Sound Design and Composition

The Tempest

by William Shakespeare
The Utah Shakespeare Festival 2013

Director: BJ Jones
Scenic Design: Robert Mark Morgan
Costume Design: David Kay Mickelsen
Lighting Design: Donna Ruzika
Sound Designer/Composition: Joe Payne

All music composed by Joe Payne ©2013. Sung live by Melinda Parrett (Ariel), Cate Cozzens (Juno), Melissa Graves (Ceres), Kaitlin Mills (Iris), Corey Jones (Caliban), James Newcomb (Stephano), and Roderick Peeples (Trinculo). Production demos performed by Joe Payne, Eliza Wren Payne, and the actors.

Inspired by Fever Ray's self titled album, I used steel drums, marimbas, and tribal percussion throughout the score to set the stage for a haunting Caribbean magical adventure. My direction was clear: BJ wanted the audience to hum the songs while leaving the theatre, to push the boundaries of "modern" music and melodies, and to make Ariel and the Goddesses sound haunting, beautiful, and sexy.  Moreover, I wanted to make this world rich with magic and ambient texture. Every enchanted moment of Ariel and Prospero were enhanced by sounds both musical and ethereal. Monsters followed Caliban and the drunks, while breaths of wind accompanied Ariel, who's voice echoed throughout the space.  A challenging and rewarding production, with clear and strong direction, and beautifully performed by magnificent actors.
Jones [Director] also incorporated some beautiful music [composed by Joe Payne] throughout the show with an especially haunting melody sung by Ariel (Melinda Parrett), a dainty spirit and Prospero's helper. The music adds an ethereal level, making the mystical setting that much more believable.
- Erica Hansen, Deseret News
The joy and triumph of USF’s production is that it brings that vibrant world to life in so many ways: Joe Payne’s haunting New Age music, which summons past and future simultaneously.
- Barbara M. Bannon, The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Title: Singing, special effects create magic in USF production of 'The Tempest'... This is especially apparent in the magic of song [composed by Joe Payne]. Don’t worry; this isn’t “Prospero: The Musical.” But multiple characters do sing at times and they are often some of the more powerful moments of the play. While the songs of Stefano and Caliban are both entertaining, the most moving tune belongs to Melinda Parrett’s Ariel. Parrett is absolutely captivating as Ariel and the luminosity of her voice is emphasized as she enters, singing like an angel, immediately after Caliban exits, hissing.
- Brian Passey, The Spectrum
One of the highlights of my trip this year was seeing, hearing, and feeling USF’s Ariel, and her haunting presence on the Adams Memorial Theatre stage...Never overdoing it, Woronicz clearly showed that Prospero was a powerful man. The effect of his magic was always synchronized with the other actors, the lighting, and the sound; it was impressive...It was a hot night in Cedar City, but I could forget that, as the music and sounds in the Adams surrounded the audience: echoing, blowing, and moving. Composer and sound designer Joe Payne created a beautiful audio environment, writing melodies to fit Shakespeare’s text.
- Amber Peck, Utah Theatre Bloggers Association
Included in the Prague Quadrennial 2015 International Design Exhibition as one of 20 artists selected to represent the USA Exhibit.

Demo of Original Music, design content and atmosphere.

Ariel's song "Bee Suck" performed in this production demo by Eliza Wren Payne.

Ariel's song "Yellow Sands" performed in this production demo by Eliza Wren Payne, and the actors.

shopping_cart-sm-sm Click here to listen to more clips and to purchase this score.

Photos by Karl Hugh, Album Art by Joe Payne