The sound designer and composer are the most aware of and responsible for the entire aural landscape of the production. Our comprehensive work contributes to the theatrical experience through all representations of music and sound. To do this we employ a vast array of practical and creative tools that facilitate our work. The artistry of the theatrical sound designer and composer has become a crucial part of theatrical productions. Both the sound designer and the composer are often working with the same elements and share the same artistic goals, but in reality these are separate roles with distinct responsibilities.
In this site we describe what sound designers and composers bring to the world of theatre. This is the inspiration behind the founding of the Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association. Our mission is to provide information that illuminates the ideas and creative vision behind the work we do today in sound design and composition for theatre.
We hope to introduce you to how music and sound can enhance a theatrical production by providing energy, nuance, and the emotional life that brings the audience to a richer experience in the theatrical journey. We look forward to introducing you to the the art of storytelling through music and sound with our fervent belief in the power of live performance.
The Artistry of the Sound Designer in Theatre
As a part of a collaborative team we work to do any or all of the following:
- Develop the aural world of the play
- Interpret and respond to a script and provide control of the sound elements in all artistic aspects of the theatrical production
- Enliven and illuminate the playwright’s story and characters through music and sound
- Identify a musical vocabulary for transitions, underscoring of scenes, or other sonic needs of a production through editing of previously published material, or in collaboration with a composer or musicians
- Create immersive sound scores from original recordings, synthesis, manipulation of physical objects in the room, or existing sound libraries
- Shape an actor’s voice and/or a musical ensemble through the art of mixing, bringing these sounds to the entirety of the venue
The Artistry of the Composer in Theatre
We provide original music through any or all of the following:
- Compose original gestures, motifs, melodies, and rhythms, conceiving the overall musical character of a production
- Track and enhance the pacing and tempo of the production
- Respond to the dynamics of the play through a range of large to subtle musical gestures
- Support the play’s and production’s emotional and intellectual contours
- Bring life to the playwrights’ scripted songs