sound design

‘Lameaux’ | Short Film

Excerpts from my sound design for a short film called ‘Lameaux’ directed by S. Vollie Osborn. I’ve boosted the levels for each for this page.

Stairwell Soundscape:
The first sequence of the film as the main character enters Lameaux’s apartment complex.

The building needed to sound like a place no one would want to be. It needed to sound dirty, crowded, and questionable. A woman’s fighting with someone on the phone, a phone in a different apartment is ringing off the hook, someone’s playing their music way too loudly, and there are the sounds of people moving around upstairs, but they’re never seen on camera.

Living Room Soundscape:
After the main character is let into the little girl’s apartment, she leads him through the living room where her father is watching football.

This, too, is supposed to feel uncomfortable. The girl’s father is drunk and watching a football match, and has it so loud it overwhelms most of the sound in the room.

Bedroom Soundscape:
After being led through the living room, the girl brings the main character into her bedroom — a small room with a personal character.

This is the only setting in the film that’s supposed to feel welcoming. The director gave me this one piece of advice: ‘I want it to sound like a womb.’ So, I recorded myself vacuuming my apartment.

Britten’s Five Canticles | Stage Opera

This Indomitable Productions production follows an old man alone in his council house near the shores of England who sits awaiting the arrival of someone coming to pick him up to take him to a retirement home. Surrounded by boxes of his past, he begins to dig through them finding different items, which then trigger different memories. I created soundscapes that, in a sense, audibly showed the inner workings of the old man’s mind during the process.

Beginning Soundscape:
A 30-minute long soundscape acted as a bed as the audience found their seats with two audible cues to the actors to take their spots. (Below is an excerpt of its final 2 minutes.)

Canticle One, 1979 Present Day:
The protagonist, Old-Man, finds his recently deceased lover’s dressing gown. He tries it on and impersonates him.

Although the Old Man was homosexual, he had kept a close relationship with God. While being reminded of his past lover, he has a moment when he ‘speaks’ with God. I wanted to evoke something beautiful, musical, and ethereal without going overboard. I also wanted his moment with God to be short and meaningful but fleeting.

Canticle Two, 1942:
Old-Man gives his son the letter that calls him to fight in WW2.

The sound of feedback signals the Old Man’s insanity taking hold and a passing ambulance siren triggers a the memory of handing his son over to fight in WW2. As the break slides away, the constant thunder still echoes.

Canticle Three, 1944:
He has received the telegram bearing the news that his son has died in action, and he sits tormenting himself, imagining how his son may have been fatally wounded.

This soundscape needed to reflect the torment the loss in his life in a very internal way. His heartbeat drowns the sounds around him and makes him focus completely on himself, only to let his mind take over. A nearby ice cream truck begins a torturous decline as all of the Old Man’s battles come front and center.

Canticle Four, 1979 Present Day:
Flicking through his old journal, he realizes just how much his deteriorating memory and dementia manipulates him.

As he’s reading his journal, he’s reminded of things he’s forgotten and others he simply doesn’t even remember. This internal tug-of-war makes him unable to remember what’s real and I wanted the sounds to evoke the feeling that he’s given up and finally allows his madness to overtake him. Afterwards, it’s revealed that the thunder isn’t actually there — it’s been the person coming to pick him up knocking on his front door throughout.

Canticle Five, 1979 Present Day:
Finally able to see the figure that has been tormenting him, Old-Man attempts to take back the power over his humanity and happiness.

The Old Man is still reeling from his insanity at the beginning of this Canticle and I wanted him to slowly take hold and make a comeback. It’s then he’s able to recognize the knocking for what it is and continue forward.

‘Void’ | Gallery Soundscape

Artist: Claire Luxton
Materials: Rock, steel, mesh, industrial lighting, sound installation.

Luxton’s practice primarily involves working with steel, creating striking, large-scale sculptures and installations, Void was an early pivotal point in these explorations. With this piece she not only wanted to explore the social and political history of steel, but also the physicality of the material themselves. Luxton’s fascinated by the material qualities of steel, and the way in which its physicality can occupy any given area. She wanted to height our interaction with this work not only has an installation but as an experience, through the use of sound and light the work aimed to powerfully alter and interact with the particular environment.