Sunday, November 14, 2010


Since I finished the exam I've been working fairly steadily through the script of the musical, getting on and writing music (as you might expect).

It's going fairly well: there are ten scenes in all, some of which will have only a small amount of music; some of which - like the one I'm working on now - will have a great deal. Scene four, the current one, appears in the script just to have 'songs' (for want of a better name though perhaps 'sung moments' might be Best Buy choice) scattered throughout with dialogue in between, but in order to get a decent flow I think I'm going to have to do what I did with the first and second scenes: have music going continuously so that the singers sing where appropriate, or talk over the music where it's not.

But those in-between bits need special timing and a better sense of the overall music in the scene, and so I haven't written any of them yet. Instead, what I've been writing are the 'sung moments', leaving gaps for the in-between stuff to get filled in later. I'm sure it's a perfectly legit way to work, but it feels a little odd. My tendency with music is to write from whoa to go and then fix things up later, reconstruct where necessary.

Anyway, there's one advantage to my approach here, and this is that the moments are all fairly short, (no one sings lengthy arias in this musical, or even lengthy songs), and so they don't take a lot of writing. It'll be all the joining up and the figuring out of how long the dialogue will take that's going to be the slower part.

Another advantage is that I'd already written some of the songs for this scene a while ago, because they were in my head when the script was being written and I wanted to get them down (and one of them has been lifted in a modified fashion from the original version of the musical, written some thirty odd years ago).

So the upshot of all I'm saying here is that I have a stretch of music with holes to fill in later. And the advantage to that approach is that when it comes to filling in the gaps there'll be plenty of thematic material to work from.

Some time in the next month I'd like to get a cast together to read the script through (without any music) and just let other people get a feel of what it's like, and see what their comments are. It's something we (my collaborator and I) have been planning for a while, but both of us had exam commitments to get out of the way first. Hopefully that'll be an interesting experience for those involved, and they'll find the script fresh - and funny. Time will tell.
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