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Aphex Twin

Our ongoing relationship with the Barbican led to one of the most interesting concerts that we have been involved with in 2012.  Aphex Twin, aka Richard D James, designed and performed an extraordinary trio of works and was, according to some critics, deliberately pushing the boundaries of music, visual performance and sound.

Some elements of the evening were better received than others but there was no doubt as to the complexity of the sound support required for an artist who suspended and then swung a grand piano back and forth across the width of the stage whilst we provided microphones designed to accentuate the Doppler effect and amplify every squeak and groan.

Remote Orchestra brought our PSM1000s in ear monitors into play again. Every member of the orchestra had to have their own mix and the choir shared four mixes between them, bringing the total onstage to 32. Aphex Twin sent various tones to each player, who interpreted them live on their instruments, allowing him to ‘play’ the humans onstage. A visual representation of the headphone instructions appeared on a big screen upstage.

The last of the trio of pieces involved 20 mics hung over 20 speakers and then swung to and fro as they fed back. A high risk project from a technical point of view but one that produced an eery ethereal wail that pulsed as the mics passed across the face of the speakers. Above each mic was hung a mirror ball that passed through laser beams, accentuating the movement and drawing the audience into a hypnotic space that was a far removed from a concert hall as it was possible to be. The images speak volumes.

Every now and again a project comes up that tests all of our knowledge and intuition in the world of sound.  Some might recoil from such a challenge but our team relish the opportunity to explore a new requirement and, yet again, the results were spell binding.

Aphex Twin

"I just wanted to say thanks for all the work that you and your colleagues put into the Aphex Twin show. Despite our concerns, it was one of the smoothest-running events in a long time and we certainly couldn't have done this without the huge contribution from RNSS and your good self. Please pass on my sincere thanks to Max, Tony and Alvaro for working so hard to realise the artist's ideas and for helping to make the event the success it undoubtedly was."

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