In 2016, L’Observatoire International collaborated with French musical duo Cassius to develop animated stage lighting for their Ibifornia tour. A contraction of Ibiza and California, Ibifornia is described by the DJs as “a place where the sun rises high and the horses run free.” Reminiscent of Ibiza’s neighboring mythical island of Es Vedrà, the performance area is comprised of a large sculptural volcano from which the group performs. Imaginative flora made up of brightly colored flowers and tropical ferns fill the stage, creating a distinctive contrast between the blue, yellow, and magenta tones of the lighting scheme.
Mimicking the effect of lava travelling down the face of a volcano, a series of billowing LED lights cascade toward the floor in neon colored gradients. Behind the performers, a three-part screen reveals horizontal bars of light that produce minimal interpretations of Ibifornia’s rising sun–occasionally undulating from its center, perfectly synchronized with the changes in each composition. In the spirit of classic stage-lighting, L’Observatoire carefully balances roaming beams with more eccentric clusters of “falling” light, creating the illusion of naturally occurring phenomena on stage.
Inspired by the wildness of California and Ibiza, Cassius’s immersive sounds are matched perfectly by lighting that blurs the distinction between the performer and the audience. L’Observatoire’s precisely choreographed lighting accentuates both the tropical brightness of the music as well as the intimate introspection brought on Cassius’s audio-induced utopia.