This page is part of the archive of the sound design exhibit for the 2016 SBTD Make Believe exhibition. The sound design exhibit was curated by Karen Lauke, and the website and kiosk version was developed by Patrick H. Lauke

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NICK SAGAR

NOTABLE THEATRE SOUND DESIGN CREDITS INCLUDE THE JAMES PLAYS (NATIONAL THEATRE OF SCOTLAND/NATIONAL THEATRE), THE HIGHLY ACCLAIMED LIFE AND DEATH OF MARINA ABRAMOVIC (DIRECTED BY ROBERT WILSON) WHICH RECENTLY PERFORMED IN NEW YORK (AS WELL AS INTERNATIONAL FESTIVALS IN MANCHESTER, MADRID, BASEL, AMSTERDAM, ANTWERP, TORONTO), A DOLL’S HOUSE FOR NATIONAL THEATRE OF SCOTLAND (FOR WHICH HE ALSO COMPOSED THE MUSIC), END OF THE ROAD FOR THE YOUNG@HEART CHORUS/‘NO THEATRE’ IN EUROPE, NEW YORK AND SINGAPORE, MEN SHOULD WEEP (TOUR), CALEDONIA (EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL) AND APPOINTMENT WITH THE WICKER MAN (TOUR AND EDINBURGH FESTIVAL) FOR THE NATIONAL THEATRE OF SCOTLAND.

NICK IS ALSO SOUND DESIGNER FOR THE HIGHLY ACCLAIMED (AND LONGEST RUNNING CHILDREN’S’ SHOW IN LONDON’S WEST END) HORRIBLE HISTORIES ‘BARMY BRITAIN’ WHICH HAS PERFORMED IN LONDON, ACROSS THE UK, EDINBURGH (FRINGE FESTIVAL), ABU DHABI, BAHRAIN, DUBAI, HONG KONG, SINGAPORE, SYDNEY AND MELBOURNE, AS WELL AS TOURING PRODUCTIONS OF HORRIBLE HISTORIES (ROMANS, EYGPTIANS, TUDORS AND VICTORIANS), TOM’S MIDNIGHT GARDEN AND JUNGLE BOOK FOR BIRMINGHAM STAGE COMPANY.

NICK ALSO RECENTLY PROVIDED THE SOUND DESIGN FOR THE CBEEBIES CHRISTMAS SHOW WITH AN EXPECTED INITIAL TV AUDIENCE OF OVER 7 MILLION.

 WWW.NICKSAGAR.COM


MEN SHOULD WEEP

NATIONAL THEATRE OF SCOTLAND
CITIZEN’S THEATRE, GLASGOW

SET AMID THE GRINDING POVERTY OF GLASGOW'S TENEMENTS IN THE 1930S, ENA LAMONT STEWART’S MEN SHOULD WEEP FOLLOWS THE MISFORTUNES OF THE MORRISON FAMILY AND THE ‘HAND TO MOUTH’ POVERTY THAT WORKING CLASS PEOPLE LIVED IN AT THAT TIME.

THE PIECE INCORPORATED MY ORIGINAL MUSIC ALONG WITH LIVE SONGS BY ARTHUR JOHNSTONE. THE SOUNDSCAPE WAS DESIGNED TO EMPHASISE THE FEELING OF ‘SOCIAL CLAUSTROPHOBIA’ AS WELL AS GIVE A SENSE OF THE PERIOD USING ARCHIVE INTERVIEW RECORDINGS FROM THE TIME AS WELL AS RECORDED MUSIC FROM THE ERA. I ALSO USED A CONSTANT SUBTLE SOUNDTRACK OF MOVEMENT IN THE UPSTAIRS ‘APARTMENT’ TO REINFORCE THE FEELING OF OUTSIDE IMPOSITION - ALTHOUGH VERY SUBLIMINAL, IT INCREASED THE SENSE OF ISOLATION AND HOPELESSNESS WHENEVER THIS SOUND WAS NOT PRESENT.

THIS AUDIO EXAMPLE IS A RE-WORKING OF VARIOUS SOUND AND MUSIC ELEMENTS FROM THE SHOW.

DIRECTOR: GRAHAM MCLAREN

SOUND DESIGNER / COMPOSER: NICK SAGAR

LIGHTING DESIGN: COLIN GRENFELL

SET DESIGN: COLIN RICHMOND


LIFE AND DEATH OF MARINA ABRAMOVIC

MANCHESTER INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL / TEATRO REAL, MADRID
LOWRY THEATRE, SALFORD / TEATRO REAL, MADRID / BLUMA APPEL THEATRE, TORONTO / PARK AVENUE ARMOURY, NEW YORK / GHENT, AMSTERDAM, ANTWERP

LIFE AND DEATH OF MARINA ABRAMOVIC BROUGHT TOGETHER WORLD-RENOWNED AVANT-GARDE DIRECTOR ROBERT WILSON, PERFORMANCE ARTIST MARINA ABRAMOVIC AND ACTOR WILLEM DEFOE IN AN EPIC (RE)TELLING OF MARINA’S LIFE.

WITH MUSIC FROM ANTONY (OF ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS FAME) AND WILLIAM BASINSKI AS WELL AS A LIVE BAND AND CAST OF 30 SINGERS AND PERFORMERS.

ROBERT WILSON’S REQUIREMENTS OF SOUND ARE OFTEN VERY ABSTRACT AND ‘CLINICAL’ AND USED TO UNDERLINE AND SEPARATE MOMENTS OF A SCENE VERY DRAMATICALLY. THERE IS VERY LITTLE PLACE FOR SUBTLETY IN THE SOUNDSCAPE AS THE AUDIO WORLD HAS TO BE AS IMPACTFUL, THOUGH AT TIMES ALSO VERY SEDATE, AS THE VISUAL WORLD HE CREATES. ROBERT USES REPETITION IN SOUND AND MOVEMENT EXTENSIVELY IN HIS PIECES AND OFTEN ASKS FOR VERY ABRASIVE, EVEN DISTORTED, SOUNDS DESIGNED TO SHOCK THE AUDIENCE. THIS AUDIO EXAMPLE IS A RE-WORKING OF SOUND AND MUSIC ELEMENTS FROM THE SHOW AND ALSO INCLUDES A SECTION OF SCORE FROM WILLIAM BASINSKI’S DISINTEGRATION LOOPSWHICH FEATURED HEAVILY IN THE PIECE.

DIRECTOR: ROBERT WILSON

SOUND DESIGN: NICK SAGAR

LIGHTING DESIGNER: AJ WEISBAUM

SET DESIGN: ANNICK LAVALLEE-BENNY


A DOLL'S HOUSE

THE JAMES PLAYSNATIONAL THEATRE OF SCOTLAND ROYAL LYCEUM THEATRE, EDINBURGH

ZINNIE HARRIS TRANSPORTS IBSEN’S A DOLL’S HOUSE FROM LATE 19TH CENTURY NORWAY TO EDWARDIAN ENGLAND IN THIS RECENT ADAPTATION. IT FOLLOWS THE JOURNEY THE CHIEF CHARACTER NORA TAKES WHILE TRYING TO MAINTAIN A GUILTY SECRET, IN THE FACE OF BLACKMAIL, THAT WOULD THREATEN HER ENTIRE WORLD IF IT WERE EXPOSED.

I PLAYED WITH CHANGING THE TEMPO OF THE TICKING GRANDFATHER CLOCK THROUGHOUT THE PIECE TO ALMOST MIMIC NORA’S HEARTBEAT AS SHE DEALS WITH THE PRESSURE OF NOT ALLOWING THE SECRET TO EMERGE. THE OFTEN DISTANT SOUND OF HER CHILDREN EMPHASISE WHAT NORA COULD LOSE IF HER SECRET IS DISCOVERED. I WROTE A NUMBER OF INCIDENTAL PIECES OF MUSIC TO UNDERSCORE NORA’S EMOTIONAL STATE AND HEIGHTEN THE SENSE OF ENCROACHMENT AND INVASION (AT TIMES ALMOST A TINNITUS-LIKE, EVER-PRESENT PRESSURE) THAT NORA COULD NOT ESCAPE.

THE MAIN PIECE OF MUSIC COMES AS SHE DESPERATELY TRIES TO PREVENT DELIVERY OF A LETTER THAT WOULD EXPOSE HER AND WAS INTENDED AS A DRAMATIC AMALGAMATION OF MANY OTHER MUSICAL ELEMENTS THROUGHOUT THE WORK.

THIS AUDIO EXAMPLE IS A RE-WORKING OF VARIOUS SOUND AND MUSIC ELEMENTS FROM THE SHOW.

DIRECTOR: GRAHAM MCLAREN

SOUND DESIGNER / COMPOSER: NICK SAGAR

LIGHTING DESIGN: TIM MITCHELL

SET DESIGN: ROBERT INNES HOPKINS


THE JAMES PLAYS

NATIONAL THEATRE OF SCOTLAND / EIF / NATIONAL THEATRE
EDINBURGH FESTIVAL THEATRE (AS PART OF EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL) ROYAL NATIONAL THEATRE, LONDON

PROBABLY THE MOST EPIC PRODUCTION I HAS BEEN INVOLVED WITH, THE JAMES PLAYS IS A SET OF 3 PLAYS COVERING THE LIFE AND REIGNS OF JAMES 1, JAMES 2 AND JAMES 3 OF SCOTLAND.

4 MONTHS OF REHEARSAL, 56 TECHNICAL REHEARSAL SESSIONS, A CAST OF 24 (ALL MIC’D), LIVE MUSIC, AUDIENCE (AND THEREFORE PA) IN THE ROUND WITH 16 INDIVIDUALLY TIME-ALIGNED VOCAL ZONES FOR EACH AUDIENCE SECTION, 126 SPEAKERS AND LOTS AND LOTS OF KILTS!

JAMES 3 MOVES FROM A HALCYON WORLD OF GARDEN PARTIES AND DECADENCE TO PARLIAMENTARY REVOLT AND ULTIMATELY PATRICIDE.

THE SOUNDSCAPE DEVELOPS FROM THE NATURALISTIC WORLD (BIRDS, WEATHER ELEMENTS ETC.) TO A MORE ABSTRACT DESIGN, AS JAMES BECOMES INCREASINGLY DETACHED FROM REALITY, AND FINALLY TO METALLIC AND DRUM TEXTURES AS HIS OWN SON RAISES AN ARMY AGAINST HIM.

MUSICAL ELEMENTS WERE PROVIDED BY WILL GREGORY (OF GOLDFRAPP FAME) AND I USED THESE TEXTURES TO CREATE AND ORCHESTRATE THE SOUND SCORE ALONG WITH LIVE MUSICAL PIECES BY ALY MCRAE. FOR ADDED AUTHENTICITY, I VISITED STIRLING CASTLE (WHERE MUCH OF THE SHOW IS SET) TO RECORD THE REVERBERATION OF THE GREAT HALL AND ANTI-CHAMBERS. THESE EFFECTS WERE ADDED TO THE DRY VOCAL SOUNDS TO TRY TO RE-CREATE HOW THE ENVIRONMENT MIGHT HAVE SOUNDED AT THE TIME - THIS WAS PARTICULARLY EFFECTIVE DURING THE OFTEN RAUCOUS PARLIAMENT SCENES.

THIS AUDIO EXAMPLE IS A RE-WORKING OF VARIOUS SOUND AND MUSIC ELEMENTS FROM THE SHOW.

DIRECTOR: LAURIE SANSOM

ASSOCIATE SOUND DESIGNER (JAMES 1): NICK SAGAR
SOUND DESIGNER (JAMES 2): CHRISTOPHER SHUTT & NICK SAGAR
SOUND DESIGNER (JAMES 3): NICK SAGAR

LIGHTING DESIGNER: PHIL GLADWELL

SET DESIGNER: JON BAUSOR