Work In Progress: Sound Design for EYES SHUT. DOOR OPEN.

Added on by Patrick Greene.

Eyes Shut. Door Open. is a fantastic new play by Cassie Seinuk that'll make its world premiere in early August at the Inner Sanctum Studios (Roxbury). It's being produced by Wax Wings, and it features some truly remarkable talent. Here's the official blurb:

Eyes Shut. Door Open. is a modern Cain and Abel story set in the SoHo art scene of New York City Turner Street's bold paintings of eyes are the hottest thing to hit the SoHo art scene - they've even captured the attention of the elusive Johanna, who may have more than just art on her mind. But when his one-eyed, pill-popping, younger brother appears, Turner must face the disturbing truth of his success, and the haunting family secrets shut behind doors, as one man's trauma is another man's muse, and facing it could mean losing everything.

Written by Cassie M. Seinuk,
Eyes Shut. Door Open features Melissa DeJesus as Johanna, Michael Underhill as Palmer and Victor Shopov as Turner. With Christopher Randolph as our director, we're heading into the dark, surreal hauntings of Turner Street. Brought to life in the Inner Sanctum studios in Roxbury, Wax Wings is delving deep into this dark play with by housing it right in an actual art gallery! 

I've been having a great time designing the soundscapes and music for this thing. I don't want to give away the plot, so I'll just say that the abstract, disembodied nature of certain sections of the play allowed me to freely pursue an experimental, playful, grotesque sort of an aesthetic that I might not otherwise have let myself explore. 

I decided early on that I was going to base a great deal of the material on unorthodox percussion instruments. Here are some of my key players:

 Behold, the  THUNDER TUBE!!

Behold, the THUNDER TUBE!!

 Bullroarer

Bullroarer

 Kalimba

Kalimba

 Helix Bowl (how cool is  that  thing?!)

Helix Bowl (how cool is that thing?!)

 "The Night" - a new instrument from Meinl that sounds sort of like crickets

"The Night" - a new instrument from Meinl that sounds sort of like crickets

 Exactly what they look like.

Exactly what they look like.

I tried to map things out clearly on paper before moving into the DAW. There are lots of cues and digitally altered lines of dialog throughout the score, so everything had to line up and come across as organically uncluttered as possible.

I made liberal use of SPEAR, as I often do (that program open on the iMac below). It's an unbelievably well made, useful program. Analyzing and manipulating the spectral data of these unique instruments was a blast, and I'm hoping that that sense of playful experimentation will come through to the audience (even though the resultant soundworld is, admittedly, freaking terrifying).

To give you a little preview, here's a brief excerpt featuring some of those instruments (and killer voiceover work by Michael Underhill). The text is copyright Cassie Seinuk.

Hope to see you there in August! You can purchase tickets here, and I'd highly recommend doing so. It won't be one to miss.