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Autograph shapes up for post-pandemic world

The London Plasa Show saw Autograph announce its new structure and future direction, amalgamating its pioneering and standard setting Sound Recording and Sales branches.

Formed in 1972, Autograph Sound Recording Ltd quickly established itself as a world leader in sound for theatre before being joined in 1982 by Autograph Sales Ltd, bringing skills and knowledge from the theatre world to bear on the sales and installations markets. Although Autograph Sound and Autograph Sales have a history of mutual support, the two operations are now under one banner and one roof, sharing the same HQ in London NW5. The move also reflects a broadening of the Autograph remit.

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Verdi’s Requiem: live and immersively streamed

Directed by Placido Domingo and performed by the Arturo Toscanini Philharmonic orchestra and the City Theatre Choir, a performance of Verdi’s Requiem marked the return of the Teatro Municipale in Italy’s Piacenza to live music. The concert took place in front of a socially distanced in-person audience and live streamed, using a Klang:fabrik unit to deliver a 3D audio mix those at unable to attend.

Traditionally used for in-ear monitoring, the emergence of live streaming is increasingly seeing Klang systems used on spatial audio mixes for online viewers.

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Cinderella turns to Soundscape in West End

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella is the first new production to open in the West-End since the lifting of coronavirus restrictions. Eagerly awaited by the musical theatre community, it is a sing-along extravaganza that includes powerful pop anthems and emotional ballads in equal measure.

In residence at the Gillian Lynne Theatre, the show’s set design includes a revolving stage, making it clear from the outset that an advanced audio solution would be required to do justice to Webber’s latest fairytale vision. Olivier Award winning sound designer, Gareth Owen, was called in to provide the solution.

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Puy du Fou España

A theme park with no rides, Puy du Fou still manages to attract more than 2m visitors to its vast historical reproduction theme park in Western France. With themes spanning Viking and Roman times to Richelieu, Revolution and Resistance, the park installed its first L-Acoustics sound system in 2000, became an early adopter of L-ISA Hyperreal Sound technology in 2016, added L-Acoustics to the prestigious Puy du Fou Club of Partners in 2017 and today, the entire park is equipped with L-Acoustics sound.

In 2017, when plans were revealed to open Puy du Fou España, L-Acoustics was asked to bring its trusted audio formula to the massive new Toledo site. A €200m investment brought Puy du Fou España to life for its 2019 ribbon-cutting, including the unveiling of the first show, El Sueño de Toledo, billed as ‘the biggest show in Spain.’

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12 Questions; Live Answers

Despite the debut album from Fraser T Smith’s Future Utopia solo project, ‘definitely conceived as a studio project, with no plans to take it live’, album recently received its first live outing, at Bold Tendencies in Peckham, South London. Reworked for a live setting and delivered via a d&b Soundscape system, the album set features Smith playing live synths and electric bass, with contributions from guest artists whose schedule allows.

For two decades he has moved between multi-instrumentalist and mix engineer, songwriter and producer with artists from Craig David and Kano to Adele, Celine Dion and Kaiser Chiefs. His album 12 Questions explores a dozen Big Questions that its eclectic line-up of talent to ‘muses, discusses and attempts to answer’.

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