‘Massive Attack versus Adam Curtis’ - What do you get when you combine the dark, intense music of Massive Attack with the thought-provoking visions of filmmaker and activist Adam Curtis? ‘Massive Attack versus Adam Curtis’ was a unique performance concept that impressed spectators in Manchester (UK), Duisburg (Germany) and New York (USA). As well as the movie and the music … it was the setting that blew everyone away.
The full size set-up (for Duisburg and New York) consisted of eleven 10 x 9 meter gauze screens in the same 4:3 format which were stretched on ground-supported frames from floor to ceiling – four running down each side of the performance area and three at the end. Upon these screens danced a whirlwind of imagery and ideas. Massive Attack performed in the midst of this, playing behind the end three screens, made visible and ‘revealed’ through clever lighting.
The list of people involved in making the gig such massive success is long. The video system was designed and co-ordinated for XL by Project Manager Gareth Jeanne and on site by Icarus Wilson-Wright, while United Visual Artists (UVA) helped create the initial concept with Curtis and Massive Attack’s Robert “3D” Del Naja. The production was managed by David Lawrence and James Baseley.
XL Video had a big role to play too, and in line with the decision to only use the best material for picture quality, Barco’s HDF-W26 projectors were chosen, with 12 machines (including one doubled up pair for the stage end) rigged onto the roof trussing feeding the 11 screen areas. They were all fitted with super wide angle .65-1 fixed lenses – so the line-up had to be extremely accurate.
XL also supplied 96 tiles of Barco’s ILite 12 MD LED screen, which was configured as a 16 tile wide and 12 high 4:3 format screen placed upstage of the band. This displayed some content being shown on the projection screens creating a shimmering almost ghost-like effect.
“Immersive doesn’t really begin to describe ‘Massive Attack v Adam Curtis’”, states a review of the performance on consequenceofsound.net a comment that perfectly summarizes this amazing original presentation concept.