“Sound is the back door to the imagination.” – Walter Murch, acclaimed Hollywood sound designer
Sound tells a story. Music is a universal language with which we express what cannot be said with words.
Music and sound are powerful tools for captivating attention, propelling narrative, and building fantastical worlds. SPLIT BRAIN SOUND crafts original musical compositions, soundscapes, and audio systems for a range of disciplines, with special emphasis in film, television, and theatre. The company is committed to collaborative and integrated work environments, whether the project is a low-budget indie short film, a feature-length documentary, a full-scale musical, or a museum installation.
The term ‘split brain’ is inspired by phenomena observed in neuroplasticity research (i.e. the brain’s ability to ‘rewire’ itself). Often subconsciously, we are primed, conditioned, and influenced by sounds in our environment that can evoke emotion, recall nostalgia, or even elicit anxiety. SPLIT BRAIN SOUND balances the artistic demands of storytelling with the technical challenges of rapidly-evolving content creation in the digital age. The company draws on a nuanced understanding of human behaviour, memory, and the brain to guide its designs. This cross-disciplinary perspective allows SPLIT BRAIN SOUND to deliver uniquely visceral and immersive sonic experiences.
The company’s vision is led by designer and composer Deanna H. Choi, whose sound work has garnered numerous accolades and nominations. Choi’s music has often been described as “the unseen character” on stage and on screen. Choi’s psychological research has been presented at national conferences, including a TEDx Talk at Queen’s University. To read more about Choi’s work, click here.
Compose music (orchestral, vocal, electronic, chamber music, keyboard) for film, TV, plays
Orchestrate, arrange, record, mix, and master musical content
Create sound playback (e.g. atmospheres, sound effects) for plays, dance, installation art
Design audio systems for musical theatre, integrating wireless microphones and surround sound
Collaborate with scientists in psychology, medicine, and computer science to investigate music cognition
Develop interactive platforms to connect actors, musicians, dancers and audience members
THE WOLVES — “Choreographed passages between the scripted scenes are electric to watch as dynamically lit by [Jareth] Li and underscored by Deanna H. Choi’s sound design and composition. All aspects of Lancaster’s production broadcast confidence, strong decisions, esprit de corps.”
TOWARDS YOUTH — “This moment is heightened by Deanna H. Choi’s sound design and an ensemble of snarling, beastlike actors swarming around [Emilio] Vieira.”
THE MONUMENT — “... reflective of the way Canada’s Indigenous population must continue to live with and work alongside systems and people that hurt them. [...] with Lauzon’s effect on the senses — the smell of the sage, the sight of the red dresses and Deanna H. Choi’s sound design of women singing — she reminds us that the play, and her interpretation of it, is a monument to something much bigger than these two specific people.”
IPPERWASH — “The set design (a designer isn’t specified in the program) uses sand to link the beach to the landscape of Afghanistan, and Deanna H. Choi’s sound design brings to the forefront echoes of militarized force, both overseas and from the 1995 crisis”
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY — “The rot is palpable in Camellia Koo’s scenery, the two-level interior of a wooden house where the white posts and stairs are grimy with what may be fire damage and the rooms look dirty and dishevelled. The set is on a turntable whose slow, creaking movement is echoed by Deanna H. Choi’s sound design of rasping strings. You feel as if the Weston homestead is literally on the verge of falling apart.”
GRACE — “Most impactful of all, the perpetrator’s name is never uttered, replaced instead by a haunting sound effect”
THIS IS HOW WE GOT HERE — “… sound design and compositions provide moments of lightness, especially in evoking a symbolic fox.”
DECEITFUL ABOVE ALL THINGS — “The design is another simple but striking part of the show, notably Nancy Anne Perrin’s set, which combines a red and white floor – blood and snow? – with upside down branches suggesting the wilderness locale, Logan Cracknell’s lighting and Deanna H. Choi’s atmospheric sound design, which help underline the show’s moving and satisfying final image.”
HONOUR BEAT — “The original music and vocals by Pura Fé, combined with Deanna H. Choi's sound design, created a fulfilling palate of sound to fill the silence when needed and guided the audience through a serene auditory journey.”