Festival of Lights: Seven of the World’s Top Lighting Designers [Exclusive Interview] | URB Magazine

Chad_Smith_Waful_LD_URB_Umphreys_McGee_01I arrived at Camp Bisco a few days before I was scheduled to shadow dance with Psylab, so I could get my party on. Impatient, after hours of sitting in the RV, I meandered a bit and found myself backstage as Infected Mushroom began their set. I felt a tap tap tap on my shoulder, turned around and was greeted by the Disco Biscuits’ keyboard player, Aron Magner. “Wanna see something neat?” he asked, eyes wide. “Of course. Yes!” I said resolutely, skipping with excitement. I followed him, curious, through the sea of ravers and revelers. We arrived at a tent filled with consoles, knobs and switches. I quickly realized we were standing in the center of where light is born.

Infected Mushroom’s psychedelic synths roared. Magner grabbed me by the hand and pointed to some buttons. After a quick lesson, he smiled and said, “Now, it’s your turn.” Nervous, I attempted to sync the enormous strobe lights surrounding the stage to the music. Always a half beat off, I giggled as Magner shook his head laughing until I realized the power my keystrokes possessed. Bolts of light blinded us, frenzied brilliant bursts showered the crowd; and for a moment, I fell under my own spell.

That was my first and last time commanding a lighting console for thousands of tripped out party people, an experience I’ll always cherish, deepening my appreciation for the art of lighting design. These artists, often overlooked and underappreciated, shine brightly behind the scenes.

This is why I felt inspired to illuminate seven of my favorite lighting designers, and just in time for Hanukkah also known as the Festival of LightsChristopher Kuroda is often referred to as the 5th member of Phish and is currently touring with teen sensation Justin Bieber, Steve Tek is the house LD for Beatport’s number one rated club Cielo, Paul Hoffman currently tours with Wolfgang Gartner and works the EDM festival circuit, Sabrina Braswell is the house LD for NYC’s Le Poisson Rouge and has toured with Cut Copy, Jefferson Waful tours with popular progressive rock band Umphrey’s McGee, Max Blackman is the house LD for Brooklyn’s highly revered venue Brooklyn Bowl, and Kenny Gribbon has toured with the likes of Toubab Krewe, The London Souls and Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds.

Enjoy this insightful look into the art of lighting design from SpinSpinNYC’s Zoe Wilder, straight from the source…via URB Magazine: http://www.urb.com/2012/12/09/festival-of-lights-seven-of-the-worlds-top-lighting-designers/

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