Pet Sounds – Composing for Playhouse Creatures

We asked our composer and sound designer Alexander King to talk to us about his approach to composing for Playhouse Creatures:

Alexander KingCreating sound and music for Playhouse Creatures has been a very interesting and exciting process for me. From the start, director Andy was very clear about what he *didn’t* want – something predictable and traditional. Once I’d read and understood the play and met with Andy to understand his vision for the production, it was refreshing to have the freedom to really explore the themes and characterisation without having to resort to period instruments!

As a result, most of my output has been created from found organic
sounds, manipulated samples, some live instrumentation, animal noises,
loops and percussion. I’ve focussed on the dirty, rough feel of the
times and situation the play is set in – percussion and drums were
recorded live and waveforms and samples have been aligned by eye,
rather than sequencing them to a prescribed grid. This gives
everything a handmade, rough and chaotic feel that will hopefully mesh
with the costume, lighting and makeup design.

Each character has been given their own refrain, or signature sound,
which enters or leaves the stage with them. I’ve written them in such
a way that they can layer on top of each other in any configuration to
create a new piece of music depending on who is interacting with who
in any particular scene. As the play progresses, characters get louder
or quieter, brighter or darker, and more pure or corrupted as their
story arc dictates.

Alexander King's studioThe results, hopefully, are unusual enough to give this production a Hedgepig feel of it’s own – Andy and Gem are keen to give their theatre company it’s own voice and I’m proud to be able to help in
some small way. Working with such a hugely talented cast and crew has been a joy so far – and as showtime approaches there is still much for me to do, so back to the studio I go!

Alexander King

For more information and tickets to see Playhouse Creatures go to http://www.hedgepigtheatre.co.uk