the chorus, theater, Uncategorized


I should blog about this. The chorus meeting on Saturday was really special. One of the collaborators brought in some different musical themes related to the content of “Emperor of Ice-Cream,” like ice-cream truck jingles combined with a moving left-hand bass, to layer together, so that the music with the words had the same sense of multiple voices. With just three of us, over time, we built up lots of layers: a humming voice, two speakers, two people on piano and trombone. I have discovered that I don’t mind using technology to achieve multiple layers as long as the vocal track has simultaneity that is genuinely recorded in one take, or track. (Many takes, fine, but multiple voices on the same track. You know what I mean.)

At any rate, it was wonderful. Lots of dense musical layers, two male tenor spoken voices with a really similar timbre, just blending together. Intense use of volume. It was good, good, and we’re meeting again Wednesday. I don’t know how, exactly, I have time for this. I don’t. I just don’t have time to not be doing it. Chorus jams, chorus impromptus…something. A place where voices, people with instruments, actors can be combined for the sake of the sounds. I hope, if it’s not hoping too much to hope this, that I never have to stop doing this kind of work.

Never is a lot. I wish that when I had gotten the chance to know the man who was the composer for the show I worked on in Denver that I had talked to him about some of this. I have thought about him a bit since starting this, and the way that his own music had so much simultaneity to it. I mean, all music has some, I suppose, but his really featured it. (He died months after the show was up.) He worked very closely with the text. For weeks while he couldn’t be in Denver, I wrote a sort of private rehearsal journal for him, telling him what we worked on in terms of character. He said it helped him write the music.

It doesn’t do any good to sit around thinking about what may or may not happen. It only does good to keep working.