I’ve been working on musical settings of Arnold Lobel’s FABLES for several years now, and am finally at the point of getting singing actors to take a look at them. I have a metaphor.
Over the past few years I’ve been involved with the Purple Rose Theatre Company in Chelsea, Michigan. One of the cool things the Purple Rose does is to “greenhouse” new plays by taking a week… » Read the rest of this entry «
Welcome to the Future. 2009 is on its way. I don’t know about you, but I feel poised, on the cusp of something. Many bits of experience are coalescing into a conviction that profound change is upon us, for better and for worse.
Now that Obama has won the Presidency, I find myself strangely disinterested in politics. It’s as though now that there is a possibility of sane stewardship and leadership in Washington, those of us who are possible cultural players have our work cut out for us.
The first self-consciously dramatic song I ever wrote got written because I was living in Connecticut way back in 1991 and had read about a musical theater workshop in Manhattan – the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop – that had participants write a ballad for Blanche DuBois from Tenessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire as an assignment. » Read the rest of this entry «
Somehow I missed this movie. It is a Masterpiece. Buy it. Rent it. Whatever.
See it. Hear it.
(Update – 8.3.08)
Beatles fanatic that I am, I don’t know how I missed seeing Across the Universe when it first came out in late 2007.
I remember seeing the title up on the marquis at the State Theater on campus and of course being curious. I seem to remember hearing part of a musical track – I Want To Hold Your Hand? – and thinking that it was a really good cover of the song. But still, time being what it is, I never pulled it together to go out of my way to seek the film out.
I found this video of Stephen Sondheim teaching and directing the duet My Friends from his Sweeney Todd to be quite interesting. This piece has long been my favorite in the show – it’s just amazing, and then, to top it off, Jonathan Tunick’s orchestration (listen to the cinematic clip below) is beautiful.
The dramatic subtleties, and the way they are made manifest in Sondheim’s music and lyric are something to behold.
Now watch and listen to Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter on the same tune in the recent movie musical. It’s really Sweeney’s moment here, and Depp gets what Sondheim was going for.
Several weeks ago I posted a pod about my songIllumination. When I began to write Illumination in the early 1990s I also set out at the same time to write “the ultimate dance song”. That impulse grew to be the subject of tonight’s pod, Dancing in the Future. » Read the rest of this entry «
Tonight I will simply share the cutest bit of audio that has ever graced my little corner of the Universe. In the first week of June 2002, when my daughter Theodora had just recently turned 3 years old, I was in the early stages of improvising musical settings for Arnold Lobel’s FABLES.
One way to get some work done while caring for a 3-year-old was simply to have Thea sit next to me at the piano, where I would often have my mini disc recorder turned on just in case I came up with something worth remembering.
What she wanted was to see Lobel’s illustration of his FABLE The Pig at the Candy Store. Once I found the correct page we were privileged to see a winged pig flying “joyfully” through an outer space of candy.
Thea had something to say.
Such are the conditions in which this composer worked for years.