F/X On-line Newsletter - Special Reports
at the 1999 Stockholm Water Festival
The laser crew at the Obscura Magica
Studio. From the left of the picture - Bo Anderson, Jourgen Kleine
(front), Herrick Türzer (and girlfriend), Jan Kriland (on ladder), Adela
Lopez-Bago (in front of Jan), Arvid Brodin and L. Michael Roberts on the
right - Photo by Inga
While Jan Kriland is the artistic
director with the overall vision of the show, there are many people who
contribute to the event working the usual long and gruelling hours to
realise the production. With an international team from Sweden, Mexico,
Germany and Canada, the only language we all had in common was English!
Visionary - Jan Kriland
Obscura Magica Productions
Photo by Frank Plughoff
| Born in
Stockholm, Sweden, in 1951 the son of one of Sweden´s foremost
surrealist artists, Jan Kriland has, since the early 1980's, used
laser technology for various visual presentations, ranging from
commercial shows to cultural performances. His main aim is to
develop and produce artistic laser performances to provide the
viewer with a full multimedia, artistic experience for all the
In 1987, the Kalmar Museum of Art in Kalmar,
Sweden, planned an exhibition named "Magic Light", devoted
to the role and concept of light in art. Kriland was asked to
participate and accepted immediately.
The exhibition, and especially Jan´s
experimental performances, turned out to be a splendid success which
moved one art critic to write that "...the queues to Kriland´s
appearances are longer than those at the State liquor shop right
before closing time on a Friday afternoon"....
The hallmark of Jan's shows had
always been a concern for the artistic and creative aspects over and above
the "flash and dazzle" found in so many laser shows. His shows are
usually designed from the ground up often with music especially composed for
the production. Each show may take many weeks to produce since he is
involved in the fine tuning of the sounds and the musical composition as
well as creating the imagery and doing all of the usual technical work
associated with a laser show.
| For example, when commissioned to produce a
show for Nike, he avoided the obvious 3D images of sneakers and concentrated
on a series of abstract shapes interacting with each other, eventually
ending in the familiar Nike logo. The abstract shapes were based on details
of the patterns on the rubber soles of Nike sneakers.
Each of Jan Kriland's shows is an artistic masterpiece skillfully
blending the music with abstract, three dimensional and representational
designs to create shows that are extraordinarily beautiful and compelling to
watch. He has won two Brewster awards for his works.
In an interview after the last show, I asked Jan Kriland
what his Artistic intent for the show had been. he replied, "Well, it
was to see if we could get as much people standing around a small lake,
looking in different directions, interested in something that was a very
sublime tale. To get something into their imagination instead of saying
"Woooo" all the time, they said "Wow that was
Bo Anderson -
|| Bo Anderson is
one of Sweden's foremost modern metal sculptors. His works have a
striking simplicity which belies the detailed surface textures and
ideas that lie behind them. He extracts deep blackness from iron and
conjures forth unusual and striking colours from copper sheets. Many
of his sculptures have the most dramatic effect when displayed in an
outdoor setting. He and Jan have worked together for many years in
the realisation of their artistic visions.
Bo provided many of the sketches and drawings
from which the laser graphics were digitised. He also came up with
the artistic ideas behind the stunning climax of Urström where a
woman is revealed in the sky over the water surrounded by a
"cage" of laser beams. He leant a lot of time and
equipment to the project to insure that it would be a creative and
Örjan Strandberg -
& Sound AB
| Örjan made his
musical debut as a a steady songwriter for a youth program on
Swedish national television in 1969. He was involved with the
symphonic rock group "Dice" 1974-1980 which released 3 CDs
in Japan that are still selling. He has been a professional composer
on assignment with own company Vision & Sound AB since 1980
completing more than 500 assignments throughout the years.
A selection of his works include; music for the
computer game "Codename Eagle" internationally released in
1999, musical program for Louise Nathorst - Swedish world champion
in dressage 1999, musical score for "Les saisons Suedoises"
for the Benson&Hedges International Fireworks competition in
Montreal 1994, 40 min musical score for "Aurora Borealis-the
saga of the Nordic Gods"- Jan Kriland's entry at the Mondial du
Laser competition Montreal 1992, and many more.
He is a board member of The Swedish performing
rights society (STIM), Swedish society of popular music composers (SKAP)
and Chairman of Swedish society of Media composers.
Adela Lopez-Bago -
| Adela is the
technical director and problem solver for the show. She has been
working with laser lasers since 1986 mostly in Mexico and Latin
America. She is an electronics engineer and has designed and built
many of the systems she uses in her work. As president of Diseño
Laser, her experience has varied from many outdoor laser shows and
corporate events in Mexico to pyrotechnics for the "Beauty and
the beast" musical.
Adela went to Stockholm a month in advance of the
show to work out the technical logistics for the event. She soldered
cables, made arrangements for equipment and personnel and solved
technical problems as they developed. She also spent a lot of time
strapped into a safety harness dangling over the water while
installing equipment and cables.
L. Michael Roberts
Photo by Jan Kriland
| Michael is in his
24th year as a laserist. After some discussions at the Laser F/X '99
conference in Burlington, he accepted Jan's invitation to work on
the Water Festival show.
His primary responsibility is the operation and maintenance of the
smoke machines scattered about the site and documenting the event
for this web site.
He can be found in boats moving equipment or
doing a troll imitation under bridges re-filling or servicing smoke
machines. He also lends a hand with diverse tasks such as stringing
cables, securing tarps and loading trucks.
Arvid Brodin -
Obscura Magica Productions
| Arvid is a 21
year old Computer student who has just starting work with Obscura
Magica. He is interested in both the hardware and software aspects
of computers and hopes to write his own laser graphics software for
experimentation and for the learning experience. This show is his
"baptism by fire" in the laser industry.
Olle Jacobsson and
Tony Bohlin - Rigging
Tony (left) and Olle
| Olle and Tony are
the rigging and "flying" experts responsible for the
"basket" laser and the two scrims flown over the water.
With 30 years experience in rigging and flying, Olle has worked on a
variety of productions from the flying work in the Ace of Bass video
to rigging 12 meter yachts in the world championships.
With wires up to 350 meters long, the Water
Festival offered special challenges. Tensioning the anchor points,
especially within the historic Royal Palace, proved very
challenging. Each night has brought improvements in the show as Olle
and Tony work with the complex rigging system.
Sabiene Weißinger, Chris Griesemann, Timm Junker - Panis
Sabiene Weißinger, Chris Griesemann and Timm Junker are the crew
responsible for the projections on the facade of the royal palace.
There are 23 slides each split into four so as to have maximum
resolution and image brightness. Fredric and Sabiene made two trips
to Sweden to take photos and measurements of the Royal Palace. Each
visit also included trips to museums and libraries to research
Images from the research were scanned
into computer and composted so as to align correctly with the architecture
of the palace. The images are pre-distorted to take projection geometry into
account. Each of the slides is 18 by 18 cm and is moved into and out of the
projection gate by DMX control signals.
The projections represent the human history of Sweden.
Beginning with cave paintings, old houses, Viking boats, images of the old
section of Stockholm (Gamla Stan), progressing through the industrial era
and forward to modern times. Ending with pictograms that represent the
information age and a final image where the palace is covered with printed
circuits and IC chips.
LOCAL PRODUCTION CREW
|| Peter Hagstrom is
a computer and network engineer who has volunteered his holiday time
to work on the Water Festival. Each evening he is the
"captain" of a small rubber boat that takes a smoke
machine and fan out onto the water (see Smoke
on the water page)
| Johanes and
Anders are from a local pyrotechnic company. When the festival
organisers were unable to provided a suitable inverter to run a
second smoke boat, they were called in to provide chemical smoke
(the type used by the military to mark helicopter landings) for the
|| Audio engineer
Robert Eurnlund from DM Audio in Stockholm is responsible for the PA
system used for the shows. There are four PA towers around the site
each containing 25,000 watts of amplifiers. The mid/high speakers
are by Apogee and the bass bins by Yorkville. The sound track is fed
from a control position below the master control scaffold to the
four towers via FM link. PA operators in each of the four towers
watch over the systems ready to respond if there are any problems.
In addition, there are two crews that
operate the flame-throwers atop the fire tower and the white tower, and a
host of others that contribute to the success of the nightly production.
Quick Links to Report
Water Festival Report
and Stockholm -
Background and general information
Site - Orientation
to the show area and the challenges it presented
Crew - The people
who put it all together
Specs - The
equipment used in the presentation
Music - An
interview with the composer and MP3 file of the soundtrack
on the water -
Covering a lake with smoke for beam effects
Show - A
description with many pictures
Gifs - Gifs
showing Palace projections and climatic beam effects
- Stockholm City Hall tour (very large page)
Diary - Day-to-day
coverage of the trials and triumphs
Some of the information in the Backstage area is provided by the
persons or companies named on the relevant page(s). Laser F/X does
NOT endorse or recommend any products/services and is NOT
responsible for the technical accuracy of the information
provided. We provide this information as a service to
laserists using the Backstage area.
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