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Rep Season 2013 – Performance Day 21 – TOM WHITELAW (Composer)

January 31, 2013

‘It’s a kind of refrain,’

I am nearing the end of my work on The Faction’s Rep Season 2013. Blood Wedding has now opened and Fiesco and Three Sisters have been running for a few weeks.

For Fiesco, I produced soundscapes that combined audio samples of advertisements, political speeches and war correspondence. Now, editing together snippets of Hitler’s Nuremburg Speeches with 1950’s Budweiser commercials might make for an interesting sound cue, but it doesn’t half raise a few eyebrows with the neighbours. Next time I think I will use the headphones.

For Three Sisters we experimented with the placing of sound in relation to the stage, using the New Diorama’s technical specs to have sound directed from down stage left or stage right. The chime of a clock was then used as a transition from one act to another, merging seamlessly into a string section to introduce the final act.

Finally Blood Wedding, which opened two days ago, required the most work with the ensemble. For Fiesco and Three Sisters, the cues had been produced and edited during the tech rehearsals, often being the first time the cast would have heard some of the parts. For Blood Wedding the songs have been written for the ensemble to perform live, and early on in the rehearsal process we experimented with sound during workshops to see what we could produce.

The result was fantastic. Working with the ensemble on the songs for Blood Wedding was exciting and rewarding, and their ‘can do’ approach was inspiring. My demonstrations and suggestions were met with a commitment and enthusiasm that reminded me why I enjoy working with The Faction.

The richness of Gareth Jandrell’s translation of Lorca’s play presented me with the perfect starting point from which to compose the music for Blood Wedding, and when I first saw and heard the ensemble perform these compositions with such energy and emotion, I felt it was a job well done, and I thank them for that.

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