One of my chosen instruments for this productions is the Fujara, a Slovakian flute. Its a perfect instrument to describe wind full of harmonics and undertones. Although it only has three finger holes it has plenty of melodic scope but one must be sensitive with the amount of air that is blown through the wind pipe.

Blended with a gentle humming effect from the voice as you blow into the instrument, its possible to get a very layered effect. I have also chosen to add a stereo delay to enhance its effect.

The following clip is presenting  my preliminary ideas for a mythological wind atmospheric landscape.

Mythological Wind effect on the Fujara by paul Pavey

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There are several instruments that immediately come to mind that will be suitable for this production. I do need to think about as many instruments as possible, within practical limits, to give me as much choice with texture and colour as possible. For example, a piano for all its versatility, drums and percussion for their rhythmic and archaic effects, a flute of sorts (probably a Slovakian Fujara) and quite probably an electric cello (for its combination of  real and strange sounds).

I was recently in the gallery ‘Uffizi’ (Florenceand saw in the picture ‘Perseus Freeing Andromeda’ by 16th century artist Piero di Cosimo, an instrument that looked like a cross Hurdy-Gurdy with a Flute/Bombarde.

Given the mythological influence of this scene, I am aiming to capture some of its resounding imagery in elements of my musical score. In the forthcoming blogs I will present some video clips of my early ideas and themes.

 

Now an understanding between the director and myself has been found regarding creative desires and needs, I now turn to think more specifically about the musical styles for this production. As with most theatre productions that I write for, the music will take several formats. These formats include  sound effects (which are usually recorded), recorded music and live music.

Both the recorded and live music is further divided into underlying atmospheric music (designed to enhance the mood of a given situation),  thematic music (designed to announce certain characters or activities), songs (often sung by one of the performers but may also be performed by myself) and functional rhythmic music (designed for use with movement and action scenes).

 Medusa by Caravaggio 1597

 

With an understanding of the work and all the practical matters agreed it is then down to an initial discussion to comprehend the needs and desires of the director. This is one of the most important moments in the process of collaboration, a balance between giving and taking ideas which produces positive and creative inspiration for all concerned.

If it is the first time you work together with someone, there is always a delicate moment at the begining where you grasp the artistic direction of the person you are about to work with ( hopefully, you find yourselves on the same wave length). I always attempt to ease back and let the director or choreographer speak as much as possible so I get the best idea   which creative direction to take in our discussion.

However well you may like someone as a person, you may not find a common ground immediately with which to work creatively and I find it important to remain open and as flexible as possible.

Picture above is `Perseus Releases Andromida` by Wiewael 1630

I was approached by Helen Wragg to compose and perform music for her production of ” The Odyssey” by Homer. Originally a poem written in 800 B.C.E. telling the story of a journey by the Greek hero ‘Odysseus’. Obviously the original text is in Greek, the leading english translation from is made by Samuel Butler, an adaptation for stage has recently been made by Matthew Kinloch.

Generally, my first stage of composing music for theatre (after confirming dates and fees and all manner of practical technical issues), is to get an understanding of the work itself  attempting to develop a profound comprehension of the concept and try to grasp  the directors version of the piece.

Here is a link to the original translated poem with further explanation.

http://www.online-literature.com/homer/odyssey/

 

Since September 2011 I have been studying part-time a Foundation Degree in Music Industry Entrepreneurship (http://courses.glam.ac.uk/courses/804-foundation-degree-in-music-industry-entrepreneurship)with the University of Glamorgan, Wales,

my principle mentor throughout the course is Dr Paul Carr, check out his blog. http://paulcarrmusings.wordpress.com/ . The other course tutor is Jon Goode.

As the course allows accreditation for prior learning which can be translated into prior experience, it has also caused much personal reflection as I delve into the ‘Pavey music archives’, (over 25  years of material). I have also picked-up the technique of academic essay writing which has been an interesting task.

Having finished an exceedingly busy 2010/2011 season with 5 premieres in German, Swiss and Cypriot theatres, over 50 performances and four compositions for dance choreography. The following season (2011/2012) would usually be spent practicing my various instruments while making compositional notes, experimenting with ideas for new compositions and doing bits of work here and there.

For example in January I worked in Lausanne, CH,  for one of the worlds leading ballet competitions http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nwG3RDyscY and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1ufOB7al9U

I have previously released four albums on CD, two dance class and two of composition works, this February I released a fifth album for dance class ‘You scratch my back…I’ll scratch yours’. http://paulpavey.bandcamp.com/album/you-scratch-my-back-ill-scratch-yours

I have also produced music for Patrik van den Boom, a clown from Norway and his short film : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxXaaje5vII

and a second short film for Tom Strini from the states: 

Several other short pieces have been made for commercial projects however, they are also in process and neither have links nor further available information (not everybody wants to workshop their ideas and plans in a blog format and still ‘analogue man’ and his ‘release dates’ play a role in present society).

In May, I conducted a performance of my arrangement for string orchestra from a section of music previously made for a choreography by Nick Hobbs called ‘Ek Stasis’.

The subsequent blogs (there will be 11 more) are the final stages in my effort to procure the Foundation degree and in these digital missives I will be noting my present compositional work with Helen Wragg and her stage production of “The Odyssey” by Homer. Not given to sharing my feelings via the internet, I will do my best to keep you informed of my working process and the compositional elements and form with which I work.

” you scratch my back…I’ll scratch yours ” is my third album of music for contemporary and modern dance class now available as a digital download.

Here is a link with an example track ( if you follow it, the entire album can be heard).

 

Albums 1 and 2 will be uploaded soon, followed by a few others no doubt!

Feedback is always welcome,

All the best !

Three days have passed accompanying this 2012 Prix de Lausanne. Its been an absolute pleasure working together with Todd Williams who is a wonderful teacher.

So it was day 1 for Contemporary Classes at the Prix de Lausanne and my first classes with a great teacher and choreographer Todd Williams. Here follows a short clip of me playing for a ‘warm-up’ exercise into some ‘drop-swings’. I,m sorry not to add any dancers but its a copyright thing……I,m sure you understand.

http://youtu.be/8nwG3RDyscY

and here’s a trailer for the 2012 Prix.

Prix de Lausanne 2012 Trailer

Next week I am going to be accompanying the Contemporary Classes at the Prix de Lausanne which I have done this last fifteen years (with one or two exceptions). It is one of the worlds foremost ballet competitions,  here`s a link to it

www.prixdelausanne

In recent years they usually film many aspects of the contest ( blogs etc.)for the internet and `dub` music over the clips……..Although the filming is pretty good,  this year I intend to film  and finally have a record of myself playing class…Of course, I will not be able to film any of the dancers etc. but you can view them on the web site.

Here`s a blog following Philip Handschin from a previous year who now dancers with Ballet am Rhein, there`s even a few notes of mine here and there to be heard !