Tongues (2012) with Dan Cozzens. Brooklyn, NY.
Tongues is a play written for a solo performer by Joseph Chaikin and Sam Shepard in 1978. The sole character speaks from a chair, recounting a number of images and experiences. His life is presumably at an end, and we the audience therefore become witness to his transition into death.
To support the audience’s journey into the imagination of the central figure, I developed a software application called Verser that used an analysis of the actor’s voice to affect changes in the accompanying sound and music. In doing so, a discernible relationship between the performer and the supporting audio media was formed as environmental sounds (wind, rain, and ethereal tones) shifted in volume and timbre in response to the real-time decision-making of the performer.
In addition to suggesting to the audience's inhabitance within the mind of the character, Verser’s dynamic audio effects offered a practical dimension as well. For instance, the ability to detect when the actor was speaking and instantly bring down the volume of the sound (an effect known as “ducking”) allowed me to play back sounds at a greater volume overall without risking the actor’s intelligibility.
Tongues was performed several times in New York throughout 2012 and 2013 with Dan Cozzens in the lead role. I operated the sound design from offstage.
Tongues at Standard Toy Kraft, Brooklyn.
BRAVE NEW WORLD (2013)
Demonstrating Verser's vocoder effect.
A brief tour and discussion of the Verser software.