We had the chance to interview Jimmy Eadie ahead of the opening of ‘All That Fall’ in the Abbey Theatre on Thursday. You can see the results below. Jimmy Eadie won an Irish Theatre Award for best sound design for All That Fall in 2011. He is a regular collaborator with Pan Pan Theatre and a founding member of Crash Ensemble.
All That Fall – Abbey Theatre – From Thursday, 11 February 2016 To Saturday, 20 February 2016
This must be an unusual job for a sound designer, a radio play in a theatre. Have you done anything like this before?
No, this was the first time I attempted a sound design of this nature in terms of it being unusual for theatre, I suppose it’s the fact that there is no visual element to sync the sound too so the sound design is more or less locked, similar to a film or TV or even radio!
What was the initial concept behind the sound design?
When working on Beckett there are set instructions that you must adhere to. These are all well laid out within the script. Something that is very important to Beckett’s work is the use of space and silence within the recordings – so it was a challenge to achieve the right pace but also to keep momentum within the piece.
This production has toured around the world. Do you have to redesign it for each space?
No it is not redesigned for each space, but each theatre will have its own acoustic characteristic and the audio must sit within this room so there is work done primarily with levels and equalization.
What are the complications of this taking place on the Abbey stage? Will the auditorium be closed off?
I don’t foresee any complications the Abbey stage should – it should suit this work very well.
There is a feeling of the voices emerging from thin air in this production. How many speakers are used in this production?
There are eight speakers surrounding the audience and also 4 subwoofers within the room. Each speaker is focused on a certain part of the audience. A lot of time is spent tuning the PA system to the room to get the optimum performance from each speaker, so that the audience can really get a sense of depth within the recording. I started off with a complex octophonic mix with a lot of elements panning around the space – this ultimately did not work and was just distracting to the drama itself, very similar to the effect of using the surround speakers in a cinema, so I chose to keep the audio close to each member of the audience so they would look into just one speaker.
All That Fall by Samuel Beckett is at the Abbey Theatre from 11 – 20 February www.abbeytheatre.ie