22 May 2006

Unleashing the Tempest

All I try to do is write music that feels meaningful to me,
that has commitment and passion behind it.
~ Bruce Springsteen

After this weekend, I’m either committed or I need to be committed. My friend Dotto is directing a production of The Tempest and needed a score written. A score consisting of an overture (naturally) and a few song and dance numbers in the styles of 1) Caribbean steel drums, 2) Hip-hop, 3) gospel and 4) melancholic ballad. I have only written melancholic ballads (aka funeral dirges as my mother calls them). I have never written 1), 2) or 3). For that matter, I have not written an overture, nor a full score for a play. So what do I do? I say yes of course! I think my Muse fainted.

This took place on Friday. Over an excellent grilled salmon, accompanied by grilled sweet potatoes and succulent green peppers, fresh mushrooms simmered in garlic butter and red-wine and a couple of Coronas, Dotto, Sullivan and I discussed ideas, script, feel and courage. And aptitude. I brought up those last two. It is the blessing/curse of the melancholic to be able to see the big picture and every little detail that can bring that big picture crashing to the ground. I think of everything that could go wrong.

As we enjoyed grilled pound cake with bananas and rum-kissed real whipped cream in the candlelit backyard, both Sullivan and Dotto (also both melancholics) endeavored to ease my fears. However, they were not completely put at ease until Saturday, when I talked to Ann S. at the wedding reception of our mutual friends and fellow Christendom grads, Kristy and Jeff E.
Ann also composes ~ a fact I forgot until I sat down to bring her up to speed on my current doings. Then I grabbed her by the shoulder and turned to Sullivan (who also knew the happy couple) and said – “Oh wow! That’s right ~ she composes ~ we must talk to her!” This we did. And now there are three composers. I hope this does not mean the same thing as three cooks in the kitchen.

However, in this case, I do not think there is any danger of that. The three of us bring different talents and it is not as scary to share the burden of a whole score with at least 5 major song and dance numbers with two other artists.

Fears and insecurities aside, Sunday afternoon (with absolutely glorious weather!) I sat down at the piano (which needs yet another tuning! Argh!!!) and after just brushing the keys with my fingertips for a couple of bars, came up with a partial tune for the overture/Ariel’s Song. My Muse must have recovered from her earlier shock. But this is only the beginning. We shall see whether the tune stands up to replay and other ears and whether the (royal) We will be able to withstand the pressure of her perfectionist self and looming deadlines.

To be continued….

Oremus pro invicem,
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