Sound Designs

Some recent work, and some significant older projects.

ART (1996-2018) West End, Broadway, and just about everywhere else.
Yasmina Reza’s play, translated by Christopher Hampton has been a global phenomenon in Mathew Warchus’  production, first seen at Wyndham’s Theatre in 1996. Revived at the Old Vic for it’s 20th anniversary it will tour the UK again in 2018.
Designer: Mark Thompsom, Lighting: Hugh Vanstone ,Music: Gary Yershon,
Sound: Mic Pool

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THE 39 STEPS (2006-2016)  Criterion Theatre, Broadway (3 Theatres)  Off Broadway (2 Theatres) UK and US Tours and just about every where else.

Another global smash hit. Mic has designed the sound for over 20 productions of this worldwide. After an Olivier award nomination he then went on to  win the first Tony awarded to a sound designer for the Broadway production in 2007.

Director Maria Aitken, Designer Peter McKintosh

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NO’s KNIFE Old Vic (2016) Abbey Theatre Dublin (2017)
Lisa Dwans stunning interpretation of Texts for Nothing by Samuel Beckett

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“Beckett’s words become shapeshifters delivered with raw, primitive power, as if possessed by the many selves that course through Dwan, channeled into visceral language, ably supported by an exquisite sound design by Mic Pool. Voices may be seeking a story, but life doesn’t need a story, and nor does “No’s Knife.” -Arts review

In depth interview with me about the sound design in PSN europe

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When sound designer Mic Pool whips Dwan’s amplified voice around the auditorium, you get the sense that we may be hovering above her, afforded a bird’s eye view of this indeterminate presence on an abstract landscape- Irish Times

ROLLER DINER  Soho Theatre (2017)
Mic’s second collaboration with director Steve Marmion on a musical at Soho Theatre was this Stephen Jackson’s Verity Bargate Award  winning, Stage Debut Best Composer nominated, slice of lunacy.

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Steve Marmion’s production is a riot, performed on Anthony Lamble’s fabulously tacky set by six crack actor-musicians led by Joe Dixon’s spectacular grouch Eddie.- The Times

THE GRADUATE  West Yorkshire Playhouse, Curve and touring (2017)
Lucy Bailey’s production of Terry Johnson’s adaptation the novel and film.

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…the combined work of sound designer Mic Pool and video designer Ian William Galloway viscerally communicates Benjamin’s sense of isolation from the world around him.- Reviews Hub

Here’s an interview with me in Louder Than War  about why there is no Simon and Garfunkel in this production!

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SONIC JOURNEY: Gavin Bryars + Blake Morrison ‘The Stopping Train’
Site specific.  Train Journey: Goole to Hull and Hull to Goole. Binaural download and Hosted launch event.

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http://www.sonicjourneys.co.uk/journeys/gavin-bryars-blake-morrison/

Mic is a regular collaborator with Gavin Bryars on complex site specific works. For this project Mic recorded the score, made binaural and conventional mixes and designed and installed a sound system for binaural playback on a train for the launch event as part of Yorkshire Festival 2016. He also created a downloadable iBook version as an alternative means of audio playback for people making the journey independently.

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BERYL  Grand Depart Leeds (2014) Rural and national tour (2015)
Rose Theatre Kingston (2016)
Maxine Peake’s dramatisation of the life of Britain’s greatest cyclist, Beryl Burton. Directed by Rebecca Gatward Set: Naomi Dawson, Lighting: David Holmes, Sound and Projection Design: Mic Pool

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Mic Pool’s sound and video design really sets the scene, whether it’s the Morley Road Club in the Dales – Burton’s local racing club – or Belgium for a world championship – The Stage

..the sharpness, precision and imagination of the effects point to the presence of Mic Pool. The use of music and projections is well-judged and can be delightfully nostalgic – What’s On Stage

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S Curve Leicester, International tour
and Haymarket Theatre (2016)
Nikolai Foster’s production starring Pixie Lott with music by Grant Olding

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The rapid movement of set helps carry the episodic storytelling style. It is aided by Mic Pool’s excellent sound plot -Irish Independent

AVOCADO by Eve Ensler  West Yorkshire Playhouse (2015)

This is an incredible production,….Mark Rosenblatt’s sensitive and intense direction is staggering and Mic Pool’s soundscape a character in itself.- Yorkshire Post

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Mic Pool’s disorientating sound design is practically an audio installation in itself: the terrifying, metallic crashes inflicted on the walls of the container reverberate like the appalling ramifications of Ensler’s prose.- The Guardian

Sometimes, she can hear the cry of a baby; other times, the crashing thud of “the whackers”, a dissonant, disturbing symbol of the abuse she has suffered. What the woman has experienced is graphically described; what she is fretfully fearing could be going on around her, constantly terrified by the prospect of being discovered, is distressing too, her senses battered, her disorientation heightened by Mic Pool’s clattering soundscape.-York Press

The stage is very dark with next to no lighting which reflects metaphorically the plight’s horror with Mic Pool’s dramatic and circumstantial soundscapes giving maximum effect.- Reviews Hub

Death of a Salesman West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds  (2010)
Directed by Sarah Esdaile  • Designed  by Francis O’Connor • Projection Design  by Mic Pool. Music Composed by Simon Slater • Sound Design by Mic Pool •

Demo reel of main projections and transitions composited on production still. Photograph © Keith Pattison

OVERWORLDS AND UNDERWORLDS Brothers Quay, Gavin Bryars, Mic Pool (2012)
Extremely large scale sound installation  covering over 1 square mile of the City of Leeds, including Frank Matcham’s Edwardian architectural masterpiece The Victoria Arcade, recorded Bell installation,s audible throughout the city, installed  in the towers of Holy Trinity church and Leeds Town Hall and a 30 channel loudspeaker system in the ‘Dark Arches’ under Leeds City railway station.

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Music by Gavin Bryars.

Overworlds is a work for children’s choir, percussion and recorders, with words by Blake Morrison performed in The Victoria Arcade with recorded accompaniement produced by Mic Pool.

Underworlds is a 16 hour durational work (of which 5 hours were realised for this festival),  with recordings of cathedral bells, the River Aire, the bell of Leeds Town Hall and the children’s chorus of Opera North,  and a low brass ensemble, replayed through a custom designed 30 channel loudspeaker system in the network of tunnels under Leeds Station. The piece formed an aleatoric accompaniement to the work of 5 dance companies performing simultaneously in different arches, and installations by The Brothers Quay.

The music, an original soundscape by Gavin Bryar’s, was designed perfectly for the space: the unusual acoustics reverberated the score, adding to the multiplicity of levels that created the unique atmosphere of the project. This was true of every piece in the exhibition: far from being stand-alone works of art, each piece was in dialogue with the space around it. The Quay’s noted that this was part of the appeal of the project and a unique challenge to the artists involved: “The space challenges the imagination… You don’t design [the space], it’s already there… you have to capture the state and augment it or release the elements contained or hidden”.

The arches were filled with a vast array of works, some static sculptures and installations that perfectly contrasted with the pieces in motion, of which there was film, dance and puppetry. Together, they gave the impression that time was speeding up, slowing down and stopping altogether. The fact that everything was constantly moving added to the surreality of the project.- Loftnotes

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Underworlds was remixed by Mic as a  4 channel soundtrack for Vincent Dance Company who toured their choreographic contribution independently as UNDERWORLD (2015) to Shoreditch Town Hall and other venues as part of their 21st anniversary season.

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THE UNEXPECTED MAN, RSC,  Duchesss, Broadway, Los Angeles (1998-2001)
Yasmina Reza’s second play to be translated by Christopher Hampton was first presented by the RSC at The Pit, it then had a West End Run and transfers to off-Broadway and Los Angeles with Alan Bates taking over from Michael Gambon. Mic received Drama Desk and Lucille Lortell nominations for his work on the off Broadway production.

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 Ms. Atkins and Mr. Bates …….have been given the most impeccable platform imaginable for such swaggering: a glossy, moody convergence of set and costumes (Mark Thompson), lighting (Hugh Vanstone), sound effects (Mic Pool and David Bullard) and cinematic music (Gary Yershon).- New York Times