Live productions of DIY musicians often run on a budget, and are therefore calculated in a very tight manner. Costs like travel / logistics, band and sound tech easily throw the integration of live lighting back a few spots in priority. But they don’t have to. It’s a common misconception that live-light has to be expensive across various set-ups.
Of course it’s an added effort, but ultimately a powerful tool for creating immersive live experiences. Live-light also helps you to gain control over what happens on and in front of the stage.
Here are some pointers to explain the importance of even the subtlest forms of live-lighting:
Transporting that visual identity
A great thing about the subtleties of lighting is the way it extends your visual identity. Picture the usual release campaign: You prepare a single, drop various visual elements like artworks and videos, release a larger set of work and hit the road for several shows. Even the most minimal live color-pallet can spark a definite reminiscence, promoting the coherence of the overall production.
This can be achieved by as little as one ground-light, shining on to the backdrop or upon the frontwoman/man. Pick a color that is very crucial to your artwork or digital agenda. Stick with it in the course of the show. You can alternate that with plain, beautiful white light and create a meaningful experience just by implementing two colors.
Amplifying the music by subtle imagery
One of the main reason why artists create accompanying visual measures is to amplify the way their music works. They have the potential of creating a swell of associations and numerous narrative shifts by deciding how and when to blend in certain shades.
Obviously, this is a way of gaining control over the local atmosphere at the venue. It can even be achieved by the addition of a single light or color-sheme.
Try to get a feeling for what the dominant emotion in the set should be and establish a connecting element by zooming in on that one color that fits perfectly.
Real life immersion
Adding subtle lighting to a live performance not only gives you a more diverse feeling on stage, it also enables the audience to drop into a form of real life immersion.
We’re so used to being confronted with a multitude of varying lights and colors. Be it by exposure to entertainment or our digital habits. Adding a simple lighting can achieve a similar immersion but in a way more positive way.
You enable the audience to become even more part of a shared experience, embedding them with visual facets you determine.
Taking control of the narrative
When playing live, you have several instruments to control the narrative of your show: music, vocal interaction with the audience, timeframe … and light.
Be aware of the way the introduction and reduction of light can empower and shape your live narrative – even if its limited.
You can create various forms of falls and elevate the intensity of a show just by the usage of one distinct color. This can lead to a great sense of narrative direction, moving the set forward and keeping it interesting on various levels. If managed in a skillful manner of course.
Have any input on live-light, pro and con’s of investing in a minor light setup? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll be sure to get back to you asap!
We’re not only thinking about the effect of live-lighting. Actually we’re working on an app built to ease the live of musicians, producers and managers.
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