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My music



This page is a repository for some of the incidental music I’ve composed for productions at the Loft Theatre. Most of the links provided here are to inferior MIDI approximations of these pieces, but I hope in time to add more MP3 files containing the original studio recordings.

(The copyright in all the compositions represented here is owned by me. They may be downloaded for private listening, but may not be used for any other purpose without my consent.)

Pericles, Prince of Tyre

The co-directors of this October 2000 production wanted to use a variety of musical styles to represent the different lands and cultures that Pericles encounters on his wanderings around the Mediterranean. Most of this came from existing tracks that they’d chosen themselves; but they asked me to write the music for the scenes in Pentapolis, and also an overarching theme for the play.

I adopted a new style of working for this production, in which I first created prototypes of all the pieces on the PC, using Cakewalk software. These could then be converted to MIDI files and emailed to the directors for approval, adjusting the arrangements as necessary until they were satisified. The MIDI files then formed "templates" for the recording sessions with the band, allowing us to progressively replace individual tracks with real instruments in the studio, or in some cases (mostly the percussion tracks) leaving the MIDI version in the final mix.

  • The main piece we called Father’s Theme; it was composed to the words of Ariel’s song Full fathom five thy father lies from The Tempest. (The lyrics are included in the MIDI file – a good MIDI player will display them for you. I recommend vanBasco’s MIDI player, which shows you how the MIDI file is constructed and will even let you sing along karaoke fashion!)
  • After the tournament at Pentapolis, the competing knights perform a martial dance for the King. Taking my inspiration from the name "Pentapolis", I composed this piece using a pentatonic (i.e. five-note) scale.
  • The King’s daughter, Thaisa, falls in love with Pericles at the tournament and they subsequently dance together. Later, this theme gets a slow reprise as, with the King’s blessing, the betrothed couple nip off to the bedchamber....

Tom Jones

No, not the Welsh lounge singer, but the bawdy 18th century novel by Henry Fielding – or rather the stage production of it mounted at the Loft in July 1999, for which I composed around 25 minutes of music. Some of this I recorded myself at home, and some with my erstwhile colleagues Dave Chamberlain and Barry Gidden in Barry’s home studio.

  • The main theme, Tom Jones’ Gallop, appeared in a number of variations. The most complete version was used at the opening of Act 2 to accompany the protagonists’ journey to the Lion Inn; I called it The Road To Upton.
  • Bandwidth be damned. Listen to this MP3 copy of the original recording of Molly’s Theme: no MIDI version could do justice to Dave’s haunting rendition of the tune on low whistle, or Barry’s simple but sensitive guitar accompaniment. The line-up is completed by me on bodhran and keyboard.
  • Another MP3 file, this time of Tom and Sophia’s Love Theme as played by me on my old faithful Casio Celviano AP-5 digital piano.

The Winter’s Tale

In this Shakespeare production I played the travelling pedlar-cum-rogue, Autolycus. I had a number of songs to sing unaccompanied, and wrote the tunes for some of them myself. Autolycus’ first appearance (in Act IV, Scene 3) is singing the song When Daffodils Begin To Appear, to which I added a couple of harmony lines for some of the other characters to sing. For the MIDI version, I’ve jazzed up the last verse with some bass and drums! (This file also includes lyrics.)

Shirley Valentine

I directed Willy Russell’s one-woman play in September 1998, and found time also to produce a number of pieces of music to link (and occasionally underscore) the various scenes.

  • Here’s the main theme that opened the play. The tune was initially played by Dave on two overdubbed alto recorders, switching to flute for the repeat. The faltering 5/4 time signature suggests Shirley’s hesitancy about breaking out of the mould her life and marriage have apparently created for her.
  • The Island Theme was first heard faintly at the end of Act 1 Scene 1, underscoring Shirley’s daydream about travelling to Greece, "drinking wine in a country where the grape is grown". Then it was heard in full at the beginning of Act 2 as we meet Shirley on the beach at her island hideaway. The melody, which is only heard after a long guitar intro, was played in the original recording by Dave on his Chieftain low D whistle – a beautiful and haunting sound to which the MIDI version cannot begin to do justice. (Incidentally, the melody was reused from an earlier score of mine, for the 1993 production of Dennis Potter’s Blue Remembered Hills.)
  • A piece I’d written some time before (with the uninspired title of Phil 4) found service in Shirley Valentine covering the scene change in Act 1. The percussion on this MIDI version is a bit pants, but with any luck at least the flute solo might sound better on your PC than it does on mine.

The Farndale play

At the beginning of 1998, I had fun composing a very silly theme for the fictional ladies of the Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society, who brought their mystery thriller Murder At Checkmate Manor to the Loft stage. For no good reason, I called it The Farndale Rag (it’s not in rag time, but sounds like it might be).

This page last updated: 24 August 2009   Home | Performing | Travelling | Quizzing | Living  
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