Stage Designers Lesson 5: Sound Design

Task 1

Watch this video on YouTube with Alma Kelliher, who is a sound designer and composer.

Answer these questions;

  1. What is the difference between a sound engineer and a sound designer?
  2. Why does Alma treat sound design as a music score?
  3. Watching the extract from Riverrun (time is 1min 20 sec into the video) what does the sound add to the performance?
  4. What is a soundscape?
  5. Why is sound vital to a performance?
  6. What is Alma’s advice about how to choose the right sounds for the performance.

Task 2

Watch this extract from Titus Andronicus from the Royal Shakespeare Company. It is an extract from Act 1 Scene 1 and in it the central character of the play, Tamora, is pleading to Titus to show mercy to her son after they have been arrested. Her sons are to be made a sacrifice.

As you watch it think about the kind of atmosphere the piece starts with and how quickly that atmosphere changes towards the end of the extract. The extract is only 2 minutes long.

Task 3

You need to make a soundscape for this extract. The soundscape should be two minutes long and reflect the changes in atmosphere in the extract.

You can make music out of anything, so gather interesting objects from around the house that can make noise and use them to create the soundscape. You can also use you voice. You could record them using your smartphone, tablet or whatever device you have to hand.

You can also use a range of online tools such as:

These are all free services, or have free options (which mean they also have limits on how to use them) but they all need you to create a log-in and/or download some software. So please ask permission before you access them.

You may, of course, have your own method of creating and recording sounds on your own devices at home.