Sound Design: creating mood & atmosphere
Many years ago my Wife, Mary Catherine, and I bought a house in Como, Mississippi. Como is a fascinating place. Fifty miles south of Memphis, Tennessee. Built on cotton, it abounds with mansions. And it’s the home of renowned writer and playwright Stark Young. Our home was across from the railroad tracks, a fact that became all too apparent every morning at 6:15.
Our lives are immersed with sound. Most are heard but largely ignored. Even that intruding train, the fabled City of New Orleans, eventually slipped into the minutia of auditory clutter that goes in one ear and out the other. However, in college I got the opportunity to explore the world of theatrical Sound Design. The show was Thornton Wilder’s THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH. The challenge was to weave a soundscape of music, and effects that not only created mood and atmosphere, but that moved the plot along as well.
In my work as a voice actor I often provide a vocal track which must stand on its own. Audiobooks are a good example. Occasionally my voice is part of a larger mosaic that must blend with music, and sound effects. In other words, Sound Design. Here’s an example. It’s something I put together for the Voice Samples section on my Backstage.Com Voiceover Profile.