A Zillion Theatrical Volts

February 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

dnb

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 «

2009 Rave

December 29th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

theOwl

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.

Wake up, America!!!  Wake up, World!!!   » Read the rest of this entry «

Evening Star

December 19th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

theOwl

f100strcar

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 «

Send In the Clowns

September 19th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

theOwl

Across the Universe

August 2nd, 2008 § 5 comments § permalink

theOwl

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.

» Read the rest of this entry «

Wicked

July 21st, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

theOwl

Could it be that all of us are green in one way or the other? All or us want to defy gravity? What does it mean to be popular? – or good? – or Wicked?

As a birthday gift for my daughters, my mom got us all tickets to see the musical play Wicked up in East Lansing. Thus was my Sunday afternoon occupied.

» Read the rest of this entry «

WALL*E

June 29th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

theOwl

Oh, I try to be positive. I wanted to love WALL*E. When I saw Ratatouille, I raved about it. I admire Pixar, and would love to write music for them some day.

But I didn’t love WALL*E. I was bored. And it’s not WALL*E’s fault. The people at Pixar know, better than anyone on or off this Planet, that Story trumps all. » Read the rest of this entry «

“My Friends”

June 22nd, 2008 § 1 comment § permalink

theOwl

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.

Bravo.

Dancing in the Future

April 28th, 2008 § 2 comments § permalink

Several weeks ago I posted a pod about my song Illumination. 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 «

The Angel Pig

April 14th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

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.

Thea had a request –

“The Angel Pig”

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.

Thank God.

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