Lighting design and song writing

Singapore 26th August 2011

Conceptualising lighting is very similar to composing a song I guess. I am in the middle of working out a lighting concept for a building façade and am approaching it from different angles but am not getting very inspired. Lighting effects, technology, architecture, location, history all provide some starting points for the design concept but somehow it has to come together in something that makes sense! The reason I compare it to composing a song is that I happen to be reading Keith Richard’s (Rolling Stones) autobiography called “Life” and Keith was one of the main composers of all Stones songs together with Mick Jagger. It is very interesting read I must say (a bit rough on the edges but what would you expect!). But the interesting thing is how they created their songs. In the Stones’ case Keith would come up with the melody (the “riff” as he calls it) and then Mick would pen the lyrics and they would then finalise the final song structure all together. You could compare this to music being the architecture and the lyrics being the content…

Sometimes architectural designs are providing you the inspiration by just looking at its features, but sometimes there is nothing, just one of those buildings without any eye catching feature that could be used for the lighting concept. So I am approaching it more systematically and realistically a bit like the Stones…let me get the melody first. In this case I have decided on the basic technological concept I want to use (LED and solar energy) in view of the sustainability that we are after. By puzzling together all the architectural options I have in integrating the technology into the curtain wall I am gradually building the structure on which to build the final lighting concept. Now that I have the basic component of the lighting design (the “riff”) I can develop the final structure and content to make total sense and harmony with the building!

So in Light Watch today a look back to the sixties and seventies through Keith Richard. I can remember as the day of yesterday when we were starting to hear music from the Beatles and the Stones. The buzz! This was something new! I grew up with their music and whether you like it or not their musical creations have stood the test of time! In 2008 I was fortunate to attend the Stones concert in Shanghai…60 years old, but still hopping around the stage! In these concerts there is no music without light and in good concerts sound and light create the total visual experience…



Light Watch 151: Keith & the Rolling Stones (pics from Keth Richard & Stones websites)

27. August 2011 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting design | Leave a comment

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