Brigham Young University - Idaho (2016)
Associate Sound Designer / Composer
As a Freshman composer at the time, I jumped at the opportunity to write some original musical underscore for BYU-Idaho’s production of Antigone. Though outside of my normal composition style, I was excited to expand my working knowledge of music.
I knew early on that I needed to focus on the story first, as with a design of any type. After being assigned certain sections of the show, I sat with the director to go over the journey of the scene. Where did we want to start? Where did we want to end up? I jotted down some thoughts in my notebook and then sat down at my piano. I was given the task of writing underscore for the different Odes, which were scenes primarily driven by the chorus members of the show. I’ll look at Odes 3 & 4 as examples.
The concept behind the musical compositions used in Antigone was based around Musique concrète, meaning all of the music should be centered around found sounds altered to become musical elements. My approach to this piece was that it should be incredibly unsettling and make you feel like you’re in limbo. It should be insistent, but not fast. With that in mind, we had a very fun recording session where we just decided to experiment. The driving sound of this Ode was recorded by placing an iPhone onto a guitar bridge and letting sound echo off of it. It fit perfectly. Here’s the result.
After discussing approaches with the director, I knew I wanted this piece to be very simple and minimal. This piece called for a much different approach than the others. It needed to be more of a prayer. The characters were hopeful. It needed to refrain from being too melodic, and use a guitar in a simple way. I wanted it to still contain a sense of drive. Here is the original piano version I wrote.
I loved the melody, and now needed to orchestrate it. I used a pulsing guitar to reinforce the sense of drive and moving forward that I wanted. Bells were used in a few different places, so I thought they would be a great addition. In a very simple, yet extremely effective manner, here is the final result.
Thank you for reading about my composition work for Antigone at Brigham Young University - Idaho! If you'd like to see more from this show, check out the post on my projection work for the show here.
A page of my notes regarding the structure of the fourth Ode.