Choreographer Tero Saarinen’s creation “Vox Balaenae” is set to the contemporary music piece of the same name – one of the best-known works by American composer George Crumb. The music was inspired by a recording of humpback whales singing in the depths of the ocean. The composition has three parts: a prologue and an epilogue, separated by five variations named after geological periods.
Theatrical elements are built into the play’s staging instructions: the piano, cello, and flute are all electrically amplified and the musicians are meant to perform masked on a stage bathed in deep-blue light.
Lighting and set designer Mikki Kunttu relied on a grandMA2 light to control the show’s lights and the media server.
He states: “This line of work requires both very fast and very detailed programming. There is really no other console on the market that can deliver these with such ease. The grandMA2 is also very reliable for touring.”
“Vox Balaenae is a piece with a minimal number of fixtures”, continues Kunttu. “The design aimed to achieve striking visuals that were also straightforward to tour. The set projection is also very simple, using only one black and white JPG image as video content. Everything originates from the performer and there’s a lot of consideration in presenting the details.
“My collaboration with Tero Saarinen goes back some 20 years, and this is the most important of them all. With limited production budgets we’ve managed to create some very exciting productions over the years.”
Klaus Eklund worked as the operator, Ville Konttinen as technical director. Choreography and dance was realised by Tero Saarinen. Mikki Kunttu Oy supplied the media server and the Tero Saarinen Company supplied the grandMA2 lighting console. Starlike is the exclusive distributor for MA Lighting in Finland.
Photos: © Mikki Kunttu