Posts tagged The Other Side Of The River

Songwriting… and what it’s NOT

In one of the songs i was asked to write, the lyrics were as follows: “I wanna go where the peaches hang low, the green grass grow and the sweet streams flow”.  Now lyrics evoke emotions correct?  So the starting point to songwriting is the emotional content.  What then are the feelings of the aforementioned lines?  Well… they speak of the country – peaches, grass and streams.  When you think back to the age of innocence, what does that sound like?  How does one put musical notes to feelings? Well you can eliminate what it WON’T sound like.  Almost like the sculpter with a block of marble, you chistle away the unwanted to retain the wanted.  So things it won’t be: fast, driving, electric.  The country sounds more simple, unhurried and uncomplicated.  Due to the nature of this show, the 3rd world countries are more organic, more home-grown.  And so to me, it expressed almost gospel-type choral parts.

So this musical clip is 1st rehearsal (in other words… don’t be critical hahaa) and it’s also a capella – so no instrumentation.  But it has that feel i heard in my head.  Enjoy!

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The Other Side of The River

There’s a folder on my desktop entitled TOSOTR (The Other Side of The River) which contains page upon page of sheet music, soundtracks and lyrics.  Back in October a buddy of mine asked “Hey Glen do you want to take a shot at being a writer for a youth musicale?”  Fifteen years ago i used to write music for theatre but that was a lonnnnng time ago.  Being the “sure whatever” kind of guy we submitted our names for tender.  A few months passed and we compiled demo reels, sheet music and resumes.  After making the short list where 7 others were considered, we were asked to have a short interview.  Not long after we were awarded the contract. 

So the last few months have been reading scripts and writing music about this show.  What is it? In brief, World Vision has commissioned a theatrical show demonstrating the disparity between first and world nations.  The aim is to not only entertain but educate highschool students and bring an awareness of the world in which we live. The Other Side of the River is a highschool musical.  If you are a music director and have interest in the show, you should contact world vision Canada. 

And so how do you start writing music for a show like this? I’m going to discuss that in the next blog… the basics of writing… the way i see it.

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