Sound Design Group Meeting

16th, June, 2011

Download the minutes

OISTAT Congress, PQ 2011

DAMU Room 201, 14:00


In attendance: Steve Brown (UK), Brad Berridge (US), Veronika Vorel (US), David Budries (US), Joe Pino (US), Chris Rummel (US), Eric Lawson (US), Anthony Mattana (US), Karen Laucke (UK), Patrick Lauke (UK), Elizabeth Atkinson (US), Olivera Gracanin (Serbia)


Steve Brown (SB) first asked for a volunteer to take minutes.

Liz Atkinson (LA), volunteered.

Then we had a pause for cooling down and late-comers. (It was very hot!)


Welcome and intro:


SB opened the meeting and welcomed everyone. Round of intros. Welcome one and all.


Thanks to all who got things up and running, and Scenofest activities, David Budries (DB) and Veronika Vorel (VV), and special thanks to Joe Pino for pulling together the exhibition in the DAMU cafe.


The amount of sound design in the main exhibition hall this year is astounding. It keeps on expanding every year, thanks to Rick Thomas to get the ball rolling in 2003. It seems like we are actually achieving what we set out to. Sound has quite a presence at this year’s PQ.


SB has written an editorial for the PQ newspaper that might be a little controversial, check it out. (


Overview of recent projects:


We’ve started to run a few webinars, which have been wonderful. People all over the world have been taking part, 350 participants. We want to do more.


Just let SB know if there is a topic that you are interested in hearing for a webinar or if there is a topic that you would like to lead one on. John Leonard will be leading one soon on field recording.


DB: Should we trying to attract younger people or more advanced people to the webinars?


SB: The ones we have done so far haven’t really been geared for any particular skill level. In the future we will be looking to do ones targeted at a skill level.


DB: Is there a way to solicit from those people who attend the webinars and/or from Steve’s mailing lists to find out what people might be interested in?


SB: Let’s email them in the fall and see. If anyone wants to make a movie, etc. about how to do something, even just coiling a cable, go ahead and do it and SWG will find a way to get it out. The members of the SDWG have a lot of skill and talent to share that is not available in any books.


Veronika Vorel (VV): Could we do something like the TED talks but in a smaller scale?


SB: It would be great to make them more focused. Pulling these together has become taxing on SB with the OISTAT and recent PQ duties he has. There is the opportunity for someone to be a producer of webinars/TED talks. SDWG is looking for a volunteer. Looking for someone to be a producer, coordinator, and to improve SDWG’s offerings.


DB: What’s up with the IP hosting of the talks?


SB: So far we have used “free trials.”


DB: Volunteered to see if Yale University could be an IP host for these. If anyone is interested in being a producer of these talks contact SB.


PQ Overview:


SB: It’s been an interesting couple of years in prepping for PQ2011. SDWG has had a more difficult time finding it’s place this time. SB then did a structural overview of PQ and Scenofest for those who were unfamiliar with it.


VV: Did an overview of SDWG’s Scenofest offerings, workshops. There are several multiple disciplinary workshops. i.e. Sound and Costumes


SB: Did an overview of the PQ talks, special guests, Sound Kitchen. SB is quite excited about these guests.

FYI, Steve prefers to stand while playing Guitar Hero.


World Listening Day:


SB: We have been asked again to participate this year. Our participation last year was well received, SB sent last year’s link to all of OISTAT and he got great feed back from non-sound theatre folk.


LA: Joe sent out an email with a bunch of cool ideas. The email follows, cause no one had access to it at the moment.

“I wasn't thinking that there were 60 divisions in time zones, only that there were 60 divisions in an hour, so 60 designers would take one minute each in a contiguous hour of time. So yeah, minute one (1201-1202 GMT) might be from the UK and minute two (1202-1203 GMT) from Illinois USA which would be a different relative time, and minute three (1203-1204) from Hong Kong which would be yet a different relative time, etc. Thus we'd be skipping from morning one place to evening another place to mid-day back to early morning as we moved geographically, but the minutes would all be temporally contiguous from a universal reference point.

But that was just a suggestion . We could do anything

- a minute at noon in the designers geographic locale (i.e. a collection of noon recordings all from the same day as noon moves across the world)

- any interesting minute from over the course of the day like we did last time.

- have everyone do a one minute interview with people on the street answering the question "What is the most beautiful sound you've heard today?" or "What is your favorite sound?"

Or who says it has to be a minute?

-A collection of 5 minute ambiences, each from the designers locale that could then become a sort of library of world ambiences for people to pull from.

- ask people to record a few minutes during sunrise and a few minutes at sunset.

- have everyone record a bird native to their location

- have everyone record someone in there locale reading the same paragraph, maybe a quote from one of Schafer's writings complete with the soundscape of whatever location the person was standing in, a sort of informal study in dialects and ambient noise levels in different places.

I'm obviously all hopped up on caffeine so I'll shut down now. I'm sure there are smarter ideas out there - let's hear some.

Maybe this is a discussion for an evening excursion in Prague to the Fat Panda (or whatever that bar was called - the Chubby Koala? the Bloated Stoat? the Singing Marmoset? like we could ever hope to find it again anyway...)”


Some suggestions were thrown around.

1. A minute around the world

2. A walking version.

3. Ask people all over the world a question.

SB asked for a volunteer to wrangle it this time. Anthony Mattana volunteered.


Future projects:


SB: DB sent me an email a while ago about a film sound designer from New Zealand who mentors a few students online. Should we do something similar?


General assent


SB: Volunteers to flush some of this out? DB and Olivera Gracanin expressed an interest and others will be needed…... Can we expand on this idea any way?


WSD 2013, Sept 9-15, Cardiff:


SB: WSD has given the brand new beautiful concert hall to SB for a week to do what ever he wants to do. SB will be sending out a general email asking for ideas, contact him. What would you want to do in a concert hall for a week?


DB: Do you think it will be well equipped so that we could do some playing with spatialization?


SB: There is a full d&b system there. d&b is a great supporter of the SDWG and there are other major sound companies nearby that are interested in participating.


Side note: The Association of Sound Designers has just been formed in the UK.

They will also hopefully be hosting some things at WSD.




SB: Any other business? Thank you all for coming this afternoon. Thanks for being a wonderful group of people.