By: Kirsty Gillmore

Part 1: The system and the show

A man is whispering into my left ear. I turn my head to face him but the guy on my left smiles and shakes his head. It’s not him: my first experience of live binaural sound has confused my ears. On stage, sound designer Pete Malkin is talking into the left ear microphone of a binaural head and consequently, into the left ear of my headphones and the headphones of other members of the Association of Sound Designers. I’m at the Barbican Theatre in London to learn about the concepts and execution behind the sound design for Complicite’s The Encounter.

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