Classically trained Max Richter is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music in London and has recorded eight solo albums including Recomposed, his reinterpretation of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, and Sleep, his eight hour ‘lullaby for a frenetic world’. In 2015 Richter also wrote music for the ballet Woolf Works, choreographed by Wayne McGregor for the Royal Ballet and performed at Covent Garden. As with many of Richter’s compositions, this was for a full orchestra of 70 players.
Ekers, who was employed as the sound designer for the Covent Garden performances, says: “In London, we did the piece using a small section of the strings miked with DPAs but later, when we realised the piece at QPAC (Queensland Performing Arts Centre) in Brisbane, all the strings were miked with DPAs because this gave us more control and suited the musicians better.”
Having completed the Richter tour, Ekers is now working with conductor Kristjan Jarvi in the UAE on two concerts for his Waterworks programme with the Baltic Sea Symphony Orchestra.
“We have a large string section to work with and the programme also features sound effects of water related noises, which I have made and developed,” Ekers says. “These noises are interspersed throughout the performances of well-known repertoire to create a new context within which to appreciate music.”
As these performances involve a very large percussion set-up, Ekers is cutting the channel count by reducing the number of close mics on the strings.
“My preference is always DPA and in this case I shall use d:screet™
4060s on the first desks of the high strings and d:vote™
4099s on all the celli and double basses,” he explains. “Low strings are the most difficult to register through the sound system and the d:vote™ 4099s give me the opportunity to balance out the ‘wolf’ notes and muddiness of the low strings, while also giving me plenty of gain before feedback.”