Putting the Nation on Stage

Meet the Creative : Maria Alfonsine / Composer & Sound Designer

September 12, 2019

What drew you to Take Two A Comedy of Errors?

I worked with Hilary Bell last year on her adaptation of The Hypochondriac at Darlinghurst Theatre Company and she asked me if I wanted to come on board for this show. I love working with Hilary and her clever scripts, and working with the rest of the team has been fabulous. 

What is your process when it comes to creating sound for a production?

I start by reading the script to understand the story and to hear what sounds come into my mind while visualising the show. I then talk to the director, and if possible the playwright, to understand their vision.   After that I put together a sound palette and start writing music with the aim of finding “the sound” of the show. During the rehearsal period, I continue working with the director, and the cast developing all the songs and incidental music.

Tell us about your previous experience

I am a freelance composer and lyricist for film, TV and theatre. I studied musical theatre in Sweden, a Bachelor of Music in Composition & Music Production at The Australian Institute of Music, and am now completing an Honours in Composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Apart from composing for the stage, my music has featured in TV series such as Pulse (ABC) and Black Comedy (ABC). 

What have you used for inspiration for the sound for Take Two A Comedy of Errors?

The show is set in Ephesus so we’ve chosen to be influenced by the traditional music of Turkey featuring oud and hand percussion. I’ve also incorporated cello, guitars and clarinet. The show contains four songs and four main themes to drive the story and to help the audience stay on track.

Can you tell me about a memorable experience you had as a child at the theatre?

When I was eleven years old my class went to a dream theatre performance where the actors asked the audience about their dreams. I got to tell them my dream which was a recurring nightmare I had after my grandpa died. They then performed the story of my nightmare so I got to experience it live, and I actually think it caused the nightmare to stop recurring.

What are you working on after Take Two A Comedy of Errors?

I share a studio with my partner and collaborator Damian de Boos-Smith at Church Street Studios where our work is filled with a variety of music projects. Damian has also been involved in the show as instrumentalist and sound engineer. I’ll now be wrapping up composing for an Australian feature film as well as completing a large scale orchestral work.

www.mariaalfonsine.com

TAKE TWO: A COMEDY OF ERRORS
13 AND 14 September
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