Here I am going to skip an entire decade, the 1970’s. I can imagine there may be a lot of people who would like to skip the 1970’s but maybe for other reasons.
Throughout most of that ten year period I was living in Britain where I met my lovely wife to be. I also spent a day with George Harrison and became friendly with Arthur Brown. Yes, the Arthur Brown of the Crazy World and Fire.
(Don’t you hate name droppers? Okay, I’ll stop now.)
For a number of reasons I eventually became tired of pop music and lay down my guitar to learn how to compose ‘serious contemporary concert music’.
So, let’s skip all that.
You never know where saying “yes” to something will get you. We have now leap-frogged to the mid 1980’s and I am living in Boise, Idaho. A local theatre director asked me to be musical director and conductor for a production of Sweeney Todd. “Sweeney who?” I replied.
(Actually I knew who the dude was I just didn’t know it was a piece of musical theater since I hated musicals and did everything I could do to avoid them.)
She finally wore me down. I agreed and ended up having a pretty good time. The end of this little tale is that the artistic director of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival attended and apparently impressed with my efforts, hired me to score the next season of plays. It turned into a six year gig.
Guess what one of the plays that first year was? If you’re you thinking Othello you’d be right.
Unfortunately none of the Othello music got saved but since it’s high time to share some music with you, I’ll post some excerpts from other shows.
First, here is an overture for a production of Macbeth. This show was set in some contemporary South or Central American country with Macbeth portrayed as a military dictator. Obviously a revolution has to take place and the ancient indian culture provides the supernatural magic.
Next is part of an overture to Troillus and Cressida. This show had glam-rock spandex clad Trojans fighting the denim clad biker-gang Greeks.
Last is music for a crazy chase scene from strange, cartoon-like, Arabic-Commedia dell’arte version of The Comedy of Errors. Very goofy but fun.
In the next post we will finally arrive at the beginning of Sweet Willow.
The music on this page was never intended to last longer than the run of the production. It was all quickly recorded under the guns of deadlines back in the stone-age of audio tape, some of it of medium to low quality. Unfortunately some degradation had occurred prior to transferral to a digital format.
I’m finally, at long last, getting caught up with your Sweet Willow blog. Just wanna say that I love the music clips from Idaho. Your “Macbeth” is wonderfully atmospheric, and that’s a great tune you have running through it. And “Comedy of Errors” is entirely worthy of the compiler of the Weird, Strange and Whacko series. All ofr which has me looking forward to hearing the new Sonambulist Variations.
Thanks for the comment Paul. As for the tune running through the Macbeth Overture, the director asked for something that sounded ‘Wagnerian’. What you heard is what my idea of ‘Wagnerian’ was back then.
The Comedy of Errors chase played very much like an old silent movie when it was performed. Yes, the music could easily be included in the next installment of Weird, Strange, and Whacko.