A TiMax 2 SoundHub delay matrix is part of the core audio spec for a musical about the late musician and activist Fela Kuti that is currently running in his home country of Nigeria.
Following critically acclaimed residencies on Broadway and in the West End, the Nigerian run is again making use of a TiMax 2 SoundHub matrix and TiMax Tracker performer system. The show’s sound designer, Rob Kaplowitz, selected the TiMax equipment to “…create various ‘zones’ in the house which allowed us to fulfil [director /choreographer] Bill [T Jones’s] request to localise the voices to their sources, while simultaneously allowing me to enfold the entire audience in the events onstage.”
For the Nigerian residency at Eko Le Meridien Hotel on Victoria Island in Lagos, Kaplowitz’s sound design associate Jessica Paz deployed the TiMax equipment in conjunction with a d&b speaker system. The show’s Nigerian production company, Broken Shackles, rented the TiMax 2 SoundHub matrix from UK developers Out Board.
The audio spec contributed massively to a show that, said a Broken Shackles representative, “will be the most talked-about show in Nigeria for years to come”.
The fact that the show ultimately took place as Nigeria prepared for elections and tensions rose in the north of the country was somehow appropriate given the highly political life of its subject. An avid campaigner on human rights issues, Kuti repeatedly clashed with the authorities during a prolific career that encompassed more than 50 albums. Since his death in 1997, his pioneering work in the development of Afrobeat has been carried on by his sons Femi and Seun. The stage musical Femi! has celebrated Fela’s legacy worldwide, while artist-turned-filmmaker Steve McQueen is to direct a biopic.