Tonight marks the premiere of the CMU Drama School performance run of The London Cuckolds, to which I've recorded the incidental music. It's been a while since I've handed over my work to the sound designers, and I just couldn't stand waiting for Saturday afternoon when I could get to see the show, so I snuck in late last night and peeked in on the dress rehearsal. I got to see the Grand Finale music and the curtain call, and I couldn't be happier! The sets are beautiful, the lighting is suptuous, and I think the performance is going to be hilarious. But I wasn't there for the acting, per se...I was spying on my music, which blossomed in just the right place and surrounded the theater with sound.
I know the music is incidental. They don't call it that for nothin'- you could take it out and you'd still have a play. Nevertheless, I worked closely with the faculty to create music that (I hope) has become the foundation from where the play can take off. It's a period piece, written in the 17th century, but certain liberties have been taken with language, costumes, humor, etc. to make it more accessible (and knowing Drama students, scantily-clad). Likewise, the music sounds Baroque, as it was taken from Scarlatti Sonatas, but every now and then it's "tarted up" a bit with modern harmonies, and a certain sense of humor that still sounds like I could have written it. There should also be a dance choreographed to the music at the very opening, and a tiny song in the middle faked on the harpsichord. It's about pussycats...sort of. I don't write the wordz, I just sets 'em.
If the music in the final scene is any indication of how the rest of the pieces will sound, I think this could be one of the best showcases of my work, ever! Writing the music wasn't too difficult once I understood what the drama department was looking for. I'm also guessing that if I ever do another theater production, other departments will not be as intuitive about what they want to receive-I think this was a very cooperative collaboration!
This is the first music I've written for a production, and the biggest ensemble I've led, and the biggest audience that will be listening to it (albeit inactively). Even better was the fact that it's the first music I've gotten compensated for writing. A little daunting, in hindsight.
Certainly I owe many thanks to everyone involved! But let's not thank everyone yet...at least not until I see the whole thing on Saturday. Fingers crossed.
Come see The London Cuckolds!
Shows Tuesday-Friday at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm and 8pm.
Call the CMU Drama School box office for tickets 412-268-2407.
(CMU School of Music students get in for free, thanks to a generous offer by the School of Drama.)
Basic plot, cast, and info can be found here.
I hope you enjoy the show!