In this Podcast interview you will hear me chatting with Ben Ringham, one half of Ben and Max Ringham who created the immersive binaural sound design for the Donmar Warehouse critically acclaimed production of Blindness.
Ben and Max Ringham have worked together for over 20 years. Initially producing music as Narcosis then as two thirds of Superthriller who have released four albums and supported Beck on the European leg of his Guerro tour. In 2001 they became associate artists with the Shunt collective, collaborating on large scale site specific shows such as ‘Tropicann’ and ‘Amato Saltone’ supported by the National Theatre which led to an invitation from Nicholas Hytner to score Henry IV in the Olivier theatre. In 2019 Ben and Max Ringham won the h100 theatre and performance award for their collaboration with Ella Hickson on ‘Anna’. A headphone based show at the National Theatre using binaural sound design to immerse the audience and create a unique theatrical experience.
Blindness is a socially distanced sound installation at the Donmar Warehouse. Adapted by Simon Stephens from José Saramago’s dystopian novel Blindness, directed by Walter Meierjohann with Juliet Stevenson voicing the role of the narrator and the Doctor’s wife in this gripping story of the rise and hopeful end of an unimaginable global pandemic.
When I interviewed Ben via Zoom we chatted about how he and Max got involved in working on Blindness, how they created the binaural sound design where some of the sound affects came from, what it was like working with Juliet Stevenson and what their next project might be.
I began the interview by asking Ben about his and Max’s background in music, their work with The Shunt Collective and getting that first theatre gig working on Nicolas Hytner’s National Theatre production of Henry Iv.
Do visit the Donmar Warehouse website for more details about Blindness, links to reclaiming Blindness an audio interview between Simon Stephens and partially blind Production Consultant Professor Hannah Thompson unpacking the representations of blindness in theatre, literature and the Donmar’s production of Blindness plus links to the VocalEyes website to listen to and download the audio described introductory notes for Blindness.