So, the votes are in, the opinions tallied. Okay, this isn't necessarily a democracy, but after last month's issue in which I queried our readership for opinions on our coverage of sound, I had quite a few responses. I'll be honest — somewhat to my dismay — most were in favor of regular sound coverage in every issue of Live Design and not just relegated to our Theatre Quarterly.
Now, hold on a sec, before all the sound designers out there collectively jump down my throat. I say “to my dismay” because it seems I was wrong, and hey, admitting it to 25,000 or so people is like taking a pretty healthy serving of humble pie, no? I've had it in my head for years that the schools of visually- related design and sound design should be covered in separate spheres. While our predecessor, Entertainment Design, featured regular audio coverage, that was primarily a theatre-based publication, and sound found a happy place within that realm.
But, alas, perhaps it's time to consider what some people out there are saying about (ugh) the convergence issue: If lighting, set, and projection design have experienced convergence beyond what we imagined 10 — even five — years ago, is it so out there to think that sound will converge with those disciplines, as well? Of course, this is not a new topic, and I'm torn over the issue myself, but we have to listen to our not-so-inner voices, the readership, since it is you who has spoken. So that's what we're going to do: include more sound coverage in every issue. Nay-sayers, speak your minds, but give it a shot, and see how it feels (err, reads).
Comments, by the way, included support from lighting designers and not just the sound community. Consider one lighting designer, who said, “As your name suggests, your focus is on design. I am very interested in discovering the thought processes of all designers (not the digital processors used to create it).” Or a reader from a “very small live theatre,” who urged, “Consider the production industry as a whole.”
And thoughts also came from those who work in several disciplines at once, reminding us that “…we are annually wringing our collective hands over the lack of a Tony for sound design.”
Food for thought, and, dare I say, sound advice.