Interview: Nathaniel Reed

Meet Sound Designer and Composer Nathaniel Reed as he works on Out Of This World

In May 2017, brand new production Out of This World is coming to Gulbenkian, Canterbury. The production has been commissioned by ART31 and created by acclaimed writer and director Mark Murphy. Set within a world of projected film and animation, Out of This World combines his signature mix of ground breaking aerial choreography, explosive special effects and emotionally raw storytelling in a show that is both intense psychological thriller and heart-rending medical drama.

Following interviews with Out Of This World‘s writer and director Mark Murphy and costume/set designer Becky Minto, check out the next interview in the series, with music composer and sound designer Nathaniel Reed.


What is your role in Out Of This World?

Composer and sound designer – creating music and sound for the production.

What has led you to this point?

I’ve collaborated with Mark on productions for nearly 20 years.

Where did you study/train?

I learned to play musical instruments at an early age, and studied for a degree in Performing Arts at Middlesex University. Whilst the course I did is no longer available, Middlesex University still have a thriving media and performing arts department, including a separate BA Honours degree in Music.

I later developed an interest in how soundtracks work in theatre, dance and film, and have since collaborated with many different choreographers and directors.

Who else have you worked with? 

A wide range of companies and directors, including National Theatre of Scotland, Frantic Assembly and Panta Rei Danseteater.

Why are you excited about working on Out Of This World?

I’ve been looking forward to working on this show for a long time. After a long period of research and development it’s great that we’re now working on the full production, in readiness for the upcoming tour.

What do you think will be one of the main challenges of this process? 

Combining aerial work, text, movement, film projection, light, sound and music together will be a challenge – and a really enjoyable part of the process.

What do you think will be one of the key highlights of this process? 

As much of the narrative takes place within the imaginary world of the main character – there will be a lot of freedom in the approach to the soundtrack – in the way sounds are used, and layered and manipulated to create unusual and dream like textures.

Who have been the most influential people in your career so far, and why? 

In recent years, I’ve enjoyed working with Mark on large scale outdoor shows. For example, working as composer and music director for Turku 2011 European Capital of Culture Opening Ceremony, in Finland, was a fantastic experience.

What live productions have inspired you most, and why? 

‘The Street of Crocodiles’ by Complicite. The fluidity of the performers working together as an ensemble – how one image would morph into another was brilliant.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to pursue a similar career to yours?

Do lots of research, look into working in different media, and try and get some work experience with people whose work you admire.

All interviews are credited to Hannah Osmond, and can also be found, along with more behind-the-scenes information, in the Out Of This World resource pack here.

Catch Out of This World at Gulbenkian, Canterbury, on Friday 5 May at 7.30pm. Tickets are £12.50 full, £8.50 for students.

Out of This World has been commissioned by Macrobert Arts Centre, Sadler’s Wells London, Dance Touring Partnership, ART31 KENT, Warwick Arts Centre and Triggered at Warwick. Supported by Cold Mountain Kit, Bluman Associates, tube, Cuerda Producciones, All or Nothing and Beaconhurst School. Funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and Creative Scotland, and the Jerwood Charitable Foundation.


Guest Contributor