Designing LOUDER FASTER: Sound

posted by Molly MacLagan, Literary Management and Dramaturgy Intern

Louder Faster, the world-premiere play about George S. Kaufman by Jeff Hatcher and Eric Simonson, is heading into its second weekend of performances.  Louder Faster takes place during Broadway’s golden years in the 1930s between World Wars.  Setting the tone for a period piece is important to help transport the audience to a new (or in this case old) time and place.  Of course seeing the period costume pieces by Michael Krass and set design by Tony Ferrieri are a great start, but what about what the audience hears?  Sound designer Brad Peterson shares his process for creating the sound in Louder Faster.

Brad Peterson: The tinny, scratchy recorded music of the 1930s sounds like you’re looking at an old photograph.  For Louder Faster, the music needs to be alive, happening, NOW.  Fortunately there are several artists committed to reviving and re-recording the golden years of Jazz.  The Beau Hunks, Don Byron and Duke Heitger were all used for NOW music.

Researching the music for Louder Faster, I was struck by the great sense of humor of many of the composers, bandleaders, and players.  The ballroom big bands wouldn’t just play dance music, they were the evening’s complete entertainment. 

Many thanks to Raymond Scott, one of Jazz’s most idiosyncratic composers.  He wrote brilliantly descriptive music using big band conventions and plenty of humor.  How couldn’t a song titled “The Girl at the Typewriter” make it into Louder Faster

With so much inspiration and excitement, it might be surprising to learn that Peterson used only five songs throughout the play.  To hear the inventive use of sound and music in Louder Faster, reserve your tickets by calling 412-431-CITY (2589) or visiting http://www.citytheatrecompany.org/LouderFaster.html.

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