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Sound Design / Light Design

July 6, 2011

I became a fan of jazz music at a fairly young age, at least
in part by listening to the recordings of legendary trumpeter Miles Davis. After
discovering Birth of Cool and Kind of Blue, and trying to learn about what was going
on in music, New York and the world in general when those albums were recorded,
I stumbled upon an interview with Miles.

It was interesting to listen to Davis’s raspy whisper of a
voice, and I was stuck with something he said about the idea of ‘space’ in
music. He said something to the effect that it’s not as much about the notes
that are played, but the ones that aren’t. It’s the pauses – the space between the
notes – that gives a piece room to breathe. I began listening to music differently from
that day forward.

What creates dramatic effect in lighting is often what isn’t
intentionally illuminated. It’s the shadow or the gradient – the space in
between the brightness. Sometimes it’s the darkness or the grayness that’s
dominant in the scene, adding emphasis to what is receiving light. The impact can
be amplified with the careful use of color and pattern.

The parallels between sound and light are interesting. I guess
in the end it’s all about manipulating energy to our own, or our clients


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