Tuesday 24 June 2008

Work work work

Work, work, work and work.
I had half of an afternoon last Sunday that I could consider as 'free' time, so I went to the gym to get away from any sort of thinking. The nights before were sleepless ones, for I had to score the string quartet parts and compose a movement for the quartet and the piano which would set the tone for mother and father’s first reunion. The piano starts, very calmly - and very Schumann-like and is then joined by the cello who builds the bridge to the string quartet part. They repeat a fragment of the theme and then the piano leads to a pizzicato moment, which shall describe the tentative attempts of the couple to recognize the missed past in each other. The first theme is briefly evoked again before they engage in a more passionate and violent section, with the mother’s theme of death hovering a twisted tango. I have never properly written for a string quartet before, and even if this piece can be considered as a sketch for more to come, I feel like a proud little boy who’s completed a very hard quiz. Writing down the music in the old fashioned way, with paper and pen is no longer seen as a arduous task. It is still a long route, but it’s a good training for my inner ear.
Now all the music is completed. I need one final session to record the electric guitars and bass for the last song, and then it will come the next crucial step: the singers, who, in the most of the case are untrained singers. The girls have nice voices, but they’re better actresses than singers. Lian-Yen and Yu-Guo overlooked or were not fully aware of that aspect of the work when they did the casting. They paid attention to the look and the acting skill, but seemed oblivious that it takes more than just having a nice little voice to perform and music and record it in the studio. But it’s a musical, isn’t it? Not a theatre okay… Pygmalion time for me in the next two weeks. Hopefully, they will show some vocal flexibility so I can get the closest to what I envisioned. For me now, they’re young trees in an orchard that need a few more years before reaching their full size.
With Pan Lili

The whole Auntie team

ChingYao coaching Jasmine Wei Wei

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