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Head - Studio: James Reynolds
Theatre can make use of a wide variety of sounds in complex combinations. In addition to the sounds of the words spoken by the actors, a play may also call for sound effects to recreate lifelike noises or use music or abstract and unidentifiable sounds to support the drama. The sound designer plans and provides the sound effects in the play. The composer writes any original music the show may require. All the music and/or effects in a play considered as a whole make up the soundscape.
Sound designers and composers begin their work by studying the script, gathering as much information as they can about any sound or music it calls for. As in all other aspects of design, an early meeting with the director and the design team is essential to get a clear understanding of the production concept.
Some directors will already have very clear ideas about what the sound effects and/or music should sound like, while others may request that the sound designer/composer sit in on rehearsals to assist with developing effects and music to fit the specific contexts in which they will be used. Once they have a precise sense of what the production needs out of the music or sound, the composer begins composing the necessary musical pieces and the sound designer begins to gather and create the necessary sounds.
The designer or composer combines and varies the five controllable properties of sound to create unique effects or music required by the production of the play.
Sound and music cues are often dependent on the precise timing of the onstage action and can only be set after the play's blocking has been determined. Ideally, the director, cast and crew will have several opportunities to fine tune the timing of the completed music/sound design during technical rehearsals.
|Visit the ArtsAlive.ca English Theatre Design & Production Interviews page to watch and listen to an interview with Canadian composer and sound designer|