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Topic: "Prelude" to my original stage musical

  1. #1

    "Prelude" to my original stage musical

    I’ve composed a dramatic stage musical, and it’s been my primary project for several years now.

    At one point I had recorded a demo version of the full two hours of music for the show, but then I discovered GPO and went about re-doing the entire thing—inspired by the excellent sound of the Personal Orchestra.

    Adapting my files to GPO took me over a year to do, but it was well worth the effort. Along the way, I found myself expanding and honing my arrangements, since I now had a better way of discovering how the score would actually be played in a live situation.

    The instrumental tracks I’ve now produced have two functions: As backing tracks for a recording with vocalists (my next big project), and as a “virtual orchestra” to be used in a live production at a small theatre.

    The show’s form is closer to Opera than it is to Broadway, but has elements of both. There is dialogue, but often underscored, so that music is almost continuous throughout the piece. Entire scenes are sometimes set to music, so that taken as a whole, the show isn’t so much a series of songs as an impressionist soundscape through which the story is told.

    The score is for full orchestra, piano, rock/jazz drum set, acoustic guitar, electric guitar and synthesizers.

    Here is the link to a Windows Media Audio file (compromising sound quality, of course) for the show’s opening, “Prelude.”


    Sketch of this opening number:

    --Sun rising on a street in London, circa 1880. Citizens of all classes start filling the street: the well-to-do, street vendors, prostitutes.

    “Prelude” is a chorus number, featuring contrapuntal melodies, solos, and dance.

    FOOTNOTE: Over a year ago I was briefly on the GPO Forum, until technical difficulties prevented me from logging on. At that time I posted my first GPO version of “Prelude.” I still had much to learn about using the program, and there was one very helpful response to that post—that I needed “a good dose of smooooth.” After hundreds of hours more of working with the program, I feel confident in using GPO, and think at the very least I’ve managed to use bigger doses of “smooooth.”

    I’m very happy to finally be sharing some of my original work here.
    Randy Bowser

  2. #2

    Re: "Prelude" to my original stage musical

    OK, you peeked my interest. When can expect the Broadway production? Nice Overture and it certainly draws you in to an expectation of more to come. I assume these beautiful melodies are from songs include in the show. I hope it has a happy ending.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rayzalaf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Re: "Prelude" to my original stage musical

    Quote Originally Posted by wrayer
    OK, you peeked my interest. When can expect the Broadway production? Nice Overture and it certainly draws you in to an expectation of more to come. I assume these beautiful melodies are from songs include in the show. I hope it has a happy ending.
    No it won't have a happy ending if it follows the book

  4. #4
    Senior Member rayzalaf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Re: "Prelude" to my original stage musical

    Most interesting introduction to your work, I also look forward to hearing more,


  5. #5

    Re: "Prelude" to my original stage musical

    Excellent job on this, Randy. Strong work, with
    quite a lot of ingenuity, color, and well blended
    diversity. I love the sense of humor in parts of
    this, superbly done.

    Bring it on! I definitely want to hear the whole
    shooting match!


  6. #6

    Re: "Prelude" to my original stage musical

    Randy, the quality of this rendering is superb... and the writing, though I can't say I know this style very well, seems perfect to me. Absolutely fabulous


  7. #7

    Re: "Prelude" to my original stage musical

    Hi Randy,
    The electric guitar took me by surprise at first. Gave the first minute or so a very modern Broadway musical feel. You have done very well entwining all the different instrumental textures and dynamic personalities into one cohesive body; and smoothly, except for sudden stop transitional effects. I very much enjoyed listing to this work. Would like to hear and know more about it.

    "...Wiktor's a Jekyll-Hyde personality..." - Lycos Music

  8. #8

    Re: "Prelude" to my original stage musical

    interesting but the cheesy sounding electric guitar samples need to go. A real guitar would be my choice but that may not be possible. Perhaps a better sounding guitar sample would work. What are you using for the guitar?

  9. #9

    Re: "Prelude" to my original stage musical


    This is so exciting! You are living my dream man. This is something I have been wanting to do for the last few years. That's why I got involved with community theater musicals - to get some experience with the whole genre.

    I love the music. You have created this wonderful carnival atmosphere. What a wonderful rendering - I love the dynamics.

    Ok, I want to hear the rest. Seriously, put it on I-tunes and I'll buy it.

    I drug my musical theater buffs (15, 17, 18 year olds) in here to hear your overture. They love it - they want to know when we can license it to perform at the high school?

    Seriously - I want to hear more about this.

    Sincerely excited,
    Kenny Long

  10. #10

    Re: "Prelude" to my original stage musical

    This is wonderful, to finally have my original work up on the Garritan Forum, and now to have such enthusiastic, encouraging replies--and from some of the composers/musicians I admire so much here in The Listening Room. Thank you thank you.

    Wrayer, I'm afraid rayzalaf is correct--it won't have a happy ending. I don't mean to be coy about what the source material is, everyone can see what it is if they play the file, but it feels better to not bandy about the title yet more than I need to. But it's a 19th Century Gothic Horror piece, tragic in its out come.

    Thank you both, Wrayer and rayzalaf, for listening and for your great responses--As for a Broadway opening, Wrayer--that's not really the market I'm thinking of. I know Broadway well enough to know that I've wandered too far-afield in this score for it to be thought of as commercial in that particular market. But we're in an age where New York isn't the only place new stage pieces are born. I see regional theatres, small opera companies perhaps, certainly universities. I shudder to think of how Broadway producers would want the music to be truncated and made "more accessible"--fine for many good shows, but this is really outside of that concept. At the same time, naturally Broadway is a huge influence on what I've done with this "pop opera." Even though they are completely different, this piece is more in the "artsy" realm of "Street Scene" and "Paul Bunyon"--semi-operatic pieces which were completely out of the Broadway mold.

    EtLux I'm so delighted you enjoyed this. I rather imagine you caught the twinkling nod to Kurt Weill in the carnival-like segments.

    Roberto you're another wonderful composer to whom I take a humble bow of thanks for your encouragement.

    And thank you also, Michael. Do you mean the abrupt transitions didn't work for you, or just that they are clearly not elements one could describe as "smooth?"

    JS33, thanks for taking the time to listen so well that you have some constructive criticism. I'm afraid at this stage its too late to replace guitars, at least for this incarnation of the piece. Throughout the 2+ year recording process, I used so many different guitar sounds, I'm not sure which one is on this opening. It's possibly a guitar from my Korg X5dr module, processed through one of the various amp-sims I have. But the music is mastered, with So much work done in Sound Forge that couldn't possibly be duplicated now. Let me know if the electric guitar in other segments suit you better, as I post more of the work.

    Kenny! I'm so glad you heard this. Wow--thanks much for letting me know some students heard and enjoyed also. VERy encouraging!---Hmmmm, a High School production. With the best available singers, and a top notch technical team, it could work!

    THANK YOU ALL--And I'm so glad that you want to hear more. I will indeed return to post more. I hesitated at first at posting any, primarily because it's instrumental work intended to be supporting singers. Melody lines aren't always in the arrangements, and so much is left to the imagination. It's gratifying that the music sans singers can still be appreciated.

    The future of the project is wide open--I Do intend to put together a recording with singers, rather in the way "Superstar" was a recording before it was ever staged. But if I could attract the attention of an organization ready and willing to stage the world premiere---hmmm, Kenny, maybe we should talk.

    Thanks again.

    Randy Bowser

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