Gearhouse, O21 for Gormley’s plinth project22 September 2009
UK: O21 Television is providing the broadcast solution for Sky Arts’ coverage of the Trafalgar Square fourth plinth ‘live artwork’, writes David Davies. The channel is broadcasting conventional/HD programming and web-streaming of ‘Angel of the North’ sculptor Anthony Gormley’s latest creation, ‘One & Other’, which sees members of the public take to the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square for an hour apiece.
O21 is responsive for the live broadcast solution, which is recorded and archived in full HD and streamed online at the One & Other website (link below). Steve Boland, project consultant for O21 Television, devised the system architecture, which allows for full remote control of the plinth video and audio. Gearhouse Broadcast supplied a wealth of camera and audio equipment for the project, with the audio set-up including a Yamaha M7CL console, Genelec 1029A powered speakers and Sennheiser SK 50 and SK 5012 microphones, among many other items.
John Clements, O21’s head of sound, tells PSN-e: "The audio requirement for One & Other was for radio and wired microphones to work 24/7. Sennheiser 416s were used for [their] reliability. All signals were relayed from the plinth by radio link. A Yamaha M7 mixing console was used to process the microphones on passing to another mixer which operated to have the ability to mix between either the 416s or the personal radio microphones which were worn by whoever was on the plinth. The signal was then embedded into the HD pictures, giving a synchronised audio feed after the pictures had been converted into SD and delayed by 33 seconds."
In one of the more memorable plinth moments, Richard Loveridge used his hour in Trafalgar Square to debut – with the band’s permission – two new, as-yet-unreleased acoustic recordings by Marillion. Prior to Loveridge’s stint, a JCB was employed to raise stereo equipment 30 feet in the air; the two songs were selected on the basis of which would sound best in Trafalgar Square.
A total of 2,400 people will have participated in the One & Other project by the time it concludes on October 14.