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Meyer Sound Powers Machu Picchu's Spectacular Centenary Celebration
This summer, a spectacular celebration at Peru's Machu Picchu commemorated American explorer Hiram Bingham's rediscovery of this awe-inspiring lost city 100 years ago. The ancient Inca citadel was sonically illuminated—for the first time ever—by a pristine Meyer Sound reinforcement system that carried traditional, symphonic, and popular music to spectators gathered on the verdant mountainside terraces.
Implementing world-class production technology at Machu Picchu's remote location required extensive logistical planning, according to Andres Cuadros of Lima, Peru-based systems supplier dB LUX SAC. First, Cuadros and business partner Guillermo Riera arranged to transport the sizeable production inventory—including 24 Meyer Sound self-powered loudspeakers, a DiGiCo SD8 digital console, more than 100 lighting instruments, two lighting consoles, and four 200 kW generators—by train and truck to a staging area near the site. From there, most loudspeakers and lights had to be carried by local workers, sometimes more than 500 meters, up steep slopes and often through pelting downpours.
"The Meyer Sound self-powered systems are the ideal solution for applications like this," insists Cuadros. "Because of their sound quality, versatility, and reliability, we didn't have to deal with heavy amp racks, and we could make the most of the limited setup time under extremely difficult conditions."
The Meyer Sound complement comprised ten UPQ-1P loudspeakers and four 500-HP subwoofers for FOH and effects systems, ten UM-1P stage monitors for foldback, and a Galileo loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 616 processor.
"The performance of the Meyer Sound system was absolutely perfect," reports Cuadros, who also mixed the performances. "The producers were thrilled by the sound quality, and they were equally pleased by how quickly and easily the system was put in place and removed."
Because Machu Picchu is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site, a "light footprint" was required in the staging process to minimize environmental impact. For the same reason, audience size was limited to 700, including the 200 invited VIP guests.
Festivities included a reenactment of Machu Picchu's history, accompanied by spectacular lighting effects and a pre-recorded soundtrack, as presented by a cast of 200 under the direction of renowned Peruvian film director Luis Llosa. A concert by musicians of the Andean Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra Sinfonica del Cusco featuring guest vocalist Tania Libertad wrapped up the historic occasion.
A major rental company in Peru, dB LUX SAC has supported international tours that include Paul McCartney, Elton John, and Justin Bieber with an extensive Meyer Sound inventory of MILO line array loudspeakers and 700-HP subwoofers.