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Andromache in Audiobook Format

I'm pleased to announce that Mondello Publishing can now offer Andromache in super-high quality lossless FLAC encoding and 320K MP3 through Portland based indie music distributor, CD Baby,, at this here link. You can also purchase physical CDs from retailers everywhere via our CD Baby distributor partners and direct through us via our Amazon seller's account here. The CD is a two disc set made via replication from a glass master, and will last far longer than cheap dye-based duplicated CDs. It comes with an eight page color foldout and is packaged in a full-color "eco-friendly" digipak.

Aamazon Audible members can purchase a lower-quality but smaller versions here. The difference is that currently, Audible only supports a maximum bit rate of 64Kbit/sec MP3 coding, which will not reproduce the stereo image which is part of the performance experience.

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You will be able to find it under this ISBN: 978-0-9853709-6-1

The Cast

Sonya Joseph (Andromache) Sonya Joseph is an actress and professional motivational speaker. She spent several years in the Pacific Northwest working in classical theater. She currently lives in Los Angeles where she is currently the creator and producer of the web series, Holy Ground.

Andrew McGinn (Menelaus) is a 2013 pending graduate of the UW School of Drama with an MFA in directing, and recently directed David Edgar’s Pentecost at the University of Washington Jones Playhouse. As an actor, he is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and The Juilliard School. He has performed in two Broadway premieres: record-breaking Tony Award-Winner Coast of Utopia, and Invention of Love, both by Tom Stoppard, directed by Jack O’Brien, and produced by Lincoln Center. He performed in five productions at the Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, as a performer in Blue Man Group, and at various notable companies in New York, Seattle, and across the country.

Amy Escobar (Hermione) is a theater artist in the city of Seattle. She attended Cornish College of the Arts where she studied theater with an emphasis on original works. She is currently the director/producer of The Amy & Andy Show ( and developing her first solo performance piece.

Jeff Weedman (Orestes) The Los Angeles native now lives in Seattle and is currently part of the theatre group WARP which puts on shows twice a year at the Seattle Center. Jeff recently completed a featured role in the A&E documentary series Cults. Other credits include performances in Anastasia, Hurlyburly, and The Glass Menagerie.

Gene Openshaw (Peleus) Gene is a travel writer, specializing in European art, history, and culture for the “Rick Steves” guidebooks and TV shows. Gene has also written an opera, called Matter.

Morgan Bader (Messenger) Is a Seattle-based actor.

Lisa Skvarla (Thetis) Lisa Skvarla has been a professional actress and stunt woman for over 15 years. Her credits include being a stunt double for the television show Northern Exposure and being honored by the Academy of Arts and Sciences for her work on that show. Most recently she was featured in the National Discovery Health TV special "The Worst Thing That Ever Happened to Me”, Her resume also includes acting in feature films, national and local TV shows, web series , industrial videos,voice overs and commercials. She works mainly in Seattle and Los Angeles, and has been a cast member for the Seattle Theater Readers that performs local scripts at the Jewel Box Theater in Seattle every month. She is also the owner of Lee's Martial Arts in West Seattle and holds a 3rd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. In addition she teaches women's self defense, rape prevention and kickboxing.

Kathryn Duggan (Nurse) Kathryn is a Seattle based actress.

Jane Anne Wilder(Chorus Leader) is a Seattle based actress, writer, spokesperson, and voice talent specialist.

Wanda Moats (Chorus 2) is a Seattle actress and voice talent and has recently appeared on stage as Fatima at the University of Washington production of Pentecost.

Tina Polzin (Chorus 3) is a graduate from UC Irvine. She produced Fusion Film Festival at NYU and The Estrogenius Theater Festival at MTS. She is also a writer working with theaters like Palo Alto Children's Theater. Tina is currenrtly attending University of Washington’s MFA Directing Program.

Sarah Harris (Chorus 4) Since arriving in Seattle in the Summer of 2010, Sarah has performed with UPAC Theater Company and Turbo Turkey Sketch Comedy Group. Her one-act play, "Sexual Healing," will be performed in June as part of Eclectic Theater's One-Act Festival.

Diana Slater (Handmaid) is an enthusiastic patron of the arts and a wine specialist, currently residing in Lynnwood, WA.

About The Recording

Andromache was recorded primarily at MirrorSound Studios in Shoreline, WA, with recording engineer Ken Fordyce. Sonya Joseph was recorded at VoiceTrax West Studios in Los Angeles. Some filler material was recorded at our office at Mondello Publishing. In all, about 18 hours of studio time was used, which was then edited down to the roughly 90 minutes of performance time on the two CD set. All backing music is an original creation for this project.


Sound sources placed and animated in Longcat binaural synthesis tool

Millions of years of evolution have provided most animals, and humans, with an amazing ability to determine the origin of a sound. As sound waves impinge on our heads and ears, the sound patterns are subtly altered in timing, frequency content, and amplitude, and our brain can instantly determine the direction and distance to the source. But when we listen to a stereo recording, the sound that is presented to our ears bears no relationship to the actual pattern of sound waves that they would experience in the real environment. But when a plain monophonic sound is presented, our brains seem to rebel against that sound as being patently artificial. Somehow, the stimulation of the spatial location portions of the brain by a totally incorrect and artificial sound field presented by conventional stereo apparatus provides a pleasing listening experience.

For years, sound engineers reproduced this “binaural” sound field (for listeners with headphones) by using lifesize dummy heads equipped with tiny capsule microphones each placed within an artificial ear canal to laboriously record the binaural sound field. The results can vary from uncannily realistic to quite odd. Recreating or synthesizing the equivalent sound field digitally has, however, been a challenge, particularly rearward localization. Only in the past few years have specialized software tools become available, along with multi-core processors capable of implementing these digital signal processing in near-real time. Andromache uses software from Longcat technologies in France to perform this synthesis and present the listener with the most lifelike reproduction possible with headphones while still maintaining a comfortable listening experience in conventional stereo presentation.

The Longcat tool presents a sound stage to the editor, on which he can place each indvidual track of the recording. The editor can then move the sound source in the simulated space, in real time, and also record these motions. Furthermore, for a more pleasing sound field for "conventional" (non-headphone) listeners, the tool allows the source to be split into two sound sources which then create a more spatially distributed source which is more like a conventional stereo presentation. In the illustaration to the left you will see that the Flute is presented behind and slightly to the left of the listener (the near greeen ball), but it is split into two small sattelite green balls which are the active sound sources. The other balls represent the chorus members on the simulated stage and an actor, in this case Peleus. During long passages of dialogue you may hear the speaker move from one side of the stage to the other, which is the natural behavior of performers on stage. When the chorus chants as a group, it will be easier to pick out the individual voices just as it is in real life by the location of the speaker. Headphones or earbuds will give the best results, but you should find the listening experience enjoyable while listening on your car or home stereo.

The Chorus

The chorus presents some serious problems for any modern producers of classic plays. The choral parts were most likely set to music and had dancing, but few translations today lend themselves to musical treatment, and the original music is long gone. While my translation is rhyming and could be set to music, I hadn't started out the translation that way and so I spent a fair amont of time dividing the meter of my translaton into beats and bars so that the chorus could chant. But without the music, it is not so simple for the chorus to chant in unison; perhaps music began as just a means for the sacred chanters to keep time with one another? At any rate, in our production we have only four choral members which sometime will chant in unison and sometimes will speak as individuals, just as people in groups do, and a simple musical accompaniment aids in the metrical structure. There are also backing tracks for non-choral parts in which the Greek text's meter and rhyme indicates that these lines were to be sung or chanted.

The Goddess

Another interesting item on the recording is the use of the vocoder for Thetis's speech afte she enters deus ex machina. I took this latin phrase rather literally, from a creative standpoint, by giving the goddess the voice of the machine as well. The vocoder actually has its roots in speech cryptography, but most older people will remember artists using the effect as far back as the movie Colossus: The Forbin Project, in which a vocoder was the voice of the computer overlord Colossus, and also in Laurie Anderson's Superman, and of course we can't forget Mr. Robato by Styx. In our case, the carrier for the vocoder is a chord pair whose root, Gm, is the common root throught the backing music.

I hope it will be an interesting and rewarding experience for listeners.

Bruce Van Deventer, producer, composer & editor


© 2013 Mondello Publishing