BAT has gotten a number of positive comments about the music in “Out of Sterno.” It is all part of what is often called sound design. Sound design is made up typically of three parts: pre-show, intermission and post-show music; sound effects; and scene change music.
For “Out of Sterno” Allan Loucks wrote and performed an original score for the pre-show and intermission. This was such a treat. Allan’s music sets the mood for the entire show. He hit the nail on the head. By the time the show starts, you are already in Sterno and Dottie’s world.
The sound effects are typically called for in the script. In this show the internal sound effects were built from a library of sounds. These are things like the thunder, rain, the door ring and such. A little of this and a little of that and you have a storm. I have a library of sounds and I am a member of a sound sharing site. On that site, I upload sounds I have recorded in exchange for being able to download sounds others have uploaded. It a site for Foley artists.
Finally, there is the scene change music. During “Out of Sterno” this has gotten a number of good comments. On one level scene change music is just to cover the noise created by moving scenery. Hopefully it also moves the storyline forward, or at least does not take the audience out of the show. On another level scene change music can retell or foretell what happened on stage. Or it can just entertain.
“Out of Sterno” has some fun scene change music. Here are a couple of examples.
For “Out of Sterno” I started with the theme that Dottie’s world is both familiar and foreign. Then I set a few rules for the music: any music had to be familiar to at least some, if not a large portion of the audience. Next, it had to be somehow foreign or not what one expects. For example, “Take Five” performed on a sitar. Or “All You Need Is Love” on vibes. Like Dottie’s world, very familiar and comforting, but not quite what we expect. I also tried to choose music that moved the plot forward.
When the directors first heard the music, I was worried. Did the music conform to the rules? Would it be acceptable? Did I share their vision (or drink their kool-aid as the case me be).
Based on the feed back so far, the sound design in “Out of Sterno” works.