Last night I was very honoured last night to receive the Evening Standard Best Design award for the sound design of Complicite's The Encounter.
We only got 45 seconds to thank everyone, but Pete Malkin and I have spent many years developing this show alongside some incredible people. It would be impossible to name all of the people who have contributed to the show but I'm going to try... So much credit is due to Simon McBurney with whom I've been working since 1999, whose ideas and inspirations have formed the heart of this show. So much of this show has come out of his work with co-director Kirsty Housley and assistant director Jemima James. Traditional theatre job descriptions and titles fail to recognise the collaborative process that devised shows often are. This show was made by all of us being in a room contributing and playing with ideas. We've had an amazing sound team: Helen Skiera and Ella Wahlstrom who have mixed the show for the last 18 months through workshops, rehearsals and performances, expertly responding to Simon's nuances and improvisations, Guy Coletta and David Gregory who have marshalled the show into an efficient, reliable touring entity, Ben Grant and Amir Sherhan who have taken up the reins as operators for Broadway, Andrew Kirkby and Joshua Robbins who marshalled the headphones into life in the early inceptions of the show, and many more who've helped make, install or reset hundreds of pairs of headphones every day, in Edinburgh, in London, in New York and across Europe! Caroline and Jo, and now Adam, the Stage Management team who've dealt with the chaos and craziness of running a show where there is no script. Then there is Judith Dimant, Poppy Keeling and the amazing team at Complicite who expertly nurtured an experimental idea into the success it has become. Production manager Niall Black who made so much of it actually happen. Sennheiser who gave us a lot of headphones! Christer Lundahl and Martina Seitl who introduced us to, and lent us their binaural head for the early workshops. AMS Acoustics who lent us their binaural head for another of the workshops. The Mayoruna who guided us through the Amazon Rainforest for several days as we recorded sounds, with the expert guidance of Paul Heritage and logistical coordination of Chloe Courtney. Synergy Aviation and Fairoaks Airport who flew me around in a Cessna and let me sit on their runway and record planes flying overhead! The London School and Hospital of Tropical Medicine who let me record their mosquito colonies. The twenty odd volunteers who came to Epping Forest to run around, dance and get bitten by mosquitos. Christina Cunningham who helped me develop seat belts to attach headphones to seats and got together a team to make 800 of them! There were many other Complicite regulars who fed in ideas and thoughts, and many contributors who we interviewed, whose taste and thoughts wove into the show. Almost last but not least, Pete Malkin who has been an exceptional associate on many shows over the last 6 years, but whose input to this show, both creatively and as a collaborator rose above and beyond and who is an exceptional talent.
None of this would've been possible without the support of my wife Laura, who juggled two small children as I went into the unknowns of the Amazon Rainforest, and provided support and love for the unknowns of all the other times.
Here are some photos from the past 6 years