward to use”, commented Gerdon. “Throughout the entire pre-and-live programming phases and the final show everything worked completely smoothly, totally underlining my decision to use the grandMA2.”

The technical and musical dimensions of the event were truly unique

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Gerdon explained his lighting design: “Firstly it followed the concept of art director Horst Hamann who provided the basics and essential effects for the design. It also reflected the symmetry and closeness of the space and included its buildings and features into the overall visual picture.”

“The technical and musical dimensions of the event were truly unique”, continued the lighting designer. “Our MA network went everywhere, utilising 36 DMX universes output by the MA 2Port Nodes.”

Sascha Matthes, Matthias „Matze“ Meyert, Thomas Dietze, Matt Finke and Timo Weinhold worked as lighting operators. The overall technical direction was by Jens Diefenbach of m:con Mannheim, also the general contractors. Lighting equipment was supplied by EBS Light GmbH.

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