Lily Plants a Garden

Sound Designer

Lily Plants a Garden was performed as a part of the Hangar Theatre’s KIDDStuff series. The show centers around a young girl living in a war torn reality who finds an escape through imagining a story of community building, peacemaking, and finding light in the darkness.

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Lily Plants a Garden by José Cruz González

Director - Ismael Lara, Jr.

Scenic Design - Matthew B. Kornegay

Lighting Design - Caitlin E. Brown

Sound Design - Tommy Truelsen

Costume Design - Vicky Butler

Photography - Rachel Philipson

Design

One of our major, sound related, decisions was the use of Nina Simone’s “Here Comes the Sun” which is used throughout the show as the young girl’s method of coping with her surroundings and finding light in both moments of happiness and sadness. To the right are two videos showing examples of how the song was used in the show. The first video occurred during the prologue. During this time, the young girl turns on her record player to help drown out the sounds of war around her. The record player music then transitions into an instrumental underscore to accompany the opening narration of the story. The second video features two instances of lullabies being performed during the production. I took some of the provided lyrics, rearranged them, and set them to the “Here Comes the Sun” melody. Audience members were invited to sing along with the song during the show as well as sing the song to themselves if they ever felt scared during the performance.

Lily Growing Up Underscore - Tommy Truelsen
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Here Comes the Sun Arpeggiated - Tommy Truelsen
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Here Comes the Sun Chords - Tommy Truelsen
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Walking on Sunshine Underscore - Tommy Truelsen
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Ending Underscore - Tommy Truelsen
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I incorporated some instances of instrumental underscoring. Original themes as well as instrumental versions of “Here Comes the Sun” and “Walking on Sunshine” were recorded and used to aid the storytelling of the play.

One of the more challenging moments of the show was a sequence in which the main character of young girl’s story, Lily, goes swimming as a way to escape her frightening world. Many design elements had to work together to make the magic happen onstage. For sound, I transitioned between having the nighttime soundscape (bombs, waves, and the Beatles version of “Here Comes the Sun”) being heard above water to a soundscape of underwater ambience and an EQ adjusted version of “Here Comes the Sun” (where the upper frequencies are attenuated) to create the underwater moments. Above is a video of that sequence.