Statue of Liberty Museum

Rendering from Fx Collective.

Rendering from Fx Collective.

Liberty Island’s new 26,000 square foot Statue of Liberty Museum, created by The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation (SOLEIF) and the National Park Service, show close-up views of the Statue and offer an overview of liberty on a global scale.

“We knew audio would be a key tool in offering a fully immersive experience. We wanted the soundscapes to transport the visitor to a moment in history”
— Emily Webster. Head of Media Architecture, ESI Design.

A longer version of the following article, by Jennifer Walden, originally appeared in the May 2019 of Mix Magazine:

New York-based sound designer/mixer Jeremy Bloom created four soundscapes for the engagement gallery exhibits. For the first one, “Constructing Liberty,” Bloom extensively researched the Statue’s production process. In Paris, sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi used a technique called repoussé.

Supervising Sound Designer: Jeremy S. Bloom

Clients: Nat Park Service / SOLEIF

Exhibit Design Lead: ESI Design

Acoustic Design: SHAcoustics

AV Integration: Diversified

Bloom wanted to re-create this construction process as accurately as possible, so he headed to Les Metalliers Champenois (LMC Corp) in Paterson, N.J., whose team of metalworkers emigrated from France to help restore the Statue in 1984. Since they still had the molds they used, Bloom was “able to record copper of the proper thickness being hammered into the actual forms that were used for the Statue of Liberty,” he says.

Gigantic Post Mix C, where sound designer/mixer Jeremy Bloom performed the final mix.  Rendering from Fx Collective.

Gigantic Post Mix C, where sound designer/mixer Jeremy Bloom performed the final mix. Rendering from Fx Collective.

“Constructing Liberty” also features a bed of workers’ voices calling out to each other as they’re building the wooden forms and hammering metal sheets, and even gossiping on their break. For this, Bloom worked with loop group expert Dann Fink, co-owner of Loopers Unlimited in New York, who hired a group of French-speaking actors to improvise their dialog based on Bloom’s research of the workers’ names, the production process, and popular theories regarding Lady Liberty’s model. Was it Bartholdi’s mother? His wife? Bloom, who recorded loop group and dialog at NYC’s Gigantic Studios and Sound Lounge, says, “Any Francophones visiting the exhibit may pick up on that information. That’s a fun little Easter egg, a special little treat for them. I love hiding that kind of stuff in my work.”

Historical research also drove Bloom’s next soundscape, called “Opening Ceremony,” which covers the Statue’s unveiling in October 1886. Bloom’s research assistant Amanda Belantara dug up old newspaper articles of the event. Because this was before the prevalence of recording equipment, Bloom notes that journalism of that era was more descriptive than our modern-day news stories.

“Accounts of the ceremony are full of chronological details, like specific interruptions from the crowd, tugboats in the harbor blowing their horns, guns firing from the sides of war ships, and the elocution of various speakers, like Senator William Evarts and President Grover Cleveland. The level of detail is spectacular!” says Bloom.

Casting: Dann Fink, Loopers Unlimited

Voice Actors: Aurelien Gaya, Bill Lobley, Dann Fink, Greg Baglia, Bruce Winant, Marcel Simoneau

Research: Amanda Belantara

Translation: Alexandra Pinel, Kate Deimling

Voice recordist: Patrick Christensen

Recording post supervisor: Rob Browning

Recording services: Sound Lounge

Mix stage: Gigantic Studios

For the voice of President Cleveland, Bloom—who sound designs several shows for WNYC—pulled a recording of Cleveland from the WNYC archives. Voice actor Bill Lobley used that to study Cleveland’s inflections and speech patterns, and then imitated those in his performance of Cleveland’s Statue dedication speech.

“Opening Ceremony” even includes marching band music. Bloom and Belantara researched the marching bands that participated in the event and their musical repertoires. “I’m very confident that the songs in the soundscape are ones that were performed during the actual event,” Bloom says.

“Using a combination of historical sources, we were able to make a script to follow for the dedication ceremony,” he adds. “It’s like a forensic reconstruction of this event. Even though there weren’t sound recordings of it, the soundscape gives a clear picture of what it was like to be there on that day.”

The third soundscape, “Welcoming Immigrants,” is a montage of interviews created from recordings captured as part of an oral history project at Ellis Island. With access to the entire audio archive, Bloom was able to select a diverse range of experiences and reactions to edit together.

There is no music or background ambience in “Welcoming Immigrants.” Since the exhibits are close together and open to each other, music from “Opening Ceremony” and the last exhibit, “Becoming Liberty,” can be faintly heard in “Welcoming Immigrants.” But that’s not a bad thing.

“All of the soundscapes are meant to be symbiotic and intertwine in a way,” says Bloom. “There are key moments when the speeches in ‘Opening Ceremony’ bleed over into ‘Welcoming Immigrants.’ For example, the cannon fire is timed so that it punctuates the interviews of ‘Welcoming Immigrants.’ And the abstract music of ‘Becoming Liberty’ is designed to be completely complementary to the marching band music in ‘Opening Ceremony.’”

In fact, some of Bloom’s evocative music for “Becoming Liberty” was derived from the marching band music in “Opening Ceremony.”

“The music overall is crafted in such a way that it doesn’t reference any musical era or specific instrumentation. It’s ambient music meant to express a timeless feeling,” explains Bloom.

A well-mixed museum environment set to the proper playback volume allows visitors to enjoy the content of the exhibits instead of being bombarded by it. “The design of the museum speaks to visitors on multiple levels, from informative to personal and interactive,” Webster concludes. “The audio has been strategically incorporated to build emotion and drama that brings Liberty’s story to life.” 

Nelly Bly Makes the News

‘NELLIE BLY MAKES THE NEWS’ is an animated documentary about the legendary journalist who changed the game for women in reporting before women even had the right to vote. Examining boundaries between reporting and storytelling, it creates a dynamic portrait of a woman who refused to accept the status quo.
  • Director: Penny Lane

  • Written by: Penny Lane & Thom Stylinski

  • Produced by: Gabriel Sedgwick

  • Re-Recording Mixer: Tom Paul

  • Sound Effects Editor: Jeremy Bloom

  • Director of Animation: Julie Gratz


FYRE

FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened. The Fyre Festival was billed as a luxury music experience on a posh private island, but it failed spectacularly in the hands of a cocky entrepreneur.

(Trailer audio not by Jeremy Bloom)

Produced by: Netflix

Re-Recording Mixer: Tom Paul

Supervising Sound Editor: Nathan Hasz

Sound Effects Editor: Jeremy Bloom

Dialog Editor: Esther Regelson & Daniel Ward

Asst Sound Editors: Kamari Carter, Tzvi Sherman, Sanghee Moon

Foley: Craig Henderson

Hail Satan?

Chronicling the extraordinary rise of one of the most colorful and controversial religious movements in American history, Hail Satan? is an inspiring and entertaining new feature documentary from acclaimed director Penny Lane (Nuts!, Our Nixon). When media-savvy members of the Satanic Temple organize a series of public actions designed to advocate for religious freedom and challenge corrupt authority, they prove that with little more than a clever idea, a mischievous sense of humor, and a few rebellious friends, you can speak truth to power in some truly profound ways. As charming and funny as it is thought-provoking, Hail Satan? offers a timely look at a group of often misunderstood outsiders whose unwavering commitment to social and political justice has empowered thousands of people around the world.

-Director: Penny Lane

-Producer: Gabriel Sedgwick

-Re-Recording Mixer: Tom Paul

-Supervising Sound Editor: Jeremy Bloom

-Asst Sound Editors: Nathan Hasz, Tzvi Sherman

-Foley: Craig Henderson

-Dialog Editor: Esther Regelson

-Post Studio: Gigantic Studios

(Trailer audio not by Jeremy Bloom)

Search Party Launch Event

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5 original immersive binaural soundscapes commissioned to support Punchdrunk International's one-time immersive  theatrical event celebrating the launch of the second season of TBS's Search Party. The soundscapes accompany one-on-one theatrical scenes performed by a single cast-member to a single audience member wearing noise-canceling headphones. 

  • Producing Agency: Civic Entertainment Group

  • Client: TBS Search Party

  • Creative Agency: Punch Drunk International

  • Creative Director: Hector Harkness

  • Associate Director: Elizabeth Romanski

  • Producer: Lauren Storr

  • Audio Sponsor: JBL

  • Production Management: Production Glue

  • Art Director: Claire Karoff

*Not for speaker playback. Please listen with headphones only for 3D binaural experience. 

James Taylor Opening Soundscape

An original soundscape commissioned to open every show of James Taylor's  2017 US Tour in collaboration with Switser & Knight who handled all multimedia and scenic design elements. The design is inspired by the nostalgia of a distant freight train. As the train comes closer to the audience, its whistle becomes reminiscent of an orchestra tuning as the rhythmic sound of track-ties build in anticipation of the show.

*Not for laptop playback. Please listen with headphones and/or fullrange speakers. The sequence begins in near silence and builds to extreme volume over 2 minutes.

This sequence introduces the show and leads directly into a retrospective video about James beginning with a phone call. The concert then begins.

Stuck Elevator

Stuck Elevator tells the story of Guang, a Chinese food deliveryman struggling for freedom from debt, human smugglers, loud-mouthed coworkers, and the temptations of General Tso. Based on the true story of an undocumented immigrant who survived 81 hours in a Bronx elevator, this comic-rap-scrap-metal-music-theatre work follows Guang’s increasingly fantastic attempts to escape a 4′ by 6′ by 8′ metal box.

at New York Theatre Workshop's Dartmouth summer residency

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Charles Francis Chan Jr.

1967. The auspicious beginnings of a new political identity called Asian American, as a young literary hippie named Frank essays an inscrutable Chinese detective. A harmless sing-song orientalist minstrel show that ENDS IN A GROTESQUE CARNIVAL OF MURDER!!!
Photo Credit: William P. Steele

Photo Credit: William P. Steele

Jeremy's work remixed and satirically  intertwined snippets of historical Charlie Chan film scores with purposefully over-the-top or orientalist sound design tropes to realize the play's metatheatrical film-noir aesthetic. 

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Sojourners

Jeremy's work for Sojourner's consisted of diegetic "match cuts" that linked scenes of different environments to each other.  As the revolving set turns, music from a living room radio becomes muffled behind a wall and then to a distant car pulling away from a gas station. Alarm clocks morph to original bell rhythms inspired by the carnival music of Nigeria's Ibibio culture  and then to the pneumatic sounds of a gas station and so forth. 

Abasiama came to America with high hopes—for her arranged marriage and for her future—intent on earning a degree and returning to Nigeria. But when her husband is seduced by America, she must choose between the Nigerian and the American dream.

Phoebe in Winter

For this piece, Jeremy worked with percussionists Matt Evans and Carson Moody to create source-material that blurs the line between percussive musical accent and explosive war soundscapes. Other aspects of the design were inspired by Mazen Kerbaj's "Starry Night" as well as textual references to birds with bladed wings and the reassembly of broken ceramic shards. 

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Fordham University @ Lincoln Center

Photo credit: Amy Rubin

Photo credit: Amy Rubin

Home can be the most dangerous battlefield of all

Takes on Silence

Takes on Silence is a multi-media performance piece inspired by the Vitagraph Company of America, among the nation’s first silent film studios located in Midwood, Brooklyn from 1906-25.
Transient

For this piece, Jeremy was tasked with scoring a number of films which were integrated with action on stage. He used a combination of originally composed material and period "mashups" which seamlessly integrated various samples of historical film music. The show's musical theme "Vitagraph Girl" was published in 1910. Without access to an original recording, Jeremy referenced an archived score to arrange and fully produce a period reproduction of the song.

Combination of original musical material and sampled period music. 

•Developed by Nellie Perera

•Performed by Nellie Perera

•Directed by Amy Jensen

•Lighting: Burke Brown

•Videography: Arsenio Garcia

•Stage Management: Samia Fakih

•"Vitagraph Girl" Vocals: Ned Riseley

 

The Mysteries

An extravaganza with 48 playwrights and 54 actors retelling the entirety of The Bible in a single night. 50 World Premiere plays telling the entire History of Man’s Salvation from The Fall of Lucifer through and including Judgment Day.
Photo: Tara Pacheco

Photo: Tara Pacheco

Jeremy's most ambitious work with over 300 original sound cues, an 8' long steel thunder-sheet, "musique concréte" depictions of hell inspired by German industrial noise-rock, and collaborations with Music Director David Dabbon on floods, meteor storms, and more! 

Noah's Flood Transition. 

Underworld inspired by German industrial noise music. 

Meteor Storm Collaboration. Music by David Dabbon. Sound & patches by JSB. 

Moses Exodus transition. 

Into Garden of Eden.

Crucifixion Transition.

Lucifer Transition. 

  • Assistant Sound Design: Lee Kinney
  • By 48 playwrights including José Rivera, David Henry Hwang, Qui Nguyen,  Billy Porter, Jeff Whitty, CollaborationTown & more...
  • Directed by: Ed Iskandar 
  • Dramaturgy: Jill Rafson
  • Music: David Dabbon
  • Choreography: Chase Brock

Love Suicide / Hikikomori

For this piece Jeremy worked on two intertwined pieces in separate spaces. Love Suicide, an Edo-period traditional Japanese play and Hikikomori, a contemporary devised piece about Japanese shut ins.  Jeremy wrote two original songs for "The Lollygaggers" a fictional girl pop band, and created interstitial cues generated from found traditional Japanese music, and worked with the actors to create live soundscapes featuring gongs, chant, and a percussion piece using traditional "geta" clogs. 

Produced by: NYU Tisch MFA prog.

Directed by: Dawn Saito & Jonathan Rosenberg

Lighting Design: Abby Hoke Brady & Jennifer Hill

Scenic Design: Yu-Ting Lin & Perrine Villemur

Costumes: Ilana Breitman & Nina Vartanian

Stage Management: Kristin Loughry & Emily Ballou

Under Milk Wood

The 92nd Y’s Poetry Center celebrates Dylan Thomas’s centenary by turning Kaufmann Concert Hall into a studio for a free reading of Under Milk Wood broadcast live on BBC Radio Wales. The Poetry Center presented the premiere of this “play for voices,” with Thomas himself leading the cast, in May 1953.
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  • Directed by: Michael Sheen.
  • Sound Design & Foley: Jeremy S. Bloom
  • Stage Manager: Robert Peters.
  • With: Michael Sheen, Kate Burton, Mark Lewis Jones, Francine Morgan, Karl Johnson, and Matthew Aubrey.