Underscoring from "Dorian
(click title for MP3)
Four "incidental music cues" from my original stage musical, "Dorian-The Remarkable Mister Gray," based on Oscar Wilde's Gothic Horror novel, "The Picture of Dorian Gray."
Dorian Gray blackmails his old friend, Alan Campbell, to dissolve the corpse of Basil Hallward which is locked in Dorian's upstairs attic along with the possessed and demonic looking portrait of Dorian.
After the chemist does the grisly deed, Dorian indulges in his favorite private ritual - comparing his eternally youthful face with the monster's in the painting - the image of what Dorian would really look like if nature took its natural course.
But while lost in his grotesque reverie, the faces of Dorian's victims coming swimming to the surface of the painting. The faces of Sibyl Vane, the girl who killed herself in despair because of Dorian's cruel rejection, and Basil Hallward, the hapless painter of the portrait, undulate on the canvas in screaming, accusatory grimaces. Overcome with terror, Dorian flees his haunted attic.
Following "A Most Amusing Man" is a dialogue scene between Dorian and Alan. There are three short pieces of underscoring for that scene. Then "The Ritual" is the underscoring for the wordless scene between Dorian and his painting. For this posting, I put together a montage of all 4 short segments.
1) The Fight - Alan and Dorian break into a fist fight. The music underscoring the struggle is based on the main theme from "The Black Cat Ballet" which ended Act One. - This is a good reminder of how my original concept for the show was for it to be a rock opera - an idea soon abandoned as I continued work on the score. 32 seconds long. NOTE--It's LOUD, adjust volume control accordingly.
2) The Whistling Sailor at 0:33- Another piece of underscoring based on the moment from "The Black Cat Ballet" when Alan was seen leaving the Black Cat tavern with a seemingly sado-masochistic sailor. It's this indiscretion which becomes Dorian's blackmailing leverage in the present scene. 22 seconds long.
3) Scene Change music at 0:55- Alan is left alone. Dorian is heard playing the piano off stage. After warming up with a run through the Dorian Mode (an irresistible musical in-joke) he plays a reduced version of "Somewhere In-between," Dorian's major song in Act One. 45 seconds long.
4) The Ritual at 1:40- Interweaving themes previously established in the score, this is the music playing during Dorian's bizarre ritual as he gazes into a hand mirror and gloats over the contrast between his appearance and the monster in the painting. 1 min 50 seconds long.
Primarily recorded using GPO.
The photo above is of Hurd Hatfield and his painting from the classic film version of "The Picture of Dorian Gray." The fight illustration is from the 19th Century.