Robe Helps Set the Memorial Day Mood
Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s national Remembrance Day is for all the military personnel who have lost their lives, both in the struggle leading to the establishment of the State of Israel and all those who have died subsequently on active duty in the country’s armed forces.
Memorial services are held nationwide by Israeli’s politicians, lawmakers, religious leaders and top military personnel ... and one of the most important related events is ‘Songs In the Square’ a unique musical commemoration staged in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square. With a line-up of leading Israeli artists, the 2018 concert was presented by Lior Ashkenazi and featured a mix of video links to the key speeches, interspersed with special live performance. It was open to all who want to attend, so thousand packed into the Square to pay their respects.
In recent years, Songs in The Square has been lit by Bambi (Avi Yona Bueno) one of the country’s best-known lighting visionaries and designers, and this year he specified Robe Spiiders and BMFL Spots to help produce the required thoughtful and reflective mood.
The set design was created by Maya Hanoch, a top Israeli scenic artist, so Bambi and Maya worked in close collaboration to capture the spirit of the occasion and imagine a beautiful, elegant visual picture.
It had to be an amazing and magical live experience for the thousands in Rabin Square – where then prime minister and peacemaker Yitzak Rabin was assassinated in 1995 - and the surrounding streets, as well as for the live Channel 12 telecast.
Flown in the stage roof were eight trussing ‘fingers’ raked from front to back and in between each of these was a strip of LED video – nine in total, which ran along the roof and the outer six down to the stage deck at the back. Upstage centre was a large rectangular LED surface and in front of that some vertical trusses for additional lighting positions. The idea with the low trim height was to emphasise the intimacy and meditative nature of the occasion.
The 32 x Spiider LED wash beams were distributed on the eight finger trusses, four on each, a perfect position as they could wash the whole stage area and the ‘house’ band who backed all the different vocalists appearing onstage.
In addition to being able to reach everywhere, those sumptuous Spiider fat beams looked very cool, and Bambi was able to sculpt some beautiful shapes and execute some graceful subtle slow-moving chases. He particularly likes the zoom on the Spiiders, the refinement of the colours and the seamless colour mixing.
The 16 x BMFL Spots, were picked for their power and brightness to work in conjunction with all the LED elements being in such close proximity. They were split evenly between the trusses and the deck, and created crisply defined beam effects, dramatic gobo looks and detailed texturing.
Bambi’s vast experience as an innovative performing arts lighting designer informed his design and operation. He tapped into the sheer emotion and depth of the occasion, mimicking it with the essence of the lighting, a causality so intense that even the subtlest of changes had a massive impact.
Working alongside Bambi at FOH was Alon Cohen, who programmed and operated the moving lights on a grandMA2 console, with another running in tracking backup. A Compulite Spark 4D was positioned at the dimmers and operated by Moshe Jacobobski who ran the TV key lighting, all under Bambi’s direction.
Lighting equipment was supplied by the Simul Argaman Group and the lighting crew on site was Ido Derei.
Simul Argaman Group is one of Israeli’s major rental companies with a large stock of Robe moving lights. They also supplied sound to this show and lighting equipment – including Robe MegaPointes - to the main Independence Day event at Mount Herzl the following day.
About Israeli Memorial Day
The start of Yom Hazikaron or Memorial Day is signalled with a siren sounding throughout the whole country at 8 p.m. (in the Hebrew calendar, a day begins at sunset).
This lasts a minute and all activity is ceased, including driving on the highways – in a breath-taking moment to witness live - as Israelis stand in silence to honour and respect their war dead.
By law, all places of entertainment are closed and regular TV programmes cease for the day while and broadcasting and educational organisations emphasis the solemnity of the occasion. Memorial candles are lit in all public places, schools, synagogues, etc. as well as in homes … and flags fly at half-mast.
The names and ranks of every soldier who has died for Israel are displayed in a 24-hour telecast.
Photo Credit: Louise Stickland