On Feb. 13 the interior of the Washington National Cathedral was illuminated by the LED light show “Seeing Deeper: Space, Light & Sound.” This is the second year the show, inspired by the cathedral's neo-gothic architecture, has been displayed at 110-year-old monument.
Built between 1907 and 1990, the cathedral was designed by multiple architects; first by British Gothic Revival architect George Frederick Bodley and ultimately by Philip Hubert Frohman. The dramatic architecture, influenced by the Canterbury Cathedral in England, is the focus for the light show which was conceptualized to bring more people to the cathedral. “The cathedral is stunning alone, and the lighting should enhance and complement its structure,” says Elizabeth Coco of Atmosphere Lighting, the cathedral's main lighting contractor for special events and rentals.
“This year I will be focusing our cueing sequence on deep, saturated colors with a full, vibrant, rainbow spectrum,” Coco says. She included a glass gobo pattern that was projected from the ceiling, washing the floor with rich red, pink, and orange hues that are intended to mimic the sunlight shining through the stain glass. To achieve the rainbow effect, Coco used 78 Well Fit wireless LEDs on the columns, 16 Source 4 lekos for the floor patterns, eight Mac Quantum Profile moving lights for the ceiling, and 24 Colorforce 12 LED uplights for the balcony walls.
With all chairs removed, visitors were able to wander through the nave, or lie across the floor to watch the stream of colors dance across the ceiling. The program also included an ongoing performance by Native American flute player Karen Rugg. “We hope the lights help people see themselves, their community, and this magnificent cathedral in a new and different way,” says National Cathedral chief communications officer Kevin Eckstrom.
“Seeing Deeper” will continue with public events through Feb. 17.