Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Nighttime Recording of the [Haunted??] Claire Trevor Theater

Over the past month, I have had the pleasure of spending many hours in the Claire Trevor Theater, including four all-night designfests during tech for The Merchant of Venice. Amidst my near-hallucinatory exhaustion, I became very aware (or perhaps convinced myself) that the CTT comes to life at night—at least sonically. One notable “feature”, which actually plagued a couple of the dress rehearsals for Merchant, is the air pressure difference between the inside of the theater and the outdoors. When the correct combination of entrance doors are left open, the air travels very quickly through the doors and creates and eerie humming sound. It's somewhat similar to the use of wind whistling through open doors in David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movie, but on a larger scale. 

So I got to thinking that someone ought to record Claire’s diverse sound palette and expansive reverberant space. I got my trusty Sound Devices 702 and a couple of mics and headed in at 11:30 PM on one night. I recorded everything I could get my hands on for about 3 hours: the enormous loading bay door, the incredible booming bass of the concrete stairwell to the catwalks, a chainlink fence of a gear cage, and all sorts of activity in the catwalks including footsteps and various bangs.

Ironically, I was unfortunately unable to capture the air pressure difference sound — I was pretty tired by 2:30AM and I couldn't figure out what combination of doors to open... Bucket list!

I've uploaded a COMPILATION of the recordings that I edited together quickly (I have the full set of edited effects available upon request).

Enjoy the spookies!
Matt Glenn


  1. Doh! The building AC gets shut off at night. Probably no combination of doors would have worked. But when the AC is on... open the front upper door by the mixing console, shut the other doors, and adjust the noisy door into the SL vestibule. Should be the perfect storm of whoosh.


  2. If and when you decide to do this again, please let me know [if you'd like the extra hand/door lackey].