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Kevin Springer » Theater

Audio Journal 2012

Here is a 60 sec. recap of my music and sound designs from 2012. 5 seconds per month.

Jan- ‘Slasher’, Urban Samurai Productions
Feb- Untitled, remix: Jews for Jesus tape
Mar- ‘What’s the Word For’, Illusion Theater, sample: All About Eve
April- ‘The Mill’, Workhaus Collective
May- ‘MPLS MPLS’, Bedlam Theatre 2012 10Fest, remix: jónsi ‘Brambles’
June- “RVSR”, Disquiet Junto 0023 Palindrone
July- “It Hz”, Disquiet Junto 0027 Texting
Aug- “Living-breathing”, Disquiet Junto 0034 Radius Joint
Sept- “At the Window” from ‘Summer & Smoke’, Theatre in the Round
Oct- ‘2012: The Musical’, New Native Theatre/Bedlam Theatre
Nov- “Sidetracked”, Disquiet Junto 0046 Silent Ballot
Dec- unreleased demo, remix: Beat Happening ‘Tiger Trap’

Especially excited for the final track from to be completed…keep an eye out for it.


recap: Summer and Smoke

From Summer and Smoke by Tennessee Williams
at Theatre in the Round, October/November 2012
directed by Randy Reyes

“…Kevin Springer’s spare score fuses folk and jazz to evoke a sultry southern summer and the sizzle of seduction that permeates this show.”
Pioneer Press 10/20/2012


Recap: Slasher

Slasher logo

Back with another recap. This time just from a few weeks ago. I learned a lot on this show: I learned to write more music than youthink you’ll need when there is an open question about underscoring scenes, learned that 2 hours is not enough to create an effective Max/MSP patch for preshow, and I learned what a blown subwoofer sounds like. Oh and one more thing, I need to record actual performances of my sound designs. Unfortunately these mixdowns don’t come close to the same impact that they did on stage. Look for actual show recordings next time. But…back to the present …straight from the Allison Moore’s webpage at The Playwrights’ Center here is a little blurb about Slasher:

 When she’s cast as the “last girl” in a low-budget slasher flick, Sheena thinks it’s the big break she’s been waiting for. But news of the movie unleashes her malingering mother’s thwarted feminist rage, and she’s prepared to do anything to stop filming—even if it kills her.

This show was a challenge to me–it involved many underscored scenes and quite a few scary moments.  In general I tried to stay within the language already established in the horror genre, but didn’t want to date the design by staying within the rules of the first generation of horror flicks.  I wanted to use bass tones to create tension–and I decided to give a nod to recent horror flicks by using a touch of electronic music.

Slasher Backstage

Frances on the loose
When filming Bloodbath completely falls apart, Marc loses his cool and takes the role of the killer in his own movie.  The bowed cymbal cues as Marc pulls the killer’s mask over his face, and the delayed construction sounds begin as Marc is more violent with Sheena.  The large bass tone and strings strike as Frances breaks free of confinement to punish Marc for messing with her daughter.

Frances is back
Marc thought that Frances had been done away with…that she was dead…but is she?…!

Still–I referenced older films as well. I delayed the sounds of a construction site for high end tension (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th theme music), and bowed cymbals.  The music was comprised primarily of analog synthesizer (emulated) and distorted string section (from a sample library).  The synthesizer sound looked back towards the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and gave me a pulsing bass tone to play with.
Slasher Backstage

I also had the chance to make some really fun transition sounds.  Amplifying simple sounds louder than normal and filtering them can bring out some sinister qualities…two examples in this show being a circular saw (okay…pretty sinister by itself I have admit) and choppy radio static (yes, that is a bit of the Menards voice you hear..) The radio bit was one my favorite sound moments of the show. The static sound (established in the scene) growing ominously as the scene shifts–and suddenly cuts out.

Circular saw transition
While filming Bloodbath Jody takes a circular saw to the head of one of the actresses. Sheena receives a phone call as the saw fades into the background, and as she finishes speaking the scene ends.

Radio static transition
Frances is lying on the floor, distraught that her daughter will be acting in Bloodbath–then she hears the radio. The scene transitions as the radio static fades up at the end.

by Allison Moore
directed by Brian Balcom
presented by Urban Samurai Productions
sound design by Kevin Springer
Slasher Backstage


Recalling the last few weeks in my head..

Three tech weeks in a row–quite exhausting. Thankfully it is all over now and I have two days off.  Expect a bit more explanation of the sound designs to appear in the following weeks.  With samples and all.

Week 1–Crumble (Lay Me Down Justin Timberlake), Swandive Theatre at the People’s Center Theater. Just closed this past weekend.  Such a fulfilling process.  Actors and design elements all meshed together so well.  I’ll be posting samples of the design at some point soon.

Week 2–Hamlet, TRP at Theatre in the RoundOpen for another month or so.  Another really great show.  Props to Clarence (Hamlet) and Matt Sciple (director) for finding the humor (dark dark dark) in Shakespeare.  I’ll post some sounds from this show as well, elaborate on the process, and perhaps even the Max patch I hastily programmed to.  I worked with Don Sweet (composer) who wrote some really beautiful/haunting music for a boy soprano.

Week 3–Heaven, Flying Foot Forum at the Guthrie. Just A2 for this show (15 B6s goddamn in that tiny reflective space! Ahh!)–but I have to say there are some really great moments of Balkan music here.  Two more weekends.  Stirs up memories of the Bosnian war.

Thank you Sean Healey for defending sanity on the Facebook page:

Natasa Saremi: People of all nationalities in Bosnia suffered just the same, representing one side is not a true picture and representation of its land. Please inform yourself before making the next show. There are plenty of beautiful stories to tell about the land and its people. It is clearly unfair to portray one sided story to the American people. It was waste of money and my time!! Also next time you decide to play the Serbian national song please do not change the original words of it-Tamo je selo moje, tamo je Srbija. No disrespect to anyone-but represent all sides if you are making the show. Bosnian, Serbs and Croats suffered and killings were committed by all. Thank you

Sean Healey:  Yes. You are correct. Atrocity holds no bias. This play is not an indictment of the Serbian peoples. It is an indictment of one of the very few unifying traits that all cultures share. I’m sorry you didn’t recognize that. I would be happy to give you your money back. email me. *********@gmail To life! Peace.

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