Hello again! And thank you for clicking over to the latest d'Blog. Our post comes from Michael Davies. The lyricist. Mr Words. That's right. The writer who has been curiously absent from writing d'blogs. To find out why, read on.
"But Michael B is the composer, I hear you cry! Well, I would if the internet was multi-sensory. So why is he doing all d'blog writing?
Good question. And not an easy one for me, supposedly Mr Words, to answer. Part of it is to do with the fact that I did attempt a bit of a blog during the writing process, couple of years ago now, so to revisit all that at this stage feels a bit repetitive. I stopped when we came to the hiatus (see previous d'blog entries around personal tragedy) and didn't pick it up again as things had moved on significantly by that point. Now, I find d'blogging being so ably covered by my musical colleague that my contribution is distinctly superfluous.
However, I am part of this musical, so I'm going to offer a little piece of the lyrical perspective. Whether you want it or not.
When we launched into this enterprise, I somehow entertained the notion that the musical and lyrical division of labour would be fairly evenly split between its two creators. How wrong I was. I think I can claim rights to, perhaps, four musical notes in the entire score. And quite right too. As soon as I began to hear Michael's extraordinary Romantic output, I willingly downed manuscript paper and quill in favour of the trusty Qwerty keyboard. There was nothing I could add to his musical virtuosity, so I pinned all my hopes on being able to keep up with him lyrically.
I also had training in story, thanks to an MA and some practical experience writing plays, so this was where I concentrated my efforts. We spent a long time getting our 'bible' right, choosing which bits of Hardy's epic tale to include and which to leave out, and then shaping them into a workable two-act structure. From this, Michael began to generate melodies. Lots of them. And all of them memorable and beautiful. I offered him a few snippets of lyrics at the start, but the reality became one of writing to the score.
Looking back, I couldn't honestly say it was easy - and maybe I'll explore why in a little more detail for a later post - but it was an absolute delight. My musical background allowed me to understand, I think, what Michael was aiming for (at least, most of the time) so it turned into a curiously exhilarating mixture of crossword puzzle and scriptwriting, two of my favourite activities. And all set to gorgeous music.
There's a real art to writing successfully for voices, and Michael has it. My intention throughout has been to supply words that are meaningful, entertaining and, above all, singable without descending into cliche.
But you'll have to judge that for yourself."
Thank you for reading. Please feel free to comment. We'd love to hear from you :)
Next time on d'Blog... Love songs and Australia. The composer's journey continues as TESS begins to take off.
HOW WAS IT FOR YOU?
MASTER AT WORK
INTERVIEW WITH A COMPOSER
ANOTHER MICHAEL'S STORY
THE LAST 5 MONTHS
LONDON STUDIO DAYS
A DAIRYMAID'S DIARY
IN THE STUDIO WITH TAM MUTU
THE ADVENTURE ROLLS ON
IT'S PRE-PRODUCTION TIME!
WHERE ARE ALL THE D'BLOGS?
A HERSTORY (THE FINAL PHASE)
A HERSTORY (PHASE THE 4TH)
THE LYRICIST SPEAKS
RECORDING TESS - THE SINGER
A HERSTORY (PHASE THE 3RD)
A HERSTORY (PHASE THE 2ND)
A HERSTORY (PHASE THE 1ST)
REVIEWS & REVELATIONS
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT ALEC
ONE HELLO IS HOW IT STARTS