Sunday, January 22, 2006

Kick a chicken with it

It’s a funny thing this blogging lark. For a start, I never expected this one to last this long – like the diary cliché where you start with the best of intentions with a day to a page and run out of inspiration by the time you are back at school/work/ whatever-it-is I’m doing just now. Some sort of employment purgatory I think.

This week I had several ideas for stuff to write about, but I was also trying to give exposure to the South Asia Earthquake appeal thing (did you see the lovely little banner that Real World made?) so I didn’t want to displace it from being the first thing anyone clicking on my blog might see. I do hope that a couple of you had a look at the link – I bought it and I already had the tracks… Anyway, moving on.

Dream On – my work is close to finished. Well, sort of. I’ve nearly finished all the backing tracks which is a Good Thing. The final two songs are reprises (in one case the 4th reprise) of other songs so they are known quantities. I fear one of them may require every ending ballad cliché going (the stick rimshot with lots of reverb – you’d know it if you heard it, I promise). I found out that around the time I was working on the two versions of the “Conga” (yes, this is still a children’s musical version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream here) that what I should be doing is making something which the children will enjoy performing and their parents and other family members would enjoy watching. When your basis is a conga (the dance, not the drum) then pretensions to breaking some sort of artistic ground go out the window. The depressing thing is that I’ve been working on this stuff on and off since August or so and the whole thing will only be about 45 minutes long, but I do feel that I’ve used every trick I’ve learned so far (apart from that one which requires a mug, an ice cube and a lot of kitchen roll or other absorbent paper).

So the backing music will be done, but I still want to record it properly. With so many shows we’ve ended up recording it in secret during performances in front of audiences, for this one I want to record it properly with the backing singers and leads recorded separately and with each line sounding as good as it can (step up, Melodyne). The only slight problem there may be is that we don’t have a whole lot of rehearsal time before the performances and there are the issues of dialogue and choreography to learn, so the recording moments look like they will have to be stolen at every possible opportunity. I will likely spend a lot of time in one of the theatre changing rooms (the clothes hanging up dull any reverberation nicely) getting anyone I can to pop upstairs to sing all their parts for each of their songs perfectly and as quickly as possible. This is where Melodyne comes in. Then I want to try to have CDs ready to give back to the performers before the show so that they can base their show performances on themselves. As I mentioned before on here, the CD we were sent of a reference performance had something to be desired (pitching, intonation and intelligibility mostly) so I’d also like to send our version back to the company who own the rights to the show.

Onward to “Sweet Charity”, which is the next project with the adults of the theatre workshop. This one isn’t on stage until May, which should give us a bit of time – certainly there will be turn-around space between “Dream On” and “Sweet Charity.” I quite liked the script, or at least I liked the way I imagined it in my head, but the movie version was… awful. I’m going to be interested to see what director, David Bishop, has done with it. Follow the show from his point of view at the official Biggar Theatre Workshop blog over at

Also I have to finish Sons Of Thunder’s live CD (only 5 songs to go and a couple of recalls, then I get a big list of more changes from the band), and compile some of my sound design work to send to a couple of production companies down south, and plan my trip to Japan around all that. Easy.

Now, for the linkage action. I lost most of my Thursday night/ Friday morning to this site which sings words that you type in by stealing individual words or syllables from well-known songs:
Let Them Sing It For You. Enjoy.

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