If you've paid attention the past few days, my posting schedule has been rather sporadic. I have my reason. Is it technically an excuse? Yes, and I will do my best to be more consistent in the coming weeks. I've been hired to arrange a bunch of music for live strings to perform during a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. It's a high school production, yes, but they're paying me. It's not volunteer work and I can't just pass on it at this point. Plus, it's the first time since I left NYC that someone is willing to let me do live music arrangements for real. That's huge.
For the first act, when everyone is in the actual city of Athens, the music is going to be classical. Specifically, I'll be reworking Mendelssohn's beautiful orchestral scoring for the show. I'm working off of piano solo versions to make sure that the arrangements are teachable in only a three or so weeks. I have an eleven piece string ensemble and I can easily reduce sheet music like this arrangement of "Scherzo" to fit their needs and abilities.
The bigger draw to the job is this concept. When the Athenian youth enter the forest, the musical landscape changes. Everything is pop, rock, R&B, hip-hop, country--all contemporary music. I'm getting the opportunity to arrange songs like "Bad Romance," "Dog Days Are Over," and "Hot 'N Cold" for use with Shakespeare. The director just wants a little taste of the songs. At first they're just going to comment on the action. By the end of the show, the characters will be interacting with the orchestra. It's a really great concept to open up Shakespeare to a younger audience.
Here are three of the arrangements, plus a bonus song that will not be in the show now.
"Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga
"Dog Days Are Over" by Florence + The Machine
"Hot 'N Cold" by Katy Perry
"Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO
So that's what I've been working on. I have many more arrangements already written. I just need to transcribe them to the computer for audio recording and the ability to split up the score into separate parts for performance.