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News in pictures 29 June 2011

NACSound has its head in the Sound Cloud; White Light helps create a sensory space at Oaklands School; Christie helps IBM to make the right first impression; MS-Max brings Europe to Siberia

NACSound’s spectacular Sound Cloud creation is currently on show at the world-famous Open Colonna Restaurant in central Rome, Italy. It was created by Francesco Pellisari to celebrate the launch of Angel House by the Italian architect Luca Calselli.

Francesco explains: “This wonderful restaurant is positioned in what was once the rooftop garden to the Palazzo delle Esposizioni. Filled with natural light, the large space above the diner’s head gives a great feeling of openness. But how to deliver an acoustic experience to match the menu? This was our challenge. Glass and concrete are hard surfaces to work with and conventional speakers struggle to fill the void. Could I turn that space into the source of the sound?”

His solution was to fill the space with a multitude of speakers, carefully arranged and matching the décor. Using his favourite multi-direction speaker, the Zemi, he built a Sound Cloud to float in the ether. 140 hand-made ceramic speakers, all finished in platinum were carefully placed to fill the void.

Francesco continues: “Interacting with the warm Italian sunlight they provide a glittering spectacle, impossible not to notice but never intruding. Each speaker is like an orchestral instrument, its sound radiates out reflecting and enriching the body of the music just like a single chorister embodies a full choir. The sound then descends like a mist to bathe the audience. The volume control provides either the lightest of vapour through to a thunderous downpour.”

Entertainment lighting specialist White Light recently provided an innovative lighting installation to the Oaklands School, a secondary school for children with severe learning difficulties in Isleworth, London.

The school wanted to create a new sensory space for its pupils, aiming to use the power of lighting to change the mood of the room. To achieve this, White Light supplied an amBIENT XC lighting controller, a device specially designed to automatically create spectacular lighting effects based on exterior inputs with no user involvement required. White Light also supplied a series of colour-changing LED fittings around the hexagonal room, 12 fixtures washing the walls and 12 uplighting the domed roof.

The controller was then configured to take a video input and use it to drive the LED fixtures, creating abstract, ever-changing colour shows around the room to the delight of students and teachers alike.

“The system has been so flexible for us” said Phil Harris, assistant headteacher, “whether it is used for a drama lesson, school assembly, special events such as a religious festival, or even a karaoke session – we always get a stunning lighting effect.”

Photo courtesy of White Light, photography by James McKenzie

IBM Software’s Executive Briefing Centre in Rome, Italy, has been carefully designed to achieve a perfect space where visitors can experience the company’s technology first hand thanks to an innovative video wall powered by Christie projectors. This is not just a simple video wall, it is interactive, it can display Picture in Picture or be used as a white board.

On entering the software lab, visitors are welcomed by a modern space, with interesting LED colour lighting, curved walls and white furniture. Within the software lab there are four briefing rooms. The largest room, with capacity for 40 people, boosts the amazing floor-to-ceiling glass video screen, which uses three Christie M series projectors, one Christie WU12K-M and two Christie DS+10K-M. When no image is displayed, the screen is nearly black, coming alive with the projections.

The three M series projectors from Christie work in unison complementing each other to cover the whole of the 160-inch of the rear projection glass screen. The projectors offer high efficiency and low cost of ownership by drawing a maximum power of 1320W giving full brightness while using less power.

Situated in the Siberian city of Yakutsk, located just 450 kilometres south of the Arctic Circle, a new entertainment complex known as Europe opened this spring. The complex is set over five floors and the technical infrastructure was designed and installed by MS-Max — drawing heavily on components from the EAW catalogue.

Above the ground floor pub and sports bar, are an Italian restaurant, a billiards room and café; the Striptease nightclub spans floors three and four (along with a Karaoke bar) and up on the top floor are bowling lanes.

MS-Max supplied a punchy EAW dance system in the form of the purpose designed Avalon Series. This consists of a pair of DC1 enclosures, complemented by ten ultra-compact rectangular UB82, eight BH760 bent horn subwoofers, four LA212 monitor speakers, four FR129z 12in LF and four SM129z compact single 12in speakers.

Elsewhere in the complex MS-Max have provided ten EAW NTL720 ultra compact, self-powered, 3-way line array elements, a pair of SB1000 subs and 24 SMS4 rear speakers. In Striptease, a pair of EAW FR129z 12in LF provides the main playback, along with three MicroSubs, eight JF60z and six JF80z, with CAZ Series amplification and DX1208 digital control.