‘Skills in audio engineering, recording and editing are essential. But the best skill is listening. And knowing how to work with a team.’
Guy Webster is the Soundscape Designer for Lightscape Brisbane. He’s a composer, sound designer, sound artist and music producer working across the mediums of theatre, dance, circus, sound art, installation and new media.  
Webster’s broad body of work has featured in theatres, festivals and galleries throughout Australia, Japan, Europe, the UK, the US and China. While his live performances have seen him share the stage with the likes of Powderfinger, The Cruel Sea, Mad Professor and Sarah Blasko, he maintains a strong connection with community through a range of projects working to facilitate storytelling in all its forms.
I make noises. I’m a musician and storyteller. Sometimes it is music, other times it’s just noises. Wind, waves, thunderous booms, farts, footsteps and spooky sound effects – whatever works to help tell the story.
I got started mostly through my own curiosity. My instinct to make music and perform was obvious to me from very young. So I just followed that instinct and kept making things until one day someone heard about what I was doing and asked if I would be involved in a project. Since then I’ve just kept saying “Yes” and trusting those instincts.
In my work there is always a need to understand the perspective and intention of the writer and director, so this requires a level of collaboration and consultation. Some projects are more collaborative than others. I have a very broad creative practice, so my preference is for a highly collaborative process. Most creative artists working in a storytelling process are highly responsive to the work of other creatives who have great instincts in areas that they don’t work in. So being open, I find this is the most satisfying aspect of the project, though it really depends on the project and the artists involved.
Read: So you want my arts job: Narrative Designer
I’m not really sure what qualifications are required for my job. But skills in audio engineering, recording and editing are essential. But the best skill is listening. And knowing how to work with a team. And then it takes time to develop your own voice in the choices you make.
That it all happens in 20 minutes rather than taking many hours of preparation and then more hours of work and careful refinement.
Lightscape Brisbane will be open from 31 August to 8 October 2023.
Thuy On is Reviews Editor of ArtsHub and an arts journalist, critic and poet who’s written for a range of publications including The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, Sydney Review of Books, The Australian, The Age/SMH and Australian Book Review. She was the books editor of The Big issue for 8 years. Her first book, a collection of poetry called Turbulence, came out in 2020 and was published by University of Western Australia Press (UWAP). Her next collection, Decadence, was published in July 2022, also by UWAP. Twitter: @thuy_on
Aug 29, 2023
Aug 29, 2023
Aug 29, 2023
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