Sting, Peter Gabriel and London’s Royal College of Art

One more reason to applaud the "Rock Paper Scissors" tour.

If you were at Madison Square Garden last night for the New York leg of the “Rock Paper Scissors” concert tour, you may have noticed a third featured attraction on the stage alongside Sting and Peter Gabriel. The projected background visuals.

Per a post this week from London, the performers – who first toured together 30 years ago – enlisted the help of students at London’s prestigious Royal College of Art. With Gabriel leading the charge:

A total of 10 students, 2 tutors and 4 alumni came together to work on the project, from across the School’s programmes: Animation, Information Experience Design and Visual Communication… Franziska Hatton and Louis Gauger, two of the students involved, spoke vividly of the energy and intensity of the project, and of the ways in which their knowledge was tested, pushed in different directions to new and fruitful ends.

Team members were given particular songs, from across the oeuvres of both artists, to think about how they might be ‘visualized’ – interpreted, or translated as pieces of communication that would sit alongside, complement and enrich the tune in a live performance context. Core to the process was a series of sessions with Gabriel himself, who regularly visited the College to see how the students were working, often giving them in-depth feedback and constructive criticism, as well as urging them to follow their inclinations, practical and aesthetic.

Playing a pivotal role in all this alongside Sting and Gabriel were the pair’s respective lighting design directors, Danny Nolan and Rob Sinclair. Well played, famous chaps.

Last night at MSG, duets performed by Sting and Gabriel (along with various individual songs from their extensive catalogs) included “Shock the Monkey,” “Englishman in New York” and “Sledgehammer,” during which the two performers managed a pretty good version of the Rockettes’ high kick.

Image via: rca.ac.uk