He’s charming, with a British accent to boot: Extremely talented sound designer Jonathan Deans returns to the Broadway Sound Master Classes (BSMC) this year to share his recent work on the Broadway musical, Priscilla Queen of the Desert. He has made his mark with the outstanding sound design for almost a dozen different shows by Cirque du Soleil, and when the sound gear he needed didn’t exist, he simply invented it. A little Live Design chat with the creator of Level Control Systems (now part of Meyer Sound), a visiting professor at UCLA, and a very funny man:
Please talk a little about your design for Priscilla Queen of the Desert... anything unusual or technically challenging you encountered?
What was unusual is that I/we did it as a co- design with Peter Fitzgerald, which was a joy and worked extremely well for all concerned. The show is really an Australian musical that is on Broadway opposes to a reinvented Australian show that has been made into a Broadway musical. Peter and I have huge respect for the Australian creative team and director and feel honored to have been involved. Stephen (Spud) Murphy is a superb musical arranger and orchestrator as you hear when you see the show and watch a theatrical event work with loud disco music but it tells the story within the musical realm.
How does a Broadway musical differ, say, from a Cirque show?
Chalk and cheese. Both work and fail extremely well.
Any near audio gear you are excited about?
Not really, I think this year has been a catch up for some manufacturers but this means that others will bust out with something brilliant within the next year. I hope.
What will you be sharing with the attendees at the BSMC?
Crisps and air. And a discussion about my last year of work.