Birds of North America was an original play that premiered at the Wagner New Play Festival in the La Jolla Playhouse. It focused on the relationship between a father and daughter who watch birds together ever year; it used this to tell a larger story about the modern world, intimacy, and the environment. In Spring of 2017, I worked closely with writer Anna Moench and Director Jennifer Chang, to compose the music and sound for Birds of North America.
I aimed to create a warm soundscape that invited the audience into the intimacy of the father and daughter’s relationship. It was important for me that sounds were accurately placed in space and could precisely move across the room; speakers surrounded the room, and this allowed for the sensatation of a flocks of birds to circle the audience before flying off into the distance. The Audubon Society’s collection of bird recordings allowed me to accurately portray each of the bird’s as the writer wished.
The play was built entirely out of the dialogue between a father and daughter, so I decided to form the soundtrack primarily out of duets between guitars. With that being said, I didn’t want the soundtrack to become two guitars reciting monologues next to each other or one merely becoming a harmony to the other. I really wanted the melodies to form out of the interactions between the guitar parts. I spent the month of May copiously writing and recording the soundtrack, meticulously drafting the songs until they became synonymous with the emotions the writer had imagined.
Linked below is a brief write-up about Birds of North America and the complete soundtrack.