Yanni's most recent tour featured more lights, more cues, and more programmers to create many multilayered cues than his previous tours. Just because the New Age artist owns his own lighting system doesn't mean he's satisfied with what he's got, so for this new outing (pictured) he brought on LD Peter Morse to develop his show's look.
"It was really different designing a show on a stated amount of fixtures," Morse says. "It was easy in some respects and difficult in others because, although he owns a huge rig, he of course wanted it bigger. So I brought in some Coemar NAT lights and boosted the Cyberlight(R) and Studio Color(R) count a bit." Morse also pointed out to the musician that the lights he owns needed to be updated.
"I put the rented Studio Colors on next to his and it was like night and day between the gray and the clear colors because his lamps had a couple thousand hours on them," Morse says. "The cost to re-bottle the lights came out to about $20,000, but they did it in a blink of an eye. He just said, 'I want it right.' He's a perfectionist."
Morse's first instinct was to create one look for each song and just let it flow. "But there were so many dynamic moments that demanded that the lighting change," Morse says, "and I had to keep reminding myself he wanted me to light the music. Well, his show is all music. It's not like a band that has verse-chorus, verse-chorus, guitar solo, out--there was no reference.
"It was probably the most challenging design I've ever had to do, not so much in its creation as in the programming sessions," Morse continues. "His music is in really different times and tempos. He uses 7/8s and 5/4s a lot, and they basically go all over the musical spectrum. His pieces are sometimes 10-14 minutes long. We'd be programming for two and three days at a time for one piece of music. We got very intricate with it."
"The show evolved from what we thought would be a relatively simple show to one that was extremely complex," lighting director Bud Horowitz says. "We ended up with over 1,000 cues, but the show is a lot of fun to run and operate and the people onthe tour are wonderful."
Delicate Productions is the tour's main lighting contractor. Equipment includes: 120 High End Systems Studio Colors, 37 High End Lithopattern Cyberlights, four Coemar NAT 2500 TMs, 12 ETC 10-degree Source Fours, four 5-degree Source Fours, five 19-degree Source Fours, 10 bars of 250W PAR-64 ACLs, 13 color scrollers, 32 Source Four PARs, three Flying Pig Systems Wholehog consoles, one Jands ESP 12-channel two-scene console, and 350' (107m) of 10.5" box truss. The tour's crew included: lighting crew chief Gus Thompson, lighting technicians Tiffany McClane, Gary McLean, and John Charland, Vari*Lite technician Chad Burek, Wholehog programmers Christian Choi, Eric Wade, and David Arch, video director Kate Ferris, rigger Chris Schmidt, tour manager Kent Black, stage manager Tom "Putter" Hanlon, and production manager Michael Weiss.