"I've been dreaming about this for years. At some rock shows, if you're not in the lucky first 30 rows you don't get full fidelity sound. Here, no one gets a bad seat."
- Daniel Lanois
Composer, Later That Night at the Drive-in
Beginning at sundown Saturday, October 2, 2010, renowned musician and record producer Daniel Lanois will electrify Toronto's Nathan Phillips Square with an all-night multimedia performance and temporary installation entitled Later That Night at the Drive-in. To accompany the layered video images and lighting effects, Lanois has composed a soundtrack of live and recorded music that will saturate the sprawling concrete expanse through 100 Meyer Sound self-powered loudspeakers mounted on 24 towers.
Lanois's work is slated as a keystone event of 2010's fifth installment of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, Toronto's annual all-night celebration of contemporary art.
Calling his concept "an enchanted forest of sound," Lanois emphasized the importance of delivering first-class sound throughout the anticipated throng. Lanois said, "I've been dreaming about this for years. At some rock shows, if you're not in the lucky first 30 rows you don't get full fidelity sound. Here, no one gets a bad seat."
To make sure this promise is fulfilled, Lanois entrusted system design to his long-time recording engineer and artistic collaborator, Mark Howard, who will also mix sound for the event through a 28.24 system. Working in close consultation with Meyer Sound Design Services, Howard devised a distributed, tower-borne layout utilizing 12 CQ-1 loudspeakers plus a total of 60 UPA-1P and UPJ-1P VariO loudspeakers to create 24 "sound pods" scattered throughout Nathan Phillips Square. Low-end will be provided by 20 650-P and eight 700-HP subwoofers, with system drive from a Galileo loudspeaker management system which includes five Galileo 616 processors. All Meyer Sound equipment was supplied by the Toronto office of PRG.
Coordinating the event on behalf of the City of Toronto is Julian Sleath, Special Events Programming Manager for the Department of Economic Development and Culture. Noting the importance of audio quality, Sleath commented, "It is terrific that Meyer Sound has jumped on board with the Lanois project, and we appreciate all the company has done to ensure it will be a great success. Once again, Meyer has shown why it is my favorite audio manufacturer." Also contributing to the effort is Sleath's colleague, Special Events Production Supervisor Joe Sellors.
An Ontario native, Daniel Lanois is best known as producer of acclaimed albums by U2, Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel, Emmylou Harris, and other notables. His Nuit Blanche event will feature performances with Trixie Whitley and his new band, Black Dub, and at midnight Lanois will present four songs from his latest production effort—the newly released album by rock legend and fellow Canadian Neil Young called 'Le Noise.'
Scotiabank Nuit Blanche (White Night) is a city-wide exhibition and celebration of the arts, with more than 500 artists performing and displaying 130 works of all genres between dusk and dawn on October 2 and 3. It is produced by the City of Toronto, with Scotiabank as title sponsor.