Palmer Hefferan: Sound Design and Original Music
The dedication page for …what the end will be reads:
for those we’ve lost,
for the survivors,
and for their beloveds
Mansa’s dedication stayed with me as I read [the play], and lingered as I began my research for the show. For some processes, you have to reach far, digging into the lives of others to establish the roots of your design, but …what the end will be hit close to home. I lost my father in an accident the year before I joined the design team. With the suddenness of his passing my brain was broken, not connecting dots, and filled with a fog for months. The journey of the Kennedy men is unlike my own in many ways, but we share loss and survival. Grief can be debilitating, but with time it has also allowed me access to another layer of artistic discovery. Mansa shared a playlist he created for this show with the design team; it features “Hard Times” by Ray Charles. In our first design meeting he said Blues is the music he identifies with this play: “It expresses pain, but has a rhythm that makes you tap your foot.” And that is the heart of the music composed for this production.