Compose compose compose compose rehearse rehearse rehearse rehearse rehearse WHOSE OPERA VIOLIN SONATA MUSIC FOR ROMEO AND JULIET
Were my brain attached to a live feed, the above would read on the marquee 95% of the time.
Since Romeo and Juliet just finished up, I’ll start there: our director Jean Randich approached me to write a funeral chant for Juliet in the style of Meredith Monk. I was so excited, I love the music that is vocal and syllabic yet not really in any language. For my piece I hummed a lot, thinking from my character’s head what it would be like to lose my daughter (I played Juliet’s father Lord Capulet) and found some syllables I really loved and a lilt that gave me the sorrowful atmoshpere I needed.
When I wrote the piece, I realized I needed to teach it to a cast of about 20, 10 of whom were untrained singers. I made a score and an mp3, but I primarily taught the song in rehearsal just through sheer aural repetition.
“Mai Lena” is first sung when we carry Juliet’s lifeless (not really, she just took the potion) body offstage. Jean then decided to have the song sung by student Assistant Director Maria when Tybalt and Paris die. It was so cool to write music for theater, I’m definitely doing it again.
Then, there’s Whose Opera, the collaborative class where we’re all writing libretto, composing, singing, and playing in our own mini-operas. I’m playing doublebass in 4 pieces as well as rehearsing my own, maybe even singing in one. I posted a few pictures of Dan’s rehearsal for his surreal opera about Rita Hayworth.
And then, finally, my Violin Sonata! I’ve been writing it since September, it’s about 19 minutes long, and I’m finally getting it recorded by Allen Shawn, my advisor, and violin faculty Kaori Washiyama!!!! So excited, can’t wait to see how it turns out.