The single most dreaded question ever asked of a Sound Designer.
Sound takes place over time. Sound takes place in space. Sound moves. Sound expands and contracts. Sound breathes.
Whenever I'm asked to send a portfolio for review, it always gives me some anxiety. In performance, I want my sound designs to interact - with both the audience and the actors - in ways which are incredibly difficult to represent in a photo, and image, or even a stereo recording.
But, let me see what I can do to tell you how I work as best I can...
Wild Goose Dreams
La Jolla Playhouse
This world=premiere work crossed sonic borders between ancient Korean melodies & the sounds of the digital age. My design - in collaboration with composer Paul Castles & Korean Drummer Anny Hahm - was awarded the 2017 San Diego Theatre Critic's Circle Award for Outstanding Sound Design.
The character of Nanhee - a North Korean defector - has a nightmare where she travels back home thru the river she escaped: (There was a lot of subwoofer in the production)
Sammy & Me
MusicalFare Theatre, The Hangar Theatre, The National Black Theatre Festival, & The Alliance Theatre
Though this work is an older design, it is a project which I revisit often & continues to be one of my proudest works. The one-man solo performance by Eric Jordan Young is about the life of Sammy Davis, Jr. & his place - both good and bad - in the history of African-American culture. Mr. Young's character is visited by the ghost of Sammy Davis Jr, and together they tell the history of stage performance for black artists from the 1920's thru today - opening immense pathways for sound design & storytelling thru music.
The stage representation of Kathryn Erskine's children's book about an autistic child dealing with the tragic death of her brother. We used hyper-realism to show the world thru our heroine Caitlin's eyes. This design was awarded the 2018 Nashville "First Night" Award for Outstanding Sound Design.
The show's Opening Sequence:
Caitlin's 1st episode recounting the story of her bother's death:
The Pipeline Festival - WP Theatre
Sometimes you just need a fun jukebox sound design. In MJ Kaufman's adaptation of John Lily's Elizabethan play about gender identification, everyone from Roman Gods to Wood nymphs question what is beautiful & true - with a good dance party dropped right in the middle!