Point Source Audio Helps Dreamlike Chinese Opera Come to Life at Lincoln Center

Point Source Audio® (PSA) today announces that its SERIES8 lavaliers will be on center stage of visual artist and Emmy winner Jennifer Wen Ma’s acclaimed Chinese opera Paradise Interrupted set to open at the Lincoln Center Festival, July 13, 2016. In a dream, a woman meets her lover and searches for an unattainable ideal as a vast garden grows from an empty stage, only to disappear as her dream ends. This highly ambitious East meets West opera requires the central character—the talented and noted Chinese opera singer Qian Yi—to wear two Point Source Audio microphones to project her voice both vocally and visually. 

Sound designer Lew Mead of Autograph A2D, together with Creative Technology Director Guillermo Acevedo and his sound recognition software, created the visual magic using the opera singer’s breath to express her mood via light and movement to fill the stage. The distinctive characteristics of her every breath means no two performances are ever alike. Acevedo reports that it took about three years to customize the sound recognition software in order to teach a computer to recognize emotion.

Mead selected the SERIES8omni lavalier for the singer’s voice going into the sound system, and the SERIES8 cardioid lavalier to isolate her voice going into the video computer. Describing the double mic’ing method he used, Mead explained: “The Point Source omni lav has a beautiful natural tone and was perfect for Quan-Yi’s vocals, while the cardioid mic had to highly isolate her from other performers nearby and the orchestra.” 

Directed and designed by Jennifer Wen Ma and composed by Huang Ruo, Paradise Interrupted first premiered for audiences at Spoleto Festival 2015, one of America’s major performing arts festivals. The annual festival lasts 17-days in Charleston, South Carolina, offering opera, musical theatre, dance and special events. Mead recounts that “We first deployed the Point Source mics at the Spoleto premiere last year and they proved to be sonically precise—especially the directionality of the CR-8L cardioid lav.”  

Ma, whose credits include the 2008 Beijing Olympics and an Emmy for the US broadcast of the ceremony, envisioned how she could immerse the audience with the heroine’s voice, breath, and energy all at once. Acevedo described his approach to the visual aspect as if “it were another character on stage in constant reaction with Qian Yi—just as a fellow actor would be.”

PSA’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Yvonne Ho who has been exposed to the ancient art of Chinese opera commented, “It’s especially thrilling for me to have Point Source microphones be a part of this masterful juxtaposition of traditional Chinese opera and stunning new-age visual display.”

The company’s SERIES8 collection of miniature microphones is currently offered in headset, earset and lavalier styles in both omnidirectional and cardioid polar patterns. The company’s latest innovation, EMBRACE™ Microphones, is a patent pending ear-mounted lavalier solution that is turning outdated theatre mic’ing methods on its head. More information about Point Source Audio's various audio solutions can be found by visiting www.point-sourceaudio.com.

About Jennifer Wen Ma
Jennifer Wen Ma is a Chinese American interdisciplinary visual artist. Her work includes installation, video, public art, drawing, fashion design, and performance art, often combining different elements together. She works and lives in New York and Beijing. She moved to the United States in 1986 and attended Pratt Institute, receiving her Master of Fine Arts degree in 1999. In 2008, she was one of the seven members on the core creative team for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics, and the chief designer for visual and special effects. She won an Emmy for the US broadcast of the ceremony.

About Autograph A2D
Autograph A2D, based in New York and led by Lew Mead, has a 40-year history of designing sound for the theater and equipping some of the world’s best known musicals. This has given the company a unique insight into what theatre sound professionals need to work their magic in the 21st century. In the process, its engineers have broadened the scope and arguably facilitated the development of the modern musical.  www.autographa2d.com 

About Point Source Audio
Point Source Audio (@PSA_audio) manufactures and distributes worldwide a unique line of live event technology including their patented comm headset; and their SERIES8 miniature microphones, known for their robust bendable boom and waterproof features, and a winner of the 2014 Best Microphone award. As the Digigram Distributor for the Americas, the world renowned brand of Digigram sound cards, and IP audio and IP video networking technology are also available from Point Source Audio. Founded in 2004, Point Source Audio is headquartered in Petaluma, Calif. For more information call (415) 226-1122 or visit www.point-sourceaudio.com. Follow the company on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PSA_audio