MORE PRODUCTION MUSIC AND NOW THE LAST OF BLOCKING, PLUS:
Empirical evidence has thus far shown that the hypothesis of Friday
night composition and recording of
Wednesday's Childproduction music
is unsound. There have been two test of this hypothesis and neither
have yielded a positive result. Like the previous weekend, this past
weekend I did not get to creation of production music until Saturday,
and this time it was Saturday night rather than later in the afternoon,
as it was on September 23.
This Saturday evening it went slower than the previous because with
that session I created one scene transition piece that has a drum
track (via GarageBand),
one that I put off last weekend because I knew I would be putting
drums in and that it would take up more time, and last weekend I
wanted to crank out as many individual pieces as I could. I wanted
a drum track on this piece because of a particular upbeat mood I
want for this specific transition music. Because of this, and
because of more other instrumentation, Saturday night was all about
this one scene transition piece.
I created the drum track in GarageBand, then, as is my standard
practice, I played the drum part back on my
ran it into my
recording it in real time, as opposed to rendering a sound file on
my laptop then importing it to the 24-track. Next I laid two
chorded bass parts on my
Last I finished it off with a lead bass line on my
It was the whole session, but the pieces, a total of a five tracks
and running at just about one minute, is finished and now awaits
along with the other pieces already recorded.
Yesterday at Grant Park, not long before I realized
I had lost my bearings.
Again, yesterday, only one piece was composed and recorded. That
was partly because late yesterday morning I went for a hike at a
park, new to me,
Grant Park, and at
some point I got totally turned around and thus, what was to be
about an hour hike was a bit more than that, something like an
hour and a half longer. It ate into my day far more than I had
planned for, and it shortened the amount of time I could give to
the production music that evening.
Along with that, I also had a difficult time consulting with my muse
about the specific piece I was working on. It took me a while to
compose to the mood I was targeting. Eventually, the muse guided me
to music I was looking for. I did for this what I had done for
another piece that I created the previous weekend where I tapped on
deadened strings on my Embassy Pro to get a drum-like rhythm. I
played the melodic notes on my Viola bass.
Then, this morning I decided to make the piece from yesterday the
transition music out of the scene it had been written to go into.
The main reason is that I've established a certain motif for the
music going into flashback scenes; this is a flashback scene, and
yesterday's music doesn't conform to the motif; and the music
works just as well leaving as it would have entering that scene.
There are several more pieces of scene transition music to create.
It really will best of I can get those done and also get the mixing
and mastering done by the end of next weekend. I also plan to compose
and record the
music for the trailer,
and it's ideal that the trailer music be finished by this coming
Sunday night, too. This all means that I am going to need to be
sure I actually work on music this coming Friday (failed hypotesis
be damned), and not let it slip away as an unproductive evening.
Tonight, we enter our third and final week of
Actually, with the exception of a few small scenes with one actor
that will have very simple
the blocking rehearsals will be
at the end of tomorrow night ‐‐ not counting the tweaking
we all know will happen.
As written before, tonight and tomorrow feature some special
blocking that I felt it necessary to bring in an outside person to
assist with. As promised I'll detail all this later. I am not
wholly sure why I am being vague at the moment, but it's my
instinct to do so, so I am.
Wednesday we will
chunks of scenes that quickly criss-cross from various locations,
setting, and places in time. We have blocked them out of sequence
so as not to have every actor be
to every rehearsal. But now it's time to start running these sequences
in continuity so we can start working on pace and timing, and so
that we can all start getting the flow of the scene sequences into
Thursday will start with the
Then, due to an unforeseen conflict that came up for one of our
actors, we will run Act 1 for the first time, which was supposed to
happen on Monday, the 9th. That is now a "To Be Determined"
rehearsal, which was what this Thursday had been, after the
costume parade was over.
My set-up over the weekend in the
You can't see the audio cord connecting to
Tascam 24-Track recorder
my laptop (out of frame), but I am
recording the GarageBand drum part to the
Tascam, at the start of the recording
session, Saturday night.
Later the same night, laying one of the
chorded bass parts.
Recording the bass line, Saturday night, on
the Viola Bass.
Yesterday, using my Embassy Pro as a
REHEARSAL WEEK 4, DOWN & STILL, MORE MUSIC WORK ON THE AGENDA:
were not quite
this week because we've had to delay the special
from Tuesday night until this coming Monday. One of the actors
involved in the scheduled work was ill in a manner that interfered
with Tuesday evening being productive; so that was a
night for the show.
Wednesday we were back to our agenda, where we
the scene sequences that quickly jump around in set location and
time period. The scenes are often quite short and in many cases
the light will not fade to black but rather there will be cross-fades
of the lighting. There will also not always be scene-transition music.
Essentially, as much as possible the pacing of these scene sequences
will be that they are all melded together as one scene with as
little interruption in the flow as possible. Sometimes actors will
need to move from one part of the set to another for an adjoining
scene, and there will need to be music and fade-to-black/fade-up
cues; but the plan is, the hope is, to keep those as short as we
can, which I believe is most attainable.
We did our first
of Act 1, last night, save for the last scene, which has five parts,
the very last part which introduces a character for the first time.
Until we get to full runs of the show, that actor will only be called
when we run Act 2, and we'll start the night with that last, short
part of the last scene from Act 1. The goal had been to run all
of the act except that final part of the last scene. However, for
various reasons, we ran out of time and we'll pick the whole last
scene up next week, when we run Act 2 for the first time.
We ran short mostly because this was the first time running the whole
thing, and in continuity, and there were starts and stops to address
issues, such as prop management and a few broad tweaks of scene
transitions. Also, before we ran the act, our
worked with us during a
The highly significant portion of the costuming is now done, so it
was a good thing, but it ate some time up.
My plan for the creation of
is still to start back on it this evening and work steadily over the
weekend with the hope that I write and record it all and then
it all before bedtime Sunday night. We'll see how that goes. I will
be getting my COVID booster, as well as flu shots, this evening
and I note that a few of my friends have had some draggy side effects
from this latest booster for a good twenty-four hours.
But there still might be music or other
tasks I can attend to if the booster doesn't put too much of a
temporary slowdown on me. Maybe I could work on making that final
decision on what the
curtain call music
will be, for instance. I have a clear frontrunner at the moment,
but I want to seek other potential options before I close the lid.
I also have done the majority of the curating of the
and intermission music,
usually during lunch at the
rent-payer, but I
need to do a little bit of processing as well as sliding the songs
into one of those two slots; plus, there are a few more songs I plan
to add to the mix. There are also some
sound effectsound cues
I haven't yet grabbed from my
I am 99.999999% sure I already have every thing I need for the show,
that I won't need to purchase anything or do any sort of
work. If, for some portion of the weekend, I'm not up to sitting with
my basses to create scene-transition music, I may be up to doing
some of this other sound work. Catch me Monday and we'll see what
the weekend brought.
"My plan for the creation of
is still to start back on it this evening and work steadily over the
weekend with the hope that I write and record it all [by the end of
the weekend]...." That was what I wrote in the blog
post, last Friday. Of course, I also wrote the caveat that I would
be getting my COVID booster, as well as flu shots, that evening and
I noted that a few of my friends have had some "draggy side
effects" from this latest booster, some reporting it as, for
a good twenty-four hours.
Guess what, I, too, had those "draggy side effects."
Friday evening, right after the shots (for COVID, the flu and
I felt extremely logy; I did not feel like doing anything, at all.
I went to bed early, probably around 8:00. I did wake up, more or
less, about twelve hours later, but I was deeply fatigued and didn't
feel anywhere close to fully awake. I fixed breakfast and sat down
to plot out the work on the production music for the day. But, by
10:30 or 11:00 Saturday morning, I was back in bed and slept through
until around 7:00 in the evening. I was still fatigued and only about
half awake. I listlessly watched TV and was probably back asleep by
I did work on the production music on Sunday, however,
rather than any composition or recording of new material, I
music I had already created, though only for Act 1. I did it at
The Guild. Our
Marjory Strader, was at the theatre to
for the show, and since she was up on the powered lift, working on
the lighting, she did not want to be in the building by herself. So
I came in, with my laptop
and my portable speakers, and mixed in the
while she did her work. I, of course, first had to import the
raw tracks from my
to my laptop and on into
Logic Pro X, the
former which I did at home before heading to the theatre.
Since the vaccinations had knocked me out for most of the weekend,
I sought and was approved for two
days, this past Monday and Tuesday, from the
I finished composing and recording the production music. Tuesday I
mixed all of the Act 2 music. I have yet to
Will it surprise anyone who knows me or has read many of these blog
entries that after finishing all the mixes and listening back to
all the pieces, I'm second guessing a few of them? Each transition
piece is unique and the idea is to not have any repeats. But: There
may be repeats. I may nix a few of the compositions ‐‐
may ‐‐ then use a few others more than once. Thing
is, I often do this second-guessing routine after I've done something
creative, so I need to let some time pass before I can trust my judgement on
some of these pieces.
I have also done some other
work for the show. You five regulars may remember that those five
tracks older recordings of ambient sound/music that will serve as the
for specific scenes in the show; I have those prepped for their
mastering, or remastering, as well. I also edited an extension of the
intro to the music that we are going out of Act 1 and into intermission
with. It's a precaution to help us with timing of the end of that
last scene in Act 1.
Another call that I've made is that I've decided that what has been
my first choice as the
curtain call music
will indeed hold that spot. I've done no more curating for
and intermission music,
and probably won't unless I think of an appropriate artist that
hasn't already come to my mind. I've also chosen the music that
will be part of the background ambience for the bar scene in the
show as well music the background of other scenes. Meanwhile, the
sound effectsound cues
will be harvested tonight or tomorrow, all from my
I just have to go into the library and retrieve them.
I'm meeting Margie at The Guild again tomorrow, where she will do
some more lighting focusing, this time with the ladder, and we will
do a paper tech
of the lighting plot for the show. I'll likely bring my laptop in
case I need to wait for while she focuses, then I can work on
something that has to do with sound. Hell, I could at least start
the programming of the sound cues in the
Show Cue Systems
software on the booth laptop.
are coming along. We've finished week four. This week started out
with the very last
that second of two rehearsals with a pointed focus, and for which
I brought in someone to facilitate the specific needs of said blocking.
Now, we've moved on to
acts. As of next Wednesday, we start
full run rehearsals.
We had to run Act 2 this past Tuesday night without an actor, who
was out sick, which is not at all ideal for a show like this.
There really is no character that we can smoothly rehearse a whole
act, or the whole show, without. And running a scene with an empty
void on stage and someone reading the lines from off stage is
not terribly fruitful for that absent actor's scene mates. But,
when your ill, your ill, and it's best to stay home, especially
if you're possibly contagious. Plus, there's, you know, the whole
Unfortunately, we weren't able to run either act last night, nor
will we Monday, because another actor is out of town, that being
aa already known conflict from the start. And, really, I'm, as
suggested already, not a fan of running things with an actor missing
All in all, however, we are progressing along at a good pace. The
cast isn't off-book
as of yet, and I was generous about when their deadlines for each
act would be ‐‐ probably too generous ‐‐ but
they are all giving it a shot and, as our
Doug Patton, commented, they were all more off-book than they
probably thought they were. And as I believe I've stated already,
we are coaxing them to get all the way off-book as soon as possible.
Those deadlines for each act are just that, "deadlines."
More importantly, the cast has already engaged in a lot of really
good character development, and it's only going to get better from
here. Though I am reminded of something that Director
Margaret Perry said
to me when she directed my in
Banned from Baseball,
by Patricia O'Hara: she told me during a rehearsal, a little while
in, that she wanted me to give her the same
I gave her in my
but that she was afraid that I would start getting bored with it and
begin screwing with the performance. I'm hoping I don't need to worry
about that same thing with any of my cast.
Last night, though down two actors, one who is out of town, and
that same actor who was sick on Tuesday having a relapse, we did a
of the script. It wasn't a
we didn't sit at the tables in the boardroom; rather I had the
actors spread out in the seating of the mainstage space. They were
spaced far from each other. It was a suggestion from
Doug Patton, and the goal of the distance was to help encourage
more vocal projection.
The purpose of the reading was to have everyone dramatically deliver
their lines, now they have a bit more character development,
verbatim from the script with no interruptions in the flow. Again,
we are pushing the goal of being
as soon as possible, and they have an off-book deadline for Act 1
of this coming Thursday, then the following Monday for Act 2. We're
this coming Monday, so the cast has four days off to fit more
memorization into their schedules along with all their living
their life stuff. Mind you, I'm not at all suggesting they are
behind on heading toward off-book; as a whole they're in good shape.
I'd just love it of they were to get fully there sooner. We'll see
if my little plan for last night was productiove or not, I guess.
Other aspects are swimming along at a great pace, too. Our
for the show, Sarah Saunders, has provided us with a high percentage
of the props
we need. Our
Barb Jorgensen has, likewise, almost completely costumed the show
We are a whole three weeks away from
so we are in good shape, all the way around.
Sunday morning, exporting the original music tracks,
recorded at the time, from my Tascam 24-track
recorder to my laptop, before heading to DTG to mix
in the booth while Margie focuses light.
Sunday afternoon (into the early evening), mixing
the production music for Act 1, in the Guild tech
Monday afternoon creating, the rest of the
scene-transition music for Act 2
Tuesday, finishing off the last two pieces of
The line out from my
Ampeg bass amp
that runs into the 24-track recorder.
The daisy chain of foot pedals I used, variously,
for the music.
The props that have already been harvested for the
Marjory Strader, was back at
the theatre to finish
After she was done, we sat down for a
of the show's light cues. I brought my
laptop so that
if I had to wait a while for her to be finished I could grab the
needed sound effect
files from my
and copy them into the library for the show. I did have down time
and I mostly completed the task, including converting some of them
to MP3 files, which
is my preferred format to use in
Show Cue Systems.
I did still need one sound effect that was not in my SFX
library: a line of dialogue, which, based on it's nature, I was
confident I could find on-line. If not found on-line, it would be
easy enough to bring an actor in, probably female, to record a
But I was able to find it on-line, so all the SFX are now
harvested. I processed that one, Monday evening, to
it to the right sound for its use in the show.
The plan for tomorrow is to load all the sound files onto the laptop
at the theatre, then program the show in Show Cue Systems. I'd love
it of that's done by the end of day tomorrow, but the end of the
weekend is acceptable, so I could be back in the booth on Sunday.
Sunday and Monday I composed and recorded the
music for the forthcoming
which is scheduled to be shot the Monday of
As to what moments from the script will be in the trailer, I have
not yet determined that. It's about time to start considering what
will be used, however. As for my original
I haven't yet
any of it; that will be this evening. Along with that, I'll finish
trailer underscore music. I mixed it Wednesday during my lunch hour
at the rent-payer,
but did so wearing headphones, so I need to revisit the mix while
running it through speakers. I listened to it Wednesday evening
through the speakers and noted several adjustments that need to be
made. I'll master this music tonight, too, along with the
Tuesday morning I recorded an
interview spot with
at WDPR FM in
Downtown Dayton, as
publicity for the show. The spot will start airing this coming
week. There will be a link to the on-line version of the spot at
some point and when I have it, I will post it here. It will also be
shared to the official DTG social media accounts ‐‐ and
most certainly MY media accounts.
Monday evening I was able to work on the music for the trailer
for the night ‐‐ coincidentally as it would have been if
we were an
We were back up Tuesday evening to do a
of Act 2. Wednesday we began our
full run rehearsals,
which will be the norm from now on with the exception of one night
next week we have set aside to work on "problem spots."
There is one the is slated for that rehearsal, for certain, and a
few other potential spots, delending on what happens in the next
couple rehearsal. Other than that, it will full runs unless it
becomes evident something still requires focused work.
Thursday was the
deadline for Act 1, but the cast has already been giving off-book
a shot. It was just time to not even have the book in one's hands
for Act 1. As a whole, the cast has been doing reasonably well with
off-book. Some are in better shape than others, which is not unexpected,
which is the norm. But nobody is worrying me. This coming Monday
is the deadline for Act 2, and it looks promising, based on what's
been the norm thus far. Plus, they do have the weekend to get
off-book on 2, and work further on 1, even considering that they
have lives beyond theatre.
I took some rehearsal photos during the week, but
they were specifically publicity photos for distribution
to media, so they need to be exclusive to that
forum. I actually took a few others, but I don't
have enough to represent the whole cast and don't
want to leave anyone out. So, I'll post some personal
photos of rehearsal here when I can show you all
of the actors at work. (I was busy being "the
director" and kept forgetting to take pictures)
IT WAS A SOUND WEEKEND; AND WE'RE APPROACHING THE HOME STRETCH:
took the major portion of the whole weekend. I did the final
mix of the
music Friday, then spent the rest of the evening
that. Though I got a late start on it all; I didn't start working
on it until about 9:00. Then, as my first work on Saturday at
The Guild, after
lunch, I did some alternate mixes of that music and mastered it,
that as potential use in the trailer ‐‐ there may be
spots in the video where I want less of the musical arrangement than
the full one. I also went ahead and rendered some
MP3 versions of the
alternate mixes as potential as
for the show, and actually used one.
I then spent a considerable amount of the afternoon mastering the
scene transition music, some of it took me to task. I had a lot of
trouble getting rid of some hum or buzz or hiss in some of the
recordings, much of that coming from some of the foor pedals I
used, especially the
OS-2 Overdrive/Distortion pedal
SY-1 guitar synthesizer pedal.
Then, when I was done mastering all that, I decided that some of it,
specifically all the music meant to signify flashback scenes, are
not cutting it. I spent pretty much the rest of Saturday evening working
on creating something new to serve the flashback scenes. I finally
got something I like, using a midi synthesizer voice in
Rather than there being a unique piece of music going into each
flashback scene, I'll use this same piece of music, with a couple
variations. Originally I had bass riffs, and sometimes chords, that
were playing backward. It was a nice idea, but when I sat back and
listened to the pieces, they did not work. The new music works quite
well. It's actually a little reminiscent of the music I created to
go into the Mia-fantasy sequences in
For the Loyal,
not exactly the same but in the realm of the same concept.
Yesterday, I programmed the sound cues into
Show Cue Systems on
laptop back at The Guild, from noon till mid-evening. Of course, the
sound levels, though generally set, will be tweaked. And I have not
and intermission music;
that'll probably happen tonight before
or at least a lot of it will be done. I also realized when I woke
up this morning that I had missed putting one sound cue in SCS, so
that'll also be added this evening.
This is our last week before
begins. Tonight is the absolute deadline for the cast to be
meaning it's the deadline for Act 2. It's hard to believe that
is almost around the corner. I'm nervous, but not for lack of
confidence in my cast; believe me, the cast is doing just fine.
Nerves are just what happens.
Saturday evening at The Guild, mastering the new
piece of production music.
Yesterday, back at The Guild, programming the sound
cues into Show Cue Systems.
Last night we wrapped
our last pre-Tech
week of rehearsals.
It was, as those you who have followed along will know, the first
week for the cast to be 100%
they're doing relatively well ‐‐ some more than others,
which is usual, yadda yadda.
We did full runs
every night but Wednesday. That night I worked on a few selected
scenes with a few selected actors. With one scene especially, I
wanted the ante to be upped; our work Wednesday paid off in spades.
By the last time we ran the scene that night it was just where I
want it to be; and it was there last night, too. And the other
cast who watched it felt it, as well.
Unfortunately, there was another absence due to illness last night,
which handicapped us a little bit, but we coped. So now, we move on
to that last 50-yard stretch before Opening Night!
Yesterday was cast member Ghiovanna Dennis's birthday, but she came
to rehearsal anyway. And not just that, she, and her wife, Darbi,
treated us to delicious food from the food trailer they own,
Smokin' Dew's BBQ and Shakes.
I had the Pulled Chicken with a mild-to-medium spicy BBQ sauce
(which I can't remember the name of) and Cold Slaw; it was
go-o-o-o-od! The rest of the cast and our trusty
liked their choices, too. So now I can endorse Smokin' Dew's with
righteous honesty, and I am!
Ghiovanna & Becky Howard (Strutt) in
one of their scenes.
Heather Atkinson (Samantha) & Jamie
Ghiovanna & Ryan.
Kayleen & Heather.
Ghiovanna get's Birthday Flowers last night from
her boo, Darbi.
Then Ghiovanna goes to work (on her BIRTHDAY,
no less), seen here taking the order of some
dork, with Becky back there checking out the
menu & Darbi inside the Smokin' Dew's trailer
fixing up some yummy grub for another cast member.
LAST THREE PHOTOS BY JAMIE McQUINN
NEW BEATLE MUSIC!!!!!:
For those of you who don't know ‐‐ and despite how it's
hard for me to fathom, there are those who would not be aware,
or perhaps care all that much ‐‐ there will be a new
recording by The Beatles
that will release next Thursday. It's one of several rough demos by
John Lennon, given to
Paul McCartney in the
Yoko Ono for
consideration as part of
The Beatles Anthology
series, a song titled, "Now and Then."
Though the remaining Beatles, Paul,
George Harrison, who
was still living at the time, and
Ringo Starr, tried to add
to the original, crude cassette-tape recording, the technology of
the time didn't allow John's original recording to be cleaned up
enough to be used in a high-quality finished work. They'd had
success with two other of John's demos,
"Free as a Bird"
but, in the mid '90s, "Now and Then" was a lost cause.
Twenty-some years later, along comes
who directed the six-part Beatles documentary
In that, his production company utilized an AI audio software to
isolate some dialogue the boys were having during rehearsals while
fiddling on their instruments. The software eliminated the sounds
of the instruments and other extraneous sounds, bringing their
conversations to the forefront.
Jackson, again used that technology to isolate John's vocals on
"I've Got a Feeling"
in the footage of them doing that song in 1969 for the famous
The result is only John's voice along with the visuals of him singing.
Paul has been using this special footage, incorporated with him and
his touring band playing the song; and thus he's been doing a duet
with John, via this technology, as part of his in-concert encores
during his still-on-going
Got Back Tour.
I saw the show last year in Knoxville at the
Thompson Boling Arena, and
watching and hearing Paul sing with John singing on the big screen
behind was awesome. It may sound like it was cheesy or creepy, but
it was not.
That's the technology that's been used to pull John's voice out of
the crude "Now and Then" demo and clean it up for strong,
high quality audio that, along with an acoustic guitar part that
George recorded for it during their failed attempt on the song in
the '90s, Paul and Ringo added to last year for the full arrangement
we'll all hear next week.
So, "Now and Then" releases to the world, November 2.
Then, one week later on November 9, expanded versions of the two
greatest hits collections, originally released in 1973,
The Beatles 1962-1966
The Beatles 1967-1970,
will release; these two collections commonly referred to as the
Red and Blue albums. The new editions have been
remixed and remastered using this same AI technology.
And here's the thing to know: the AI technology has NOT
been used for either "Now and Then" or the new editions
of the Red and Blue albums to create any vocals or
instrumentation that did not exist. It's not an AI replication of
John's voice; it's a clean separation of that voice from a poor
quality, muddled recording. For the two albums, it's used to
separate vocals and instruments that were originally on one track
in the master multi-track recordings (known as
bounced or ping-ponged tracks),
so that each vocal or instrument now is on its own separate track
and can be mixed into a more robust stereo sound.
Here are a couple of the many, many articles on the releases and
the methodology of the technology used to produce the recordings:
I haven't done one of these for a celebrity for a
few years, since before the pandemic lockdown. The
death of Matthew is one I can't not do one of
Like millions and millions around the world I am a
big fan of
where, again like most of those other millions, I
and his talent. It goes without saying that along
with his five co-stars, Matthew (and his Chandler)
are carved into not only American pop culture but
the pop culture of all of western society, plus.
Still today, it's true that there is an episode of
playing somewhere in the world evey minute of the
Matthew's brillance as a comedic actor was certainly
displayed on this signature, hall mark show. But
his range was demonstrated, his ability to not only
be a brilliant comedic actor but a savvy dramatic
actor was shown by his subtle, restrained
performance as Joe Quincy on
The West Wing,
then his dynamic performance, in his staring role
as the complicated Matt Albie on
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
I admire his work. I admire his vigor in his struggles
against his personal demons. I haven't read his
memoir. I probably will now. It's kind of pathetic
that it's taken this to motivate me.
for the show's promotional trailer was shot Monday night. Only a
small part of the
was specifically performed for the camera, and that was all that
was shot thusly. The rest of the footage was shot passively during
We now have half of our four
under our belt. And the cast and crew are zipping themselves to the
ready-set-go in front of an audience state. They're like a tenth of
an inch away. We're just about at the BIGGame Onmoment.
came to an official end with last night's
We are at
The cast is ready and I so hope they get the audiences they deserve.
I feel very fortunate to have been able to put together this
wonderful cast. I am bias, of course, but if you're close by you
should come see these players play.
Never mind that I woke up this morning with a stress headache. I'm
not feeling anxious, but clearly I am anxious about
I suppose this is permissable.
On another note, I will be posting production photos shortly.
opened last night. Unfortunately, it wasn't a sold-out house, it was
maybe at about half, but the audience definitely liked the show! Most
fortunately the actors and tech & crew rocked it! If I did anything
right as the director it was in the casting and the recruitment
of designers, production staff, tech & crew.
I'm afraid that because this is a lesser-known show that the cast
isn't going to get the audience sizes they deserve. I do know that
there were beaucoup of theatre production
last night, which affected our attendance numbers, at least to some
extent. Usually our Opening Night is at or close to a full house.
So maybe I'm being unduly pessimistic and the attendance sizes will
swell some. I can hope, because these actors should be able to play,
to tell this story, to good, full houses. They are awesome.
That's it for now; but, believe me, I'll be writing more about the
In case you haven't been made aware, what is being called, and I
think with veracity, the last Beatles
song, "Now and Then," released to the world this past
Thursday. A brand new single of a brand new Beatles song some
forty-five years, or so, in the making.
The late John Lennon laid
the basis of the song and the recording down on a simple, portable
cassette tape recorder in the late 1970s, making a demo of a new song
idea that may not have even been completely finished, but certainly
was more than just the kernel of a song idea; there was a lot of
development there. In the mid-90s,
Paul McCartney, the
now late George Harrison,
and Ringo Starr, with
as producer, began working on cleaning up the crude cassette tape
recording and adding instrumentation and vocal backing to it. But
the quality of the recording was too poor at that time to get a
viable foundation to add on to.
But last year, with the help of AI audio technology developed by
Movie Director Peter Jackson's
production company, John's voice could be cleanly separated out and
a bit. Plus, there was acoustic guitar work from George recorded
for their attempt on the song in the 1990s.
So, Paul, Ringo and Producer
‐‐ son of The Beatles' legendary producer,
‐‐ took John's vocal and George's acoustic guitar work,
and added the rest of the instrumentation and more vocal work.
It’s not the greatest, most brilliant song to come out of their
amazing cannon of work, or John's solo cannon, for that matter. It’s
still quite beautiful with a lovely melody. I'm not convinced, as I
mentioned above, that John was finished with the composition. There
may have ended up being another musical change in the song. The may
have been revisions and/or additions to the lyrics. That supposition i
s academic, though.
I can't say whether John was writing to
Yoko or Paul,
or all of the Beatles. But I do find it interesting that Paul has
reported for years that the last thing John ever said to him, on his
doorstep as Paul was departing John and Yoko's Dakota apartment was,
"Think of me every now and then, old friend." In 2023, for
me, the melancholy of the music, the sentiment of the lyrics, the
arrangement, and the production, all make "Now and Then"
a love letter from John to his old band mates and a love letter from
Paul and Ringo to John and George. These men are family, they're
Peter Jackson's excellent music video absolutley enhances the whole
concept of the love letters from John to them and from Paul and Ringo
to him and George. Jackson's brilliant merging of new footage of Paul
and Ringo with footage of them with George in the 90s and then of
all of all four from their early days in Liverpool, through the
different Beatle eras, and then severel clips from home movies from
Beatle days and post-Beatle days, makes the video, showing over that
lovely music, a perfect mixture of sorrow, sentiment, and joy. It’s
touching and fun, and captures the spriti of how much these men love
each other. Because despite the business conflicts and all the petty
sibling disputes, these four men were brothers who loved each other.
And the song and video, are, to me, about that.
Like millions of others, I find the song and the video a suitable
denouement for the Beatles' cannon and their legacy. To have them
all playing together, despite the disjointed method, is surreally
awesome. Some, I think are underwhelmed, but I also think they set
their expectation too high. Paul, Ringo and company had a crude,
poor-quality demo where John wasn’t going for a studio performance,
just getting a song on tape, and they worked magic on it.
Some have complained that the production and some of the instrumentation
is too modern, too third millennium. I guess they wanted it to sound
like it's a recording from 1968. I find that criticism shallow, maybe
even a little ignorant. These men pushed the boundaries of musically
evolving. The difference in that band from their first album they
recorded in 1963 and their last album they recorded in 1969 is a
spellbounding evolution. For all practical purposes it's an entirely
diffrent band. Others did similar at the time, but not as much and
I willing to bet the others were motivated by seeing how The Beatles
sounded so very different every damn year of their brife existance
as a band. A new, 2023 Beatles recording should sound like a new,
2023 recording. It sure as hell would have if they were all alive
and still a working band.
You can count on me revisiting this when I have better digested the
song and the viseo.But for now I'll just leave with this:
I find the song is awesome. Paul, Ringo, and Giles did great. And
Peter Jackson is so frickin' good at what he does. But, then he did
have a cornucopia of good footage to work with.
Our first weekend of performances was more than pleasing. Have I
told you all how lucky I feel to have these seven fine actors on
the stage telling this story?
They had good audiences, who seriously appreciated their work and
the overall production. Some audience members gushed. One said it
the best thing they'd seen in a long time. Now, I didn't ask for a
litany of the recent shows he's seen, but the comment still stands
as damned complimentary. I just wish more seats had been filled
this past weekend. Maybe there will be better attendance these
next two weekends.
As for my contribution as director, I have mixed emotions and a mixed
review. There are some aspects of the production I believe I did
pretty damn well with. But I believe I utterly failed in other ways.
I'll get specific in my
essay after the show has closed. I may be less negatively critical
of my inequities by then.... we'll see.
But with the work from the cast and the crew, this show is worth
your time and money to come see!
Here are some official production photographs from
the camera of Photographer
Ghiovanna Dennis (Det. Aleece Valez) with
Jamie McQuinn (Det. Walt Dixon) with
Stephanie Henry (Susan Merrit) & Ryan
Hester (Martin Merrit)
Becky Howard (Molly Strutt) with Ghiovanna
The dorky, delusional director who thought
he was some magnificent leader.
WILL THERE BE ANOTHER SINGLE TO BUBBLE UNDER THE TOP 1,000,000 ON
Over the course of many weeks, a few months, really, I've notice a
trend. Though we're not looking at
Taylor Swift numbers
by any wild stretch of the imagination, I am noticing that one
track from my album,
Virtually Approximate Subterfuge
is being streamed repeatedly. Now, it's not some major amount. I'd
be surprised if I've made 1¢ as of yet. But it's the song
‐‐ instrumental, actually ‐‐ that keeps being
Apple Music and
I'm going to guess, Spotify
and other streaming services. It's the jazzy instrumental,
"Cozy Anxious Chaos."
Several, maybe a dozen or more streams on Apple Music have been by
one person in Copenhagen, which I find most interesting. The most
recent one I know of was from Texas.
Because it's somehow getting attention, I'm contemplating releasing
"Cozy Anxious Chaos" as a single, through my current distributer,
CD Baby. If I do, I'll likely
have physical disks pressed, despite that CD Baby now only handles
electronic distribution. And if I do release it as a single, I'll
very likely tag on an extra track, which will almost assuredly be
one of two instrumentals I've composed and recorded as theme music
for a Dayton Theatre Guild
show I've been involved with. That addition will be in spite of the
fact that CD Baby will categorize the release as an album because
there is more than one track attached. But
iTunes, where I'm hoping
to eventually, actually make a sale, will CORRECTLY consider
it the single that it would be.
I'm not wholly convinced yet I'll do the single release. However,
I did shoot a couple terabytes of DV movie footage while I was
recording "Cozy Anxious Chaos" so the odds of me firing
up Final Cut Pro X
and creating a
for my YouTube channel
are high, exceedingly, as in:
happen. I'll likely get started before the closing of
the current production of Wednesday's Child (see above).
for True West
were conducted Monday night and last night and let me tell you,
there was some serious competition in the room. A lot of really good
talent showed up. It's all going to boil down to what actors have
the best chemistry together, seem to fit together, and which ones
come closest to meeting Director
vision. He's got his job cut out for him; and no matter how you look
at it, some actors who could play the roles will not be cast.
That's the bitter-sweet thing about having a lot of strong talent
show up at auditions.
A-a-a-n-d we HAVE a cast for
Director Doug Lloyd
definitely had to sleep on it, because there were several different
combinations of actors, both completely different sets of names and
various interchangings of names, that would have made a fine cast.
There were several actors who could well play any of the three male
characters. Here's the cast Doug has chosen:
Last night was the
(see the photos). I attended, but at this
stage of the production it was
Doug Patton's rehearsal. I attended in case
there were any direct questions for me from
the cast in terms of performance. I will
address any such questions from the cast,
but, except for compliments and cheerleading,
I no longer am instigating any
duties are over once the show opens. Though
Doug did come to me with something last
weekend that needed addressed because it's
still really part of the director's vision
for the show idea, and we then addressed
the issue together, last night. Otherwise,
last night, save for that one item, all I
did was attend while the cast
ran their lines.
Two more weekends (six more shows), starting
tonight at 8:00!
Kayleen Nordyke (Becca Conner)
Ghiovanna Dennis (Det. Valez)
Stephanie Henry (Susan Merrit) Doug Patten (stage manager)
Our second week was as good as our first, performance-wise at least.
The audience sizes were still a little anemic. It was a little
better for the Saturday show, but still, this cast ain't gettin'
the audience members in the seats that they oughta be.
We have one weekend, three shows, left. If you're close by the
Dayton area and you haven't seen it yet,
AND THE NEXT GUILD SHOW BEGINS ITS JOURNEY TO OPENING:
for Sam Shepard'sTrue West
start tonight with the
Usually, as the producer,
I'd be at the read-though to discuss some business with the cast,
including things like getting a publicity sheet filled out and the
deadline for their headshots
and bio text for the
However, I'm not likely to be there this evening. I have a medical
procedure this morning ‐‐ nothing serious, simply a
standard preventative procedure that those of us no longer in our
youth need to have done ‐‐ and whether or not I'll
be fully recovered from the anesthesia by this evening is a
wait-and-see proposition. If I'm not there tonight I'll be there
tomorrow. I'm thinking I won't be tonight; but who knows?
MUSIC VIDEO, POSSIBLE NEW SINGLE, BETTER PROMOTION, & MERCH(?):
Last night I started the
for the instrumental
"Cozy Anxious Chaos,"
off of the
Virtually Approximate Subterfuge
album. I fired up the 5-terabyte external harddrive that holds
the DV footage of me working out, rehearsing, and recording it.
All I did was audit the movie takes in the
Final Cut Pro X
project, noting when the musical takes that made into the final
mix of the audio recording happen. That way I can use those parts
of DV footage to synchronize with the finished
However, I discovered that I didn't actually shoot footage of myself
recording a couple of the MIDI
keyboard instrument parts, or at least not the takes that made into
the final recording. There's no footage of me playing the faux
trumpet take that is on the recording, most especially the solo
section, which I was hoping to use. There's also none of the actual
recording sessions for the faux violin part. There's plenty of footage
of me working them out and rehearsing them, and some of that might
work being synched with the finish product ‐‐ I'll find
out. I recorded "Cozy Anxious Chaos," and thus, shot the
footage in December of '21 and January of '22, so it's been a while
ago so I didn't recall all that I'd shot footage of, but I was
sure I got some of all the final takes of the audio
recording. Oh well, there's still plenty of footage to use,
I actually haven't audited exactly everything, but I am reasonably
certain I have footage of the good musical takes of me on the
midi sax voice and the midi trombone voice. I know I have the
bass and the regular and electric piano parts.
Honestly, I haven't completely envisioned what the whole concept
for the music video will be. Obviously I'm using the footage
discussed above, and I've had firm thoughts on filters and effects
to put on that footage. If I had the budget, I'd hire an animator
for some sequences. I'd have animated players on the trumpet, sax,
trombone, and violin (the midi keyboard voices). At this point I
have an idea to do a poorman's animation where I use images of the
instruments and make them move around on the screen by manipulating
them in the editing process. But that might end up looking too
cheesy. However I end up producing the music video, the
isn't likely to be posted to
my YouTube channel
anytime soon. I doubt it beats December 31 of this year.
Whether or not I release "Cozy Anxious Chaos," or possibly
an edited version of it, as a single isn't decided, yet. I'm leaning
toward doing so, despite that my first two singles have had absolutely
no traction. Also up in the air is whether or not I put out physical
CD copies of the single. With the exception of "out of my
trunk," I have no venue to market a single; actually, that
goes for the album now, too, since CD Baby
stopped handling physical CD distribution earlier this year.
If I do release a single, whether there's a CD or not, it's highly
likely that I will have an extra track, a proverbial
"B-side" (for those of you old enough to remember vinyl
45 RPM singles). You five who have read previous blog posts may
remember that I plan to use one of two instrumentals that I've
composed and recorded for
Dayton Theatre Guild
productions. It would either be one titled "For Loyalty's Sake,"
done for the play
For the Loyal,
by Lee Blessing,
or one titled "Wednesday's Child Theme," composed for the
current DTG show,
by Mark St. Germain,
the latter, for which you five regulars will know that I am the
There's some possibility I would tack both of them on as extra
tracks. The extra track, or tracks, would be for both the electronic
version, which could be purchased at
Apple Music (iTunes)
and Amazon Music, among
other on-line services, and the CD disk, if it's published.
You can hear portions of both "extra tracks" as
the main theme music for the promotional trailers for the
respective DTG shows: For the Loyal trailer
for "For Loyalty's Sake." Wednesday's Child trailer
for "Wednesday's Child Theme."
One issue in the far-less-than anemic sales of the album and the
nill sales of any single is my admitted ineptitude at anything
closely resembling good marketing strategy of myself and my music.
I swear that even the majority, the overwhelming majority
of people I know, of my friends, have not even bothered to listen
to any of my music, even when it's been a link to a music video on
my YouTube channel.
And if they have they haven't been impressed enough to even give
the weakest of a compliment. There have been a handful of friends
who have supported me with a purchase of the album, and others who
have given me positive feedback. But, overall: nothing.
As I've written here before, I also can't seem to get even the
local public radio station, WYSO,
to pay attention, much less actually play anything. Like I've said
before, I have no evidence the CDs I've sent WYSO were even listened
to; if they were, and if there's been any airplay, I am not
aware of it.
There's a push to marketing that I am not good at or even versed
at. That's my fault. I'm not versed because, I must admit, I'm
intimidated by what seems the complexity of it all. That's all on
me. I also have been needing to set a virtual market place up at the
klstorer.com website proper, and I
haven't done that yet, somewhat because of the setup cost. I could
however, have a page where people could contact me to purchase the
album CD or the single CDs through
PayPal, in the interim,
before I set up a market page through my domain provider.
Also, the issue of merchandizing came up again. I was telling
someone last week how it had been suggested a few months ago that I
create and market some merch related to my music and my album, and
that my response was, and still is, that I find it presumptuous for
me to offer merch for sale when there is not yet a following. Their
response was that the merch might help spark a following. That seems
a bit counter-intuitive and I'm not convinced. At this point my
thought is that for me to offer K.L.Storer t-shirts, etc., would be
a vanity proposition.
But I DO need to up my promotional game.
Last night, auditing the footage of the
"Cozy Anxious Chaos" sessions.
Of course, the show is
right now, though its rehearsal period has Thanksgiving,
Christmas, New Years, and other holidays right there in the midst
of things. That just gives the four cast members a bit of time to
get at least close to
in between their holiday activities, obviously.
and run crew
haven't been drafted yet. I'm about to embark on that task. There
are a few specific people I'll approach first, then go on a
general search for whatever spots are left unfulfilled. So, there'll
likely be an entry here about a tech and/or crew call. And, of
course, on social media as well as asking for references from my
connections, though I don't have the wealth of connections I'd
like to have.
We needed a
too, but that's been crossed off the list, just this
morning, in fact. I secured Kayla Graham, who is close and personal
with one of the cast members, having married Jared Mola only two
calendar months ago to this very date. We already had our
(Carol Finley). Still need a
for the show but I have a few candidates for that, too.
Wednesday's Child is a fast-paced thriller, murder
mystery, and more. Susan and Martin Merrit are unable to have
a child on their own, so they hire Becca Connor to serve as
a surrogate. When Becca is found dead, a police investigation
explodes the lives of everyone who knew her. As Detectives
Valez and Dixon begin to put the pieces together, secrets
surface, alibis weaken, and lies are uncovered. This dramatic
play explores motherhood, passion, and that thin line between
right and wrong.
The Cast of WEDNESDAY'S CHILD
(in order of appearance/speaking)
Det. Aleece Valez
Det. Walt Dixon
Dr. Samantha Sutton
The promotional trailer for WEDNESDAY'S CHILD
If it's still early enough this fine Sunday, and if you're close
enough, you still have one last chance to see this great cast
killing it on stage.
Meanwhile, I'll be back soon with my personal
on the production that will especially focus on my assessment of my
There are a few things on the docket I planned to get to work on.
So place your bets! Let's see which gets a lot of, or any,
This one must get my full attention since it's not
just my own project but a
Dayton Theatre Guild
Sam Shepard'sTrue West
opens at The Guild this coming January 12. Not only do I have
duties for this show, but I also have
duties, which is usually the case if I'm the producer. As producer
I still have some
to bring into the production and some budgetary items to hash out.
As for the
I've not even begun, but probably will before this long weekend is
is only six-and-a-half weeks away; I state "only" because
though it's not right around the corner, it's really not all that
far off and could sneak up on me before I know it.
This long weekend will probably see me giving at least some
attention to the
for the instrumental,
"Cozy Anxious Chaos,"
off my album,
Virtually Approximate Subterfuge.
The thing is, before I really start to edit the music video, I
need to decide if I am going to release "Cozy Anxious
Chaos" as a single or not. If so, am I going to release the
full 6:41 off the album or am I going to edit a shorter single
version? The music video should probably be whatever the single
version is, whether it's straight off the album or a truncated edit.
I could still gather some graphics ideas I have for the concept of
the video, even if I don't have the exact sound track yet to edit
After a break of several months, or more, I'll be getting back to
work on the restructuring of my two-act play. I know it's going to
be a major revision,
since I'm going to move things around in the manuscript. There may
too, at least to some extent. And I'm sure I'll
kill a little darling or two.
I also feel the urge to work more on the extensive
that governs the universe of the play, as well as my novel manuscript,
which has been in limbo for a couple decades now. I likely won't
get to the play over this weekend, but I am fairly sure I'll work
some on the bible, because my mind is starting to obsess about working
on a particular aspect of that tome ‐‐ and believe me, the
story bible is indeed a tome, really many tomes. Actually,
what I call "the story bible" is really many Word docs,
text docs, and Excel spreadsheets. It's currently 1.45 gigs
consisting of more than 1800 items in dozens and dozens of
sub-folders. There are literally decades of the universe covered
in the combined documents, with some periods more heavily saturated
with detail than others (for now).
Sometime in the close future I need to finish and post my
on Wednesday's Child,
which just closed this past Sunday. I've started the essay, and I'm
sure it will be part of this weekend. I think I still have some
internal processing to do; of course, the act of writing the essay
will help me with that processing, so maybe I won't do too much
mental processing before I start keying words again.
Thanksgiving morning, the Dayton theatre community unexpectedly
lost a vital member. Dayton Theatre Hall of Famer and
`multi-award winning lighting designer, John Falkenbach passed
away. John was also a director, actor, sound designer, and
Though John and I weren't long-time, close friends, I knew
him well enough to have tremendous respect for him, both as
a colleague in the local theatre world, and, more importantly,
as a man.
I worked with John quite a few times, both at Dayton Theatre
Guild and at Beavercreek Community Theatre. He was always
so easy-going and was able to keep calm when technical things
were simply not cooperating. And he knew his stuff, especially
as a lighting designer. And, as has been said repeatedly over
the last few days, he was a nice, friendly guy.
I was taken aback by the news of his death, as was everyone
else. What a tremendous loss for those who knew him, both
in the theatre world and his life away from all of us.
John, you're already missed. Rest in peace, Sir.
Jan 12-28, 2024
Tickets on sale...