Discovering Draiocht: Songs & Sounds


Songs and Sounds


When a Darras flaps its wings in the forests of Draiocht will you be there to hear it? The Age of Eibhleann opens next week and sound designers Mia Passarella and April Rideout are hard at work creating the worlds of Chronos and Draiocht through music and sound. See what they have to say about inspiration, fantasy, and how they would defeat a troll.

Discuss the impact that sound has in creating, not only, a believable magical realm, but a fantasy world that is unlike the one we live in. What inspirations have you drawn on to make a distinction between the worlds of Draiocht and Chronos?

Sound is crucial in establishing worlds and setting tones. Sound has the ability to bring magic to life on the stage through the use of spells cast by the different races of Draiocht, but, also, in the ability to explore the different regions of the realm. With a story like The Age of Eibhleann, we built our designs from the ground up and drew ideas from the Pinterest board utilized by our designers for everything from makeup, scenic, lighting, hair, props, and media to help build a cohesive Draiocht.

To establish the world of Chronos, we have drawn a lot of inspiration from clocks, mechanisms, and industrial cities, as well as anime because of the orderly militaristic views that realm encompasses. Draiocht is very different; it’s more rural and magical, the writers gaining their inspiration from the Gaelic language, we also drew a lot of inspiration for the sound of the world from Celtic/Gaelic music as well as fantasy because those worlds have magic as daily routines and capture the imaginations of their audiences, something we want to do with our sound design.

Talk about the use of sound in conjunction with the lighting and media design in this show.

Since there’s such a heavy influence of magic in the show, much of the design elements will need to work in tandem. To make magic happen, we’re looking at using lights, sound, and media simultaneously (sorry Carolyn!) in or to bring some of those effects to life. For example, the Lanmurs have the ability to manipulate metals so the timing of the media display of the metal balls floating will dictate how long a levitating sound needs to be implemented. It’ll be interesting to see how everything comes together, but so far we’ve all been pretty much on the same page in regards to the aesthetic of the show. That’s the great thing about devising with an ensemble like ours, everyone has a little bit to do with just about everything and no one’s ideas are unwelcome.

Talk about the challenges and benefits of working on a devised show.

Devised work is great because the entire process is like a giant play session. The benefits of working on a devised show is creating a product an audience has never seen before. You get to envision how the races move, battle, and interact in this magical environment; it’s hard work, but greatly rewarding knowing that you’ve created something completely new and had a hand in its development. It has its difficulties sure, especially on a project like this where the script will continually change and each of us are taking on multiple roles of designers, actors, and writers, but that helps us stretch our skills as designers and test our imaginations to come up with a solution to a problem.


The Quest is underway! As we continue down the path charted by our road map, the Brelby Ensemble encounters a troll that is a staggering ten feet tall with a club and two black mages that can control the elements of fire, water, air, and wind. How would you take on these enemies? Choose a piece of magic and one of the items from the writer’s pack to help win this fight!

April: I would pull out a bow and arrow from the satchel of weapons and attack one of the black mages. I would use a silence spell to stop the mage from casting a spell in retaliation.

Mia: I would use the mask to disguise myself as the Darras. Then would use Caffeine Empowerment to get me hyped and quicker. With that magic, they would assume that I really was a Darras due to my sudden transformation and fast movements. The mages and troll would then call off the attack having figured that I was probably just a simple Darras traveling back home and not the filthy mortali that they thought they saw.

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