HOMER IN CYBERSPACE adds my orchestrations

May 20, 2008

Last night we ran the whole show with my orchestrations. You’ll remember, the orchestra is all prerecorded by me using Apple’s LOGIC 8 software. I use a lot of electronic sounds because of the “cyberspace” aspect of the title. To balance that side of the sound, I use a huge array of stringed instruments — it’s my bluegrass roots showing I guess — mandolin, lute, guitars (acoustic and electric), banjo, balalaika, oud, guzhen, hammered dulcimer, dobro, sitar, ukelele, koto, and more. It’s a great sound.

The singers have not been given their wireless mikes yet, so they were singing with a temp sound system which consisted of Jeremy playing back the musical cues from his Mac, cued by Lindsey. No more just singing with the piano-vocal score, this was the real thing, and the actors are finally starting to see how the music will REALLY sound. And as far as I can tell, they love it even more. I have had many touching moments already where an actor will tell me how moving my music is for them to sing and hear. At the end of rehearsal last night, I had conversations with several of them discussing how NOT to cry. The closing duet is a killer. I was so touched to look over and see three rows of beautiful college students listening and watching, with their eyes filled with tears, and the room was filled with sniffs and noses being blown. A good sign.

Mel continues to tweak and edit the story making it better and better and the actors are remarkably adept at learning the new lines. Yesterday I had to recast four measures of choral writing that had different rhythms and words: the actors learned the changes that day and had them memorized by the evening. The musical talent of the group of actors has been thrilling to observe and appreciate.

I still have five more transition cues to compose, a few numbers to slow down and a couple to speed up, as well as a huge amount of the score to update, and all about half of the cues still need to be exported for our sound crew. In that the show opens a week from Thursday, I know there is an end in sight, but whew! it’s been a busy time here.

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