Chicago Sound Designer Composes Work for Burlesque

Right after taxes are done next week, Chicago will throw a party like only it can by hosting the Windy City Burlesque Fest—  over 100 original acts from all over the world, with plenty of home-grown talent to boot.  One of those act will be performed by yours truly to an original composition by sound engineer and professor, Josh Horvath.  He has received numerous awards and recognitions for his work at the Lookinglass Theatre, the Goodman Theatre, and beyond.  In addition, he teaches at Northwestern University and at DePaul University.  But, even that isn’t enough to quench his insatiable appetite for exploring his craft.  I was the benificiary of his interest into composing for burlesque.  On Saturday night, when I take the stage to perform “Threat Level”— a parody on  airport security– it will be thanks to Josh that you will truly feel transported with me. 

Below are a few questions Josh answered for me this week.  The last two really struck a chord.  …and, I agree, Chicago has the best theatre community in the country…thanks to people like Josh Horvath.


What got you intersted in working with sound?
I started out as a musician growing up.  Music has always played a huge role in my life, and has become the way that I communicate.

Where did you get started?
I got started in rural Ohio playing drums in middle school and high school.  Then I went on to become a sound engineer after high school.

What sort of training have you had to undergo?
I went to Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio and majored in Design and Technology in Theatre
How has the journey been so far?
The journey has been amazing so far.  Full of highs and lows, but mostly highs.  I get to hang out with great artists, friends, and travel the country doing what I love.
How do you feel about manipulating sound to play with our emotions as an audience?
I love how sound can take an audience on a journey.  Also how one musical motif or sound can change the way you feel in a split second.

What do you dream of doing that you haven’t done yet?
So many things.  Travel and work in Asia.  Work in Europe.  Write more for dance.

Why Chicago?  Any comparisons you want to make with other cities?
I grew up in the Midwest and love the laid back feel.  Also, Chicago has the best theatre community in the country.

What is your creative process like?
It all depends on the artists I’m working with.  My process changes with whatever style I’m working with; I love adapting to different styles and different people.  It makes life so much more fun.

Do you have a favorite sound?
My niece’s laugh. 
Is there such a thing as no sound? 
Silence is the most powerful sound of all.


~ by sofiminx on April 8, 2010.

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