Friday, 5 February 2016

Still up...

It's been a long old day. It's 1am and I'm still working on arrangements having been in rehearsals all day, essentially scoring. Reading the newspaper articles about the project you'd think computers had done all the work. In fact, the Mail today said that the man entirely responsible for the music was the guy from Durham responsible for the "Android Lloyd Weber" programme. He was part of the team, of course, but it takes a lot of work to breathe life into the material his computers have been spitting out. The Mail said that Nathan and I had been solely responsible for lyrics... Which was wrong in itself. A significant amount of lyric content in the show is computer derived. The Guardian article, which so much subsequent journalism has been based on was actually fairly comprehensive. I'm not sure why people have run with the headlines without managing to get the facts right. Sometimes it feels like we're putting in an awful lot of work on the project just to be seen as silent partners or ghost writers. Introduce me to a computer programme that can even get close to orchestrating a West End musical and I'll happily eat my computer-generated words.

The rehearsals went well today. Apparently the cast worked late into the night last and broke the back of the harmonies in the last few songs in the show. There are a lot of harmonies to learn, that's for certain, although I wonder whether perhaps they allowed themselves to believe the task ahead of them was slightly more complicated than it actually is. With Sondheim shows and pieces like Angels in America and London Road out there, I think there's a fairly well-established president for musicals which are a bit of a vocal roast! I think the trouble is that there are only 8 main singers in the cast, which means there's nowhere to hide in an ensemble. Everyone has to be fierce and that's really scary. They are doing brilliantly, however. I think this will prove to be one of the strongest companies of actors ever assembled. Each performer is utterly unique. When they stand in a line, I guarantee you won't know which one you want to watch the most.

Right. I better try to go to bed. I'm up very early in the morning to continue with this non-stop process of orchestration. There is light at the end of the tunnel. There has to be. The first band rehearsal is on Tuesday!

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