|Are you scared yet?....|
- For the rest of the morning we were treated to a master class with David Dabbon, who works as a vocal arranger for broadway musicals, and even Disney! This was a HUGE treat, especially for me as a musical theatre nerd - as a composer I also spend my 'downtime' between writing my own choral music arranging choral music, quite often from the rock, pop and musical theatre genres, so it was great to get the insight and tips and tricks from someone who actually does it for a living, and clearly, very successfully! One of the biggest considerations, particularly for musicals is how heavily dance features in the number in question - for example, if you listen to the title number of 'Oklahoma' there is a lot of complex harmonies going on - not surprisingly, this is a number which is done with the actors just standing and singing. In a number where there's a huge dance break, in a well written arrangement you'll notice that the singing comes back in in unison, or with the soloist featured so the chorus can catch a breath. Another interesting statement David made was that, "If your writing is good enough then it doesn't matter how good the singers are!" - which is a really, REALLY good point to consider!
One thing this institute has been full of the 'inspirational quote', most often supplied by the course director Vince Peterson - one that has particularly resonated with me is; "Don't over think! There is beauty in simplicity! Go with your instincts!" - This is a great statement for me, as I've often wondered if my compositions are 'complex' enough, or 'sophisticated enough' - but it really is true that sometimes, less is indeed more. Another great quote came from David Dabbon (who was actually quoting someone else), to round off his masterclass:
"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes - art is knowing which ones to keep"
|Not a bad view from my 'classroom'...|
A hugely productive day at the Choral Chameleon Institute - I'm very much enjoying the positive vibe here at St Paul's. There's an excellent balance of focus and fun, as well as the hugely encouraging personas of each of the staff. So, it's time to get back to work, which in my case means translating scribbles into notated music and practicing my conductor arms in the mirror! #nerdalert
|There beautiful evening light on St Paul's church|