‘Why can’t we do it?’: the Ringham brothers’ daring sound designs | Stage

‘Why can’t we do it?’: the Ringham brothers’ daring sound designs | Stage

MAx and Ben Lingham fostered a violent clashing musical taste. As a result, there was a “healthy war” in their bedroom. However, they pooled instruments (instruments, keyboards, samplers) stacked on one end of the room.

The mountain turned into a mountain, and when they decided to make music together in their twenties, they made them a shared studio in London. They are now a 25-year professional partnership to create drum’n’bass records, produce television production music, and become one of the biggest names in sound and music composition (two to be exact). Is tied. stage.

They have worked with everyone from Jamie Lloyd (West End Pinter Season Fett Pinter) to David Rosenberg (Darkfield). Together with Ella Hixson, they devised the groundbreaking National Theater Production Anna, delivered on binaural headphones. Blindness at Donmar Warehouse, an installation featuring Juliet Stevenson’s voice, was one of Pandemic’s most experimental and bold shows. The theme of existential horror in the play. More recently, they designed the sound of Prima Facey starring Jodie Comer. It featured heavy rain fur against the dangerous sounds of electronica.

Lingam has a four-year interval – Max is 50 and older – but there is no power dynamics like a dominant / passive sibling. When we meet, they play the tag of the conversation – Max lacks Ben’s ideas, Ben builds on Max’s ideas – it’s almost like an orchestra. They are repeatedly receiving the joke of one person parading together. “People say,’Ben or Max must not exist,'” says Ben.

Rain and electronica … Jody Comer for the time being. Photo: Helen Murray

The brothers rose from the dynasty of sound. If there was a music war in the bedroom as a child, bigger battles were fought elsewhere in the family’s home in northern London. The flat kids above were crazy about punk, and three of them grew up to be professional musicians. Their father, John Ringham, was an actor and a skilled musician with a grand piano in the living room. “My dad was listening to music so relentlessly that he walked around the house, playing the piano or turning on the radio and leaving each on,” Max says.

Their two sisters had the same passion. “Jessica was really crazy about AC / DC and Hannah was crazy about everything,” says Max. Her mother, Felicitas Lingham, was a scholar of French literature and wrote dictionaries and books on semiotics.

When Max went to Belize for six months, Ben agreed to oversee his drum’n’bass work and was hooked by the time Ben returned. Initially, they lived in shared cans of beans and rushed for fees. “We did a lot of library music [generic production music].. It was a very good area for creating musical styles very quickly. Ben adds:

Both sisters eventually entered the creative industries. Jessica is a wig maker and Hannah co-founded the theater group Shunt. In the shunt, the brothers set out to develop some aspects of their practice and create immersive sounds and music for the theater space.

“The shunt was completely artistic freedom for everyone,” says Ben, recalling the lack of distinction between writers, directors and designers. “We were really excited for us because we’ve always been inspired by the environment where people are talking about things, not just sound,” Max adds.

They are still working on the mantra “Why can’t it?” Taken from those interdisciplinary collaborations. There is no line between composing music and creating sound designs, or creating music and scripting. Their latest two projects prove this hybridity. They have just finished co-writing forensic audiologists, especially the music and screenplay (with Dan Leberato) of Exemplar, a series starring Gina McKee and Charlie Hardwick. They are also working on a new musical with Tanika Gupta – she is writing a book, they are music.

Blindness at Donmar.
Layer of sound … Blindness at Donmar. Photo: Helen Maybanks

Not only are their collaborations successful, but they also burden being brothers and colleagues, but their financial consensus is solid. “No matter who does what job, it’s always 50% and there’s no discussion about it,” says Ben. “We always talk about parity and take care of that side,” Max adds.

Creatively, no one of them has a project to do alone. “At the conceptual stage, we talk about ideas, palettes and sounds, but when the show goes into technical rehearsals, it’s usually taken over by one of us,” Max said, with one of the directors. He added that he rarely expresses his desire to work with him.

When they listen to their sounds and music years ago, they are not always sure who wrote what. “Ben says with a laugh.

The Holy Grail now captures sounds that no one else has, they say, suddenly look like anorak in the world of sound. They bother their partners by stopping at the corner of the street and recording whistling winds around the squeaky gates, the New York subway grate, or the sculptures of Antony Gormley in folkstone, as they did last week. No.

Recording everything on a cell phone “isn’t perfect, but it doesn’t sound like anyone else. That’s the currency,” says Ben. “We have something unique that no one else has. We are very obsessed with it,” Max adds. “And no one has a squeaky gate.”


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