I was involved with "The Rivals" last week, which was a bit of a surprise. I'd been planning my trip to London and checked that it would no problem if I didn't attend the dress and tech rehearsals because I would still be travelling home at the time. This was fine because "we'll only need music between scenes, nothing complicated." In fact, the director handled the sound for the rehearsals despite at times being in serious danger of throwing things at certain members of the cast. The main thing is that by avoiding being there, it avoids people getting ideas such as "Oh, could we just have 25 minutes of birdsong here to make it sound as if they are in a field?" which ought to be quite simple but can involve listening to more than an hour of birdsong and carefully editing out sounds of cars, planes and shouting children.
The thing with "The Rivals" is that there wasn't a whole lot of need for sound, as I'd been told there was only music used to cover the scene changes. Unlike last year's "Major Barbara" the scenes in this play were quite short so there wasn't a lot of scope for doing other things at the same time, such as bits and pieces of sound design for "Return of the Daleks".
I did make inroads into the book I was reading though (the first Jeeves Omnibus by P.G Wodehouse if anyone is interested). The actual play seemed to go quite well, it's quite wordy but funny enough to get away with it. Technically I liked that it had some of the shortest scene changes we've ever done which I always appreciate. Of course the day after the last night of the show I immediately caught a cold which is now thankfully on the way out.
The arrival of a few new books, DVDs and CDs post-birthday enlivened things a little, but I can't recommend spending too much time in the company of the Alien "quadrilogy" (9 discs including special features - I've only watched the films so far) if you are going to have some sort of weird dreams anyway. Also enjoyed the new album by Client (sleazy backstreet Goldfrapp, if you can imagine that) and added Siobhan Donaghy's new album to my wish-list after hearing a track from it on a free magazine CD (it's called "Ghosts" and sounds wonderfully Kate Bush/ Liz Fraser-ish).
This weekend I'm going to Wales. I've not done that before, although I'd thought I might whilst I was staying Bath things ended up being rather busy for that kind of thing. It's North Wales and it's nothing to do with work (I'm going to the bit of Wales with the bird flu), although I might take some music in progress with me on the iPod for listening and making notes about whilst on the train. Wow, it's like I'm trying to justify that the iPod can be used for work... Anyway, this is actually the first time I've been away and not stayed in a friends house or brought work with me since about summer 2002 so I'm looking forward to it.
In Big Finish terms the rest of the year seems to have filled up rather quickly. I have a set amount of work to do and a set amount of time to do it, but how all of one fits into the other is less certain. With the next Benny project I'm into the bit where you put the funny noises in now, which is probably the most fun part. Plans are already afoot to record my next project quite soon but it may have to sit quietly for a little while until the current one is finished (there's time enough to do such things). Having put all the kitchen-sourced elements of the space port together, I think it sounds rather good.
Other random rubbish: Cliff Richard was doing a made-for-tv thing where he was joined by various (popular to younger demographic) artists singing "songs he wishes he'd written." Judging by his recent campaign, that would include most of his own back catalogue because if he'd written them he'd still own the rights. Honestly, which other job would continue to pay you money years after it was finished when you haven't had to do anything in the interim? If you want to keep making money from songs that you have performed on, you have to keep performing new songs. I particularly have trouble feeling sorry for performers who clearly don't need the extra income that could be obtained from yet another compilation of their 50s material.
You can apparently be taken to court for using someone else's wi-fi connection (or "sucking on their tubes" as one podcast puts it). If you have been lax enough to not use some kind of password on a wireless internet connection, that's roughly the technological equivalent of leaving your house with all the doors and windows open and a big neon sign saying "free stuff here!!!". If you have wi-fi, put a password on it unless you actually want anyone hanging about nearby to be able to access your internet connection. Mind you, it's easy to be smug when you still use a network cable but I can't use the internet from the bathroom. Hang on, would I want to? "Blogs from the bog" anyone?