Africa Express, Tate Modern
Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall is a space we know reasonably well and we were fortunate enough to work with Africa Express last year. The two came together at the end of 2014 when the decision was taken to perform Terry Riley’s In C Mali on the bridge of the Turbine Hall.
As Production Manager for Africa Express, Julian Hickman managed to pull the various production teams together without ever appearing under pressure. The live show was recorded and the resulting film, co-commisioned by The Space, can be seen at the link below. Africa Express through Transgressive records released the African version of the piece to mark the 50th anniversary of the piece, led by Andre de Ridder who also led the live performance.
The live show had to fit round Tate Modern’s normal opening hours so it was a long day for all concerned. Dan Crompton (Audio Visual Services Manager for Tate) and his team couldn’t have been more welcoming and achieved the difficult balance of emphasising the need for extreme care within the building with the need to get the show under way. Despite the early hour the get in went smoothly and everything was in place before the building opened to the public in the morning. All the crew were carefully briefed to understood the care required in moving flightcases through spaces that contained irreplaceable artworks and very quickly established mutual trust and respect with the in house team.
Dave Sheppard from Sound Intermedia mixed the show on a CL5, with Paul Kelly in charge of the multitrack recording. Paul came to the warehouse in advance and set up his computer to talk to our Dante network with Tony Birch’s help. He very quickly got his head round the network and declared himself pleased with the results he achieved.
We ran more backups than was strictly necessary but given the unique nature of the event we couldn’t take any risks. In the end, none of the backups were needed but better safe than sorry. DPA were more then well represented on stage with a huge number of 4011s and 4060s in use along with our new De Facto vocal mics. Neumann TLM 103 made up the complement.
We consider ourselves very lucky to have been involved.
The film can be viewed on here:
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