Cinderella was my first time sound designing a musical. The design for this show was not as straight forward as it might have seemed, as the production itself was highly conceptualized and took on a more ambiguous time period. The sound world was set more modern and I used a gramophone as my main inspiration when building this world. Due to this, it took on a 1920s “Gatsby” feeling. Salon music from the 1920s and 1930s set the tone leading into Studio Tenn’s Cinderella.
Due to the set being a blank canvas, we used sound to set the scene when music was not being used. This was also a collaboration with the projection designer on what images he was using on the small projection wall in the back of the set. I worked to create scenes that took place in the castle garden, at the Stepmother’s manner, and in the village square.
The biggest challenge was creating the atmosphere of the Fairy Godmother and the transformation scene. We wanted her entrance and magical sequence to be celestial and cosmic but also match her personality which was fun and quirky. I used a couple different sounds to build the world of the Fairy Godmother. Layers of sounds were used so we could “feel” the magic in a low end rumble while also having the twinkle you would imagine when it comes to magic.
Lastly, I worked very closely with the Danny, the audio engineer, to help load in and set up all the gear for this show. I assisted in patching, helping load in the band, prep and troubleshoot microphones for the performers, and getting the best sound for my sound effects.
Fairy Godmother Appears and Transformation
This scene was the hardest to create and time out in the whole musical. The two main parts that were built were the Fairy Godmother's entrance which uses thunder and some twinkle to accent her entrance through smoke and lights. The second part was the transformation scene. I used sound that varied between a low rumble so the audience can "feel" the scene along with the Godmother's signature "twinkle magic" and some celestial sound noises that were all timed to choreography of the transformation. The carriage turning into a pumpkin and the dress changing each had their own sounds.