ODAS was commissioned to create the sound design for a new play called Overdue. The piece was set in a library and the production toured local libraries for its original run. As such, the piece was low tech (really, no-tech) and highly informal.
A key part of the narrative was a teacher trying to connect with a student and unpick the young person’s hidden skills as a poet. The scenes of the the play were interspersed with these poems. As the piece developed, the idea came to pre-record the poems to enable both actors to enact a movement piece. It was here that the sound production came into being.
Each poem was recorded on location in one of the libraries. All the music was built around just four sampled chords which were then re-ordered, reversed, re-sampled into different sounds. The idea was that each piece was a development of the last, showing a progression but also an interconnection.
Given the setting, the sampling of a live instrument – a piano – felt most honest. A bigger production would have brought an audience out of the performance too much, though I did also approach them as a palette cleanser to give the audience some down time before the next scene.
The turnaround on this piece was very quick as the whole production was put together in the midst of the pandemic. However, the pieces created a real push and pull against the hyper realism of the scenes they sat between in a way that added extra elements to the overall production.
Overdue was written by Paul Bateson