Tuesday, 24 February 2015

No Man's Land

I've been trying to organise more Pepys photo shoots in any spare time I've had today. Frankly, it's a little like trying to herd kittens! I'm attempting to find locations and times which mean no one has to go out of their way to meet me, but pretty much every person who's requested a slot so far has subsequently cancelled, leaving me scrabbling around to fill their space with people who haven't yet been photographed! You'd think people didn't actually want to be on the front cover of a CD! I've decided to instigate a "two cancellations and you're out" policy. Or in this case, "two cancellations and you're replaced by a balloon, a charming view of London, or, frankly, someone who fancies being on the album cover twice." Once in a fabulous disguise! Rebel Chorus members be warned! Be very warned!

It's freezing cold today. I walked from PK's house to West Worthing station and actually started panicking. It doesn't help that my charming cold is still hanging around like a fag hag at a gay orgy. My lips are cracking, I have a dry tickly cough and my shoulders ache. Mind you, a friend of mine tweeted earlier that his Monday morning had started with an injection in his eyeball, so I'm rather counting my blessings!

Our Gay Wedding: The Musical airs on Australian telly at 9.30pm tonight. That's 9.30pm Australian time, which I think must mean it's already tomorrow down under, and that 9.30pm at night there might be when I'm walking to the station in Hove tomorrow morning. I recently learned that some places - like certain areas in India - have time zones which encompass half hour differences. Mumbai, for example, is five and a half hours in front of us. How ludicrous is that? If you're prepared to split hairs like that, why not go for 16 minutes difference. I'm going to propose that for the Scilly Isles or other silly isles.

We've been working on the Brass soundtrack all day today and kicked things off with No Man's Land, the final number in the show, and something of a mega-track which includes a sequence where half the cast go over the top. We have to listen to every section in isolation whilst working out what needs to be done with it. There are approaching sixty performers on the recording, so you can imagine how painstaking the process of polishing them can be! We spend a lot of time making judgment calls. Occasionally an individual performer might have made a bit of a mess of a sequence where other players were also being recorded. Do we try to bury their mic in the mix? Or do we cut all the musicians who were simultaneously playing? It sounds a bit mercenary, but sadly with a recording, the out of tune notes never go away! There are also a number of instances where less is actually more. A delicate vocal can be strangled by too much orchestration, so sometimes we cut back so that something more subtle and beautiful can reach the light. You've got to kill your daisies if you want your grass to grow. That and other gardening metaphors...

I'm not a gardener. Well not a downhill one anyway!



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