Friday, October 15, 2010

Week 5: Entry 2: Tech time: Let there be sound!

How our composer David Roesner got through the technical rehearsals is almost as impressive as the soundscape he has created. David stepped off the plane from the UK with no sleep for over 24 hours on Friday night and found himself straight in the technical rehearsals. On Saturday morning, the spotlight was metaphorically on him. David has designed a soundscape across 5000 miles and 8 hours' time difference, responding intuitively and artistically to many of our demands. Often he had nothing but a few moments of filmed rehearsal on YouTube, and yet the soundscape that he has created adds a texture and a personality to the production that I could never have imagined.

David often works against the dramatic texture of scene: if the scene is already melancholy, then he finds a pulse or a key that counterpoints that to add to the audience's emotional journey. If the scene is frenetic, he finds an atmospheric cranking up of tension in a different time signature from the written text. In this way, he weaves a whole new thread into the fabric of the production. There are times when the sound acts as a partner to the actor: Frank Wedekind's spirit is often conjured up by the soundscape. Other times, Tilly's inner state is revealed. Some of the melodies that I have written for the cabaret songs are reconfigured in motifs within the music. Sound effects are given a life that renders them more than just a ticking clock or a tram screeching or a train bell clanging.

This is all very fortuitous, as David and I had not worked together before, but I just had an intuition about him as a person and a musician. I can't imagine what the play would be like now without his sophisticated and subtle score.

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