Sleep No More Soundtrack (Cont.): THE ANSWER

Ok, this new discovery pretty heavily colors my previous analysis about Punchdrunk’s approach to the soundtrack to Sleep No More.

My earlier posts were all based on the assumption that Punchdrunk began their development process as any other play or film production would: first with story, action, visuals, and pretty much everything else and then lastly the sound. Sure, there are some smart producers who know that sound is actually the most important element (only slightly exaggerating here) and who bake it into the whole process, but those folks are rare in my experience.

This is not the case with Punchdrunk. At a recent talk at Storycode  in New York, Pete Higgin, one of the shows originators said that the ideas in Sleep No More originated with the soundtrack!

Here is what Higgin said, in the Q&A portion of their talk, which was mostly about their experiment with a digitally enhanced version of the show:

The sound is a very very important level within our shows. The history of Sleep No More as a project–it actually came from sound, it came from old classic film noir soundtracks that actually was a birth for a lot of ideas originally. As a company, we’re very much led–I’m kind of an ex-DJ and Steve [Dobbie] who does our sound design is an ex-DJ and an amazing sound designer. I think we all have a huge appreciation for music as company.

Got that? Not only was the soundtrack integral to the development process from the start, it was the start. Well, that certainly clears up a few things!

At least I now feel justified for spilling so much digital ink on the matter. And I still stand by what I’ve written, but all my speculation about what Punchdrunk was thinking is summed up pretty clearly in Higgin’s remarks.

Now excuse me while I go write updates on my three other posts…

A video of the talk can be found here. The Punchdrunk segment starts at 01:03:00 and the sound comment is at 02:14:55


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5 Responses to “Sleep No More Soundtrack (Cont.): THE ANSWER”

  1. I’ve loved your analysis of the sound of the show. I am in now way an expert, but have certainly been haunted by remnants of the music that manage to find me while going about my life. I will be walking down the street and suddenly hear even just a small musical interval in a song that has nothing to do with SNM and be immediately pulled back, like the Pevensy children in the Narnia books being magically transported back to the magical land. Your posts have opened up many new insights, and I find myself listening differently now when I go back to the McKittrick. Thank you!

  2. […] I have since posted a response of sorts from the producers themselves in which they explain how the music itself inspired […]

  3. […] I have since posted a response of sorts from the producers themselves in which they explain how the music itself inspired […]

  4. […] Wresting sounds from my brain to your ears. « The Sounds of Sleep No More: Revisited Sleep No More Soundtrack (Cont.): THE ANSWER […]

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