Mars:2068. Science Fiction on the Rettenbach Glacier

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The Rettenbach Glacier enters the Austrian Ötztal-valley near Sölden, where you will find ski resorts amidst snow and ice at an altitude of around three thousand metres. For the last couple of years, however, it has also set the scene for another kind of entertainment. It has travelled back in history by providing the backdrop to a production of "Hannibal. An Alpine Crossing", that fascinated tens of thousands of winter holiday makers. This year in April it looked into the future with the production "Mars:2068", which is a science fiction spectacle about the conquest of the planet Mars.

The glacier spectacle was staged by "lawine torrèn", a network of dancers, actors, media artists and technicians under the artistic direction of Hubert Lepka that was founded in the summer of 1992 in Salzburg. "lawine torrèn turns real locations into stages for a dramatic art form that can hardly be classified within the traditional categories. Dance, theatre, media, machines and music merge with alpine techniques into extremely sensitive, and at the same time, breathtaking productions."

The technical realisation of the project was taken over by the event service provider You Sound from Augsburg that had previously made Hannibal come to life. Klaus Mayer of You Sound was the technical director responsible for the production on the Rettenbachferner: "The production 'Mars:2068' is in itself quite demanding. Especially with the climatic conditions on top of a glacier at this time of year, it becomes a real challenge," commented Mayer. The project required not only equipment that was able to take a lot of strain, but also collaborators with mountaineering experience and at times unusual means of transport such as a helicopter, to get material and personnel to one of the three thousand two hundred metre high summits.

Frank Lischka has designed huge colourful light spaces for this production that simultaneously function as performance areas and backdrops. You Sound supplied and installed the reinforcement system comprising a flown mono cluster of d&b new J-Series loudspeakers providing sound that emanated from the back area of the audience. Here the system was able to acquire its mountain credentials for the first time, having no problem coping with temperature changes of between minus 10° C at night and plus 25° C in the sunshine. The full range J8 and J12 loudspeakers were controlled together with the J-SUB cardioid subwoofers by d&b's D12 amplifiers. All these were connected via the ROPE C remote control software using a notebook platform. The mixing desk was a Yamaha DM 1000 and the microphones used were from Shure's R-Series.

Having survived this extreme experience, the J-Series is now geared up for the mission on Mars.

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