Gathering Light

A devised Collection of connections 

Hollins Theatre Institute

Directed by Lauren Brooke Ellis & Susie Young

 

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Gathering Light was a devised work created to be performed live within COVID restrictions. It featured a series of original pieces centered around social justice and the human experience with audience participation. As the sound designer, I worked hand in hand with the directors to create soundscapes that evoked a spontaneous reaction. Since the show was outdoors and didn't have a script there were no cue sheets.

Soundscapes

Beep Boop

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This piece was meant to discuss the amount of news and social media we take in on a daily basis. I worked with the actors of the piece to create a soundscape that featured notable voices weaved together with a symphony of social media sound effects. As the actors got more and more overwhelmed by the media they were taking in, the soundscape crescendoed to audibly align with their breakdowns. The video design was created by Kiah Kayser. The image to the left is the Audition session of the sound design for Beep Boop.

Bee BoopAnna Johnson
00:00 / 02:37

*Video Design by Kiah Kayser 

Video Games

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Video Games UnderscoreAnna Johnson
00:00 / 02:09

This piece was the accompaniment to a vignette where the audience got to choose how a video game character completed an obstacle course. The obstacle course featured Super Mario looking blocks that the actors interacted with. I worked with the actors to create a soundscape that featured a variety of classic video game sound effects that featured iconic Super Mario characters’ voices so the audience could easily figure out the environment of this vignette.

Heartbeat

This piece accompanied a personal story of an actor’s grandma dying on Hanukkah. The soundscape featured several Klezmer songs layered and interwoven to create a soundtrack to her monologue that had moments of sadness, nostalgia and eventually love. During her performance, the actor and writer of the piece pounded her hand against her chest to mimic a heartbeat which is why the sound of a heartbeat can be heard in the piece. The heartbeat is loud in some points and incredibly faint in others to show the progression of the actor’s emotions throughout the course of her monologue.

Heartbeat
00:00 / 04:26
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Strings

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StringsAnna Johnson
00:00 / 02:07

This piece was the underscore to a vignette about the rising conflict that arises from codependency in toxic relationships. In the performance, the actress was tied to a pillar with string to signify her inner thoughts regarding her situation which restricted her strength. The piece was meant to start off vaguely poetic to reflect the character’s initial happiness and build in intensity as the protagonist realized that she was trapped within an abusive relationship. The abrupt string sounds signified every time the character felt doubt about her safety. At the conclusion of her monologue, when the gong goes off, the actress is finally free of her toxic relationship and gets to sit in silence for the first time since the relationship began.