Archive for the ‘Sound Design’ Category

Humanhood ZERO Autumn Tour

Sunday, September 3rd, 2017

Zero_tour_flyer

Humanhood’s ZERO will be touring the Midlands this autumn. Since the premiere in Birmingham in 2016 a 15 minute excerpt of the work won first prize at Certamen Coreografico de Madrid. Performances in London and Singapore have also received great reviews. The 2017 tour dates are:

10th Oct – Arena Theatre Wolverhampton

12th Oct – Déda Derby

13th Oct – Drill Hall London

20th Oct – BHM Live Leicester (Extract)

16th Nov – DanceXchange Birmingham

17th Nov – Guildhall Arts Centre Grantham

There’s more info, video, audio and reviews on my ZERO project page.

Fringe Theatre 2017

Saturday, September 2nd, 2017

I had a busy couple of months leading up to the 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe where three shows were presented this year that I designed sound for. I was working in Edinburgh for the first week of the festival getting two of the shows up and running but I also managed to fit in seeing some other good theatre too. Highlights include Frankie Vah by Luke Wright, Meet Me At Dawn by Zinnie Harris, and Adam by Frances Poet.

heather2

Heather by Thomas Eccleshare was produced by Dancing Brick and Paul Jellis in association with The Bush Theatre London and Tobacco Factory Theatres Bristol. Heather was shown at Summerhall and was well received with a five star review and top 10 place from The Scotsman. It was included in the British Council Edinburgh Showcase and continues to tour UK theatres through the autumn. You can find more info, listen to some excerpts and read some reviews on my Heather webpage.

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Photo: David Monteith-Hodge

The Whip Hand by Douglas Maxwell was commissioned by The National Theatre of Scotland and produced by Birmingham REP and Traverse Theatre Edinburgh. This play was also included in the British Council Edinburgh Showcase and following a successful run at the Traverse will be shown at The Door, Birmingham REP from 5 – 16 September 2017. There’s more info and reviews on The Whip Hand page.

lfj_tony1crop

Photo: Graeme Braidwood

Finally, Looking For John by Tony Timberlake was a show I worked on at Birmingham REP in 2016 and it was great that it had a second airing at the festival this year. Especially in light of the fact that Tony and director Tessa Walker successfully campaigned for a Civic Society blue plaque to be placed at John Curry’s home in Birmingham earlier this year. The Guardian featured a lovely article on the show during the Edinburgh run. You can read it and more on the Looking For John page.

Humanhood – ZERO reviews

Saturday, February 18th, 2017

ZERO_3

Humanhood performed a 15 min extract of ZERO at Resolution 2017 in January, a festival for new and emerging contemporary dance. Here are a couple of reviews of the performance:

“The perfect kinesthetic responsiveness to Armstrong’s music along with Horneman’s brilliant lighting design were two necessary ingredients for shaping a unique and impressive piece.”

http://www.theplace.org.uk/blog/resolution-review-2017/sat-14-jan-james-mullerrae-dance-collectivehumanhood

“The crowning achievement of the evening is ZERO (extract) by Humanhood (Rudi Cole and Julia Robert).”

http://exeuntmagazine.com/reviews/review-symbiotic-unravel-le-bolero-zero-place/

The company have received ACE funding to tour the work in the Midlands in Autumn 2017 and I’ll post more info on the tour dates once venues are confirmed.

Read more about the project here.

Stories To Tell In The Middle Of The Night

Monday, January 30th, 2017

Stories title new font_web

I worked as sound designer on this new piece of theatre written and performed by Francesca Millican-Slater. The show is “A live late night radio show for those that can’t sleep, aren’t asleep. Instead of records, this DJ is spinning stories that exist between dusk and morning. Small stories, odd, true, funny and familiar, reflecting the night hours themselves”.

Following a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe last summer Stories To Tell In The Middle Of The Night is playing at The Door, Birmingham Repertory Theatre from 9th – 18th February 2017. Please visit the REP website to book tickets.

If you’d like a free taster of what’s in store, Francesca will be telling some of her stories in the REP basement until 7th Feb 2017. You can find out more info and book here.

Look out for Stories To Tell In The Middle Of The Night at various venues around the West Midlands as, thanks to the Barry Jackson Trust, it will be touring until March 2017.

For more information on this project, reviews and a video trailer visit my project page.

Commissioned by Birmingham Repertory Theatre and produced by Pippa Frith.

Humanhood

Monday, January 30th, 2017

ZERO_Trailer from HumanHood on Vimeo.

In 2016 I worked with Humanhood on their first full length contemporary dance piece ZERO. I composed the music in multichannel surround sound working with a wealth of recorded musical material provided by a talented group of international collaborators. The piece was commissioned by mac birmingham and supported by Arts Council England and premiered at mac birmingham on 01.10.16. A 15 min extract of ZERO won 1st Prize at Certamen Coreografico de Madrid 2016 and was performed at Resolution 2017, The Place, London. The company are working towards a UK tour and other international performances later this year.

For more information please visit my ‘Humanhood – ZERO’ project page.

I am also looking forward to working with the company again as composer for their new outdoor dance piece ‘ORBIS’. Inspired by the moon and astronomy this work will premier in May 2017 and feature at several UK festivals over the summer.

Looking For John – Birmingham REP

Monday, January 30th, 2017

lfj_tony1crop

I created the sound design for Looking For John, written and performed by Tony Timberlake and directed by Tessa Walker.  The show was produced by Birmingham Repertory Theatre in association with Homotopia and SHOUT festival. It tells the fascinating and somewhat tragic story of champion figure skater John Curry who, despite redefining men’s skating and winning Olympic Gold in 1976, has been largely forgotten. I’m happy to say that this show was well received and went some way to bringing John and his artistic achievements back into people’s lives.

You can find out more about the project and read some reviews on my ‘Looking For John’ page.

Heartbeats & Algorithms – On Tour

Monday, January 30th, 2017

heartbeats and algorithms poster

Does your computer know about your embarrassing web searches? Does it know that, despite your claim to be fluent in German, you use Google Translate? Does it know about your casual relationship with porn? Does it know you better than your friends? Does it know you better than you know yourself?

A woman designs an algorithm that will predict the decisions of people in seemingly unpredictable predicaments. In the process of perfecting the algorithm she ends up creating a programme that gets to know her better than she knows herself, and discovers her most intimate secret. As a result, it predicts that she will soon find herself in an unpredictable predicament…

Jenny Lee’s Heartbeats & Algorithms is a dark, heart-achingly funny story that conjures up a seductive, inescapable world of information use and abuse and examines the leading role our technology plays in our lives. The play has the feel of a psychological, techno – thriller reflected in the ominous, cinematic approach to elements of the sound design that I created.

Following a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015 Heartbeats & Algorithms has been touring recently with performances at Soho Theatre, London, Derby Theatre and Oxford Playhouse’s Burton Taylor Studio.

There’s more info and links to reviews on my Heartbeats & Algorithms project page.

 

A Journey Round My Theatre

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

AJRMT

‘A Journey Round My Theatre’ is now available online to download for you to enjoy at your leisure in the foyer spaces of Birmingham Repertory Theatre. You can also borrow mp3 players and headphones from the box office or stream over their free wi-fi. I was commissioned by KILN Ensemble to work with Olivia Winteringham to realise her concept for this architectural soundwalk featuring her grandfather Graham Winteringham, the architect of the REP.

There is further information on the flyer, plus a helpful map to guide you around. Download the PDF flyer and map here.

For more information about this project visit the project page.

Heartbeats & Algorithms

Saturday, August 1st, 2015

Heartbeats-Algorithms_Web_1191

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve recently completed work on the sound design for a piece of new theatre Heartbeats & Algorithms. Written and performed by Jenny Lee, this one woman play tells the story of Banks, a programmer who develops an algorithm that can predict the decisions people will make.

A woman designs an algorithm that will predict the decisions of people in seemingly unpredictable predicaments. In the process of perfecting the algorithm she ends up creating a programme that gets to know her better than she knows herself, and discovers her most intimate secret. As a result, it predicts that she will soon find herself in an unpredictable predicament…

Heartbeats & Algorithms is a dark, heart-achingly funny story that conjures up a seductive, inescapable world of information use and abuse and examines the leading role our technology plays in our lives.

Director Valentina Ceschi (Dancing Brick) has opted for very minimal staging with no set and simple lighting that focuses attention on the character, her story and the sound which plays a significant role in supporting the narrative. The sound design consists of ambient sounds signifying the various settings in the story both literal, such as and office and a tube station, and the abstract, virtual space of an online forum. I also created a sonic representation of the algorithm that haunts the narrator using coil pick up recordings of computers and other electronic devices.

Following a successful preview at the Kings Head Theatre in Islington on 27.07.15 the show will run for the month of August at Pleasance This at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Find out more on the Heartbeats & Algorithms website where you can book tickets and follow Banks on Instagram.

 

Birmingham REP Soundwalk

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Birmingham Rep + Library of Birmingham - 2014-02-11 - Andy Mabbett - 01.JPG
Birmingham Rep + Library of Birmingham – 2014-02-11 – Andy Mabbett – 01” by Andy MabbettOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

I have recently been enjoying working with Olivia Winteringham of KILN Ensemble who I collaborated with previously on the theatre piece ‘A Journey Round My Skull’. This time we have been producing a recorded soundwalk around the public spaces of the Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

Olivia’s grandfather Graham Winteringham was the architect of the theatre which he designed and built in 1971. The soundwalk takes the form of an architectural audio tour and features Graham talking about his design, some of the challenges he faced and the odd anecdote. The piece is interspersed with field recordings from around the theatre including backstage areas, the main auditorium, rehearsal spaces and administration offices.

Like the sound design for ‘A Journey Round My Skull’ the soundwalk was mostly recorded binaurally in order to create a realistic spatial representation in sound when listened to on headphones.

The 40min soundwalk will soon be available online as a free download for the public to enjoy in the foyer spaces of the REP.