d&b audiotechnik, the furious sound of Los Picos de Europa


During Holy Year 2006 in Liébana, a valley in the Cantabria Province of Northern Spain, many thousands of pilgrims travelled to the monastery of Saint Toribio de Liébana, first built in 1256. The pilgrims attended a series of social and cultural events culminating in April 2007 in a spectacular show titled "IDE", presented by the theatre company 'La Fura dels Baus'. They are a Catalan theatrical group founded in 1979 in Barcelona and renowned for their innovative and highly energetic interpretative urban theatre, frequently with considerable audience participation. Notable performances include the opening of the Barcelona Olympic Games and mass scenes in Tom Twyker's 2006 film 'Perfume'.

Set in a stunning location, a National Park called 'Los Picos de Europa', the play was based on mythological characters and stories of the region. The National Park laid down stringent noise and lighting conditions relating to the show in order to protect the natural environment of flora and fauna. The production company responsible for the event, Goma 2 Producciones Audiovisuales, called in leading pro audio sound and lighting rental company Siempre Creativos to rig for the performance.

Sound Chief David Castelló, chose d&b audiotechnik's J-Series line array system to provide the sound. Assisted by David Roselló from d&b Spain and Jonas Wagner from d&b's Central Application Support based in Germany, the team used four rigs comprising flown J8s, J12s along with stacked J subwoofers and a small Q1 loudspeaker stack covering the space between the J-Series rigs. d&b D12 amplifiers were used throughout. "The use of the J-Series was crucial to accomplish the sound damping required at the rear of the main arrays," said Roselló.

The story interpreted by the show is that of an "Ojáncano", a giant with only one eye who terrorised the local villages until the Ajana fairy offered herself to the giant who was hypnotised by her beauty and fell in love with her. The villagers took advantage of his distracted state, climbed up the giant and blinded him thereby ending his reign of terror. The show's special effects included a nine metre tall mobile giant as well as a large revolving wheel flown high in the air by a crane with performers inside to represent the never-ending passage of time.

Because of restrictions inside the national park, pyrotechnic effects were forbidden, but 'La Fura dels Baus' enraptured the three thousand strong audience with the clever use of lighting, images, fire and music designed by Miki Espuma and amplified through d&b's J-Series.

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