“Music and sound are storytelling elements in any production,” says sound designer/composer Mark Bennett*, who will speak at the 2014 Broadway Sound Master Classes (June 4-6 in NYC) on the Designer/Composer panel about wearing these two hats on a Broadway production. “I'm simply one of a handful of storytellers trying to deliver a tale to an audience. Music and sound locate us in time, place, a mindset, a gesture of rhythmic or harmonic movement that moves the drama forward, enlightens an emotional moment, or, often more interestingly, works in OPPOSITION to the emotion to create a powerful distancing effect. What the audience hears provides certain cues and clues to the unfolding drama, and, whether it's a driving groove based score, a swirl of soundscape, a melodic leitmotif, or a single defining sound repeated over and over again with subtle variation, we are often the audiences most direct key to unlocking what's at issue in the production they are watching; the story they are experiencing,” Bennett notes.
“And then, sometimes, there're songs, which is a whole conversation itself,” the composer in him says. “I usually begin with a rhythmic or melodic idea, sometimes, though, it's a sound, a new instrument I just discovered, or new techniques on older instruments that gives me the way into a particular production so that what I'm coming up with is, first and foremost, interesting to me. As a director I've worked with often recently said, "There's no right or wrong, only interesting and less interesting." I guess I try to simply keep searching of for the most interesting theatrical solutions I can find.”
Join Bennett and an incredible faculty of sound designers and technical experts at the 2014 BSMC… or register for all three Broadway Master Classes and make it a winning trifecta:
BLMC: May 30-June 1 (includes a ticket to Rocky)
BPMC: June 2-3 (includes a ticket to Here Lies Love)
BSMC: June 4-6 (includes a ticket to Bullets Over Broadway)
* Mark Bennett Bio
Broadway scores and/or sound designs include: Macbeth (Lincoln Center Theatre/B'way), Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike, Dead Accounts, Driving Miss Daisy, A Steady Rain, The Coast of Utopia (2007 Drama Desk Award: Original Music, Henry Hewes Award Sound Design), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Henry IV, Golda’s Balcony, The Goat, among others. Off-Broadway includes original scores for all Sam Mendes’ BAM/OLD VIC Bridge Project productions, Off-B’way Include: An Iliad (Obie Award/Craig Noel Award) Mad Forest, My Children! My Africa!, (NYTW), Scores for Eight Shakespeare productions for The Public Theatre (Delacorte and Astor Place) including A Comedy of Errors, Timon of Athens, Pericles, Much Ado About Nothing, A Winter's Tale, Hamlet, Antony and Cleopatra, Troilus and Cressida, and The Seagull, Dogeaters, (The Public Theater) & Julius Caesar (TFNA). Recipient: 1998 Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Sound Design, 14 Drama Desk nominations, three Lortel Award nominations, New York Performance (Bessie) Award for Outstanding Score, two Craig Noel Awards (Outstanding Score), and Ovation Award. 2013 Helen Hayes Award Nominee (Coriolanus).