July 29, 2009

Mel Shapiro

Mel Shapiro

I’m doing the music to a short film by Mel Shapiro called INFRARED. Mel, as you may remember, wrote the book and lyrics to HOMER IN CYBERSPACE — a musical we premiered last years. I’m playing all the parts myself using Logic 9 (just arrived yesterday). It’s the smokiest, jazziest music I’ve composed to date, but somehow the material seems to call for it. The orchestration so far is piano, pizz acoustic bass, brush light drums, and sustained strings. I’ve got a muted trumpet obbligato line in each cue if we need it — I’m leaving it out because it interferes with the dialog, but by itself, the chord progression is screaming for a melody. So, I’ll probably string together a piece made from cues from INFRARED and if we end up using the trumpet melodies, I’ll get a REAL trumpeter to play that line.

[I have some advice for electronic musicians in emulating monophonic instruments (i.e. instruments that can only play one note at a time) on a keyboard: don’t let notes overlap; use ONE FINGER to play the melody whenever possible. You’ll find this works surprisingly well, especially for brass. This won’t work for fast passagework, of course.]

The “hit” song from the 38 minute film is called “Terrible” which is a very infectious Vaudevillian-type song that I know people will like.

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