Friday, July 9, 2010

A little "night" music.....

...in little more than 24 hours, my music group (“Virgineola”) will perform the themes & highlights from Endstation Theatre’s rendition of Shakespeare’s Hamlet for the first time in front of people at the Light Up the Barn event, & I COULDN’T BE MORE EXCITED!!! To say that this endeavor has been exhilarating is a massive understatement. I have always been intrigued by forward thinking ideas within our regional arts community. When the notion of Virgineola working with a theater company to recreate a classic work came our way, there was no way I could decline. But I am getting ahead of myself...

The story begins last year, when I first saw Endstation’s productions of “The Bluest Water” & “My Brother’s Knife”. During both of these productions, my mind would wander in & out of different musical swells & drones with each plot twist or scene transition. After one of the shows, I struck up a conversation with Geoff about where the different musical pieces & sounds came from for these shows. He gave me the 5 minute “sound design 101” level answers & we both went on our merry ways. Later that summer, some of the Endstation folks caught a Virgineola in-store performance at a local record shop (Speakertree Records on 5th & Madison for all you fact checker types). We performed our usual spirited, yet reserved set of about 40 minutes. (NOTE: Geoff would later tell me that what really wow’d him was the “full” sound created by a mix of acoustic & electric instrumentation.) Geoff picked up a copy of the CD-R demo we were pawning off to fans at the time. It seemed that a combination of those early demos & our live presence brewed into his decision to work with Virgineola. Over the winter months, Geoff & I began to chat over the phone & online about the idea of live music accompanying one of his shows for the 2010 Blue Ridge Summer Theatre Festival.

As 2010 came to pass, we began to flesh out the vibe of this retelling of “Hamlet”. It would be set in 1864, with the Danish kingdom being retooled as a war town estate in rural Virginia at the depths of civil war. Geoff & I agreed that the tone of the entire performance would need to be dark & tense, with shimmers of hope shining through from time to time. His only other request was that we used much of the material that he had heard from us months prior. I spent the spring thinking through the different characters & themes within the story, & how I would marry the sparse compositions to them.

As the final weeks approached, Virgineola, now a solid six piece group featuring members of other Lynchburg based groups, began to rehearse the main musical passages that would form the score for “Hamlet”. I feel like these rehearsals were a very important step in what the audience will experience. By never rehearsed actual parts as they would appear within the live performance, the group takes on the freedom to react to the show itself. Where the melody line or rhythm is always mapped out, the remaining instruments work within the sounds around them to create the “full” composition. This process has always resulted in magic for Virgineola, & I would be foolish not to employ it here. The show, in it totality, is just too cool not to.

So, there you have it! The score to Endstation’s retelling of “Hamlet” is ready for consumption. It will be it’s own beast; one that I am 110% ready to take head on. The sounds, both from the group & the space itself, will make for a unique & engaging experience to those who spend an evening with it.



Nathan McGlothlin
Virgineola.......

3 comments:

玉苓玉苓 said...

睇完之後覺得有d頓悟..感謝分享...................................................................

Geoffrey Kershner said...

This is great!

srmsofttech22 said...
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