After the run for GoT was over, I ventured out into the corporate world for a few shows. One of them being the yearly event for TED Talks up in Vancouver, BC. An absolutely great bunch of people on the crew here and a great event overall to work on. Amazingly good talks here with live acts occasionally playing on the same stage. They actually build the entire theatre seating area in the convention center there and they do it in under a weeks time. PA done and floated in one afternoon with a few tweaks done a couple days later.
The start of 2017 brought me my first freelance job as System Engineer for the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience. This featured conductor Ramin Djawadi who is the main composer for the show as well as several other projects such as Westworld, Pacific Rim and Iron Man. We deployed 8 main hangs of Meyer Lyon speakers for the in-the-round setting that was needed for the show. Long days and nights as this was a pretty huge production. Tons of video, pyro, and lights here and the crowds seemed to enjoy the shows quite well.
After deciding long and hard about my current location and career, I decided at the end of 2016 to join the freelance world of live audio. Mostly decided out of the need to get closer to family. Being closer to help out when needed especially when I am home was the driving factor. Traveling back and forth from Wisconsin was getting expensive and only going to get worse over time. Losing the security of a staff position and the yearly jobs that contributed to my growing experience was going to be tough to match but something had to happen. So, with that all weighing on me I decided I wasn’t getting any younger and put in my notice. LD Systems was a great company to grow up in and I am very thankful for all the opportunities they offered me throughout the years.
With the passing of the new year, I began as a freelancer and it didn’t take long thankfully, to gain employment. First job being as the System Engineer for the Game of Thrones US tour in 2017. A big change of pace and speaker systems but I learned a lot and continue to do so. Pics to follow!
Another crazy few weeks have passed for me here on Planet Monk, filled with tons of work and lots of accomplishments. Managed to work so much that I actually went the entire month of December all on overtime pay. A lot of this was due in part to my company purchasing a brand new PA system. It’s from a company in France called L’Acoustics and they make what is arguably one of the top 3 sound systems in the world today. Their latest system has a heart called the K1 box. This PA is out with the likes of Peter Gabriel, Radiohead, Bruce Springsteen, Taylor Swift, etc… Needless to say, it’s pretty awesome and I hope that it raises the bar in and around my company and staff as well…
By making this purchase, it set off a flurry of little tasks that needed to be completed once the gear began to arrive. Tasks such as barcoding each cabinet (all 390 +). Labeling of hardware, cables, and accessories (600+). Checking all the gear in officially, logging it, and documenting it then followed… I have been in charge of this little mission since sea containers began arriving in July. The biggest and final shipment arrived near the end of October.
Mind you it hasn’t been just me working on this, but I was basically handed the task of making sure it got as close to completion as possible. The hard part was herding the cats (crew guys in the shop) long enough to sit still and help. We all have been doing shows in and around this task as well as many I’m sure, find labeling and shrink tubing cables just such a joy… I am pleased to say that overall the project is about 90% done. The remaining items to accomplish really are on the horizon but it is revolving around several other outside forces (companies) which I can’t control! Long hours studying a piece of gear and thinking such common thoughts as, “I wonder if their foot will land here… or here…and would a label make it there…..” Yes, such thoughts do occur, and I am sure I’ve just been a lovely conversationist these last several months. Boring friends with, “we discovered this pretty cool trick when you do this…. or lemme tell you about just how good this stuff sounds.”
Most of it will make it’s major debut this year at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. The rodeo here is listed as the world’s largest indoor rodeo if I remember correctly, and also touts one of the largest temporary installs of lights, video, and sound. It’s in Reliant Stadium and runs for 20 nights and days starting in late February. Everyday is a rodeo and then one large international/national music artist. I’ve had everyone from Tim McGraw, to Ray Charles, to Kid Rock, to Janet Jackson play this thing. It can get fairly large to say the least, with a capacity crowd of up to 73,000 people a night. (So it’s kinda a big deal….) I’ll begin a post a day when that kicks off with some lead up shots of the load in I’m sure. Funny thing is, I’ll have more time on my hands once we begin, then when we prep. Funny how it works like that….
Anyway, I’ll let your eyes rest a bit from this novel and leave you with a couple pics of the gear that I’ve been getting friendly with. Glad it’s finally getting done though. I have a life out there somewhere, and it’s time I go find it again…..; )
… when you are working your tail off.
Sheesh. It’s been forever in a month (or so) since I’ve posted. Been truthfully very, very, busy with work and it has not allowed me much time to sit, write, and post like I have before. To be honest, it’s also been a lack of energy in the evening when I get to the casa that has let me wander to the bed instead of writing or posting a pic or two…
So, before I crash for the evening this time, I think I’ll put up a couple I’ve taken recently that stick out as favorites of mine, from the past few weeks….
Another couple weeks of crazy shows coming up starting with Tim McGraw and Faith Hill this weekend. Then on to some smaller gigs with Sara Evans and The Band Perry next week. I’ll see about trying to put up some pics from that when I can. Have a nice weekend folks!
Drinking a nice cup o’ joe, windows open, bit of cleaning done and now listening to some music while working on some pics….
Looking at these, I realize I must have looked pretty crazy when touring in Asia. Snapping pics every other minute. Constantly looking around taking in as much as possible. The enormous amount of architecture differences there compared to here in the states is pretty mind blowing. Engineers who constantly push the boundaries to create some of the craziest structures. Places like Germany and several countries in Asia throw my OCD (of order) needle into the red. I can’t help that I like angles. It’s not as bad as it used to be mind you. I’ve learned to embrace it and I still do like my rounds. Just look at my logo : ).
I blame it solely on my extensive experience as a child having a large collection of those Danish delights known as Legos.
a construction toy consisting of plastic bricks and other standardized components that fit together with studs
Coincidentally, “Lego” is also a Latin verb which means, “I assemble”.
I guess you could say [I] “Lego” audio systems as well, considering that’s about half of my job. The other half consists of designing them, making them sound good each show, and making sure I or other engineers have a good show with said systems. I guess that’s where the “play well” part comes in, but I digress…
Back to my other love. Photography. Here’s a few I’ve been working on:
I’ll be working on more European and stateside photos in the coming days. We’ll see what I can find in my toy box of pics. Hope you had a good weekend! Godnat alle!
Once again the days have been flying by here on Planet Monk. Many concerts and I’m heading fast towards taking some time off. Need to go somewhere and get my mind off things me thinks! By the way, if you don’t follow Leanne Cole’s site, you should. Some great photo editing ideas on there. Need to incorporate some of them soon. Here’s a few pics from the past week or so…
Time to go for a jog and contemplate buying a new iPhone… ah stupid gadgets. I love thee so.