Thursday, May 26, 2016

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

"Xulhaz Mannan" The Bonus Round Band

In memory of "Xulhaz Mannan" who was murdered on April 25, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Bonus Round Band feat. Blake Zolfo on lead vocals.

From Tamoso Deep, who first approached songwriter Steve Schalchlin with this story.

The Grand Release : A Homage To Xulhaz Mannan

It could be named the Murder. It could be named Seven Minutes After.

Steve insisted this should remain as Xulhaz Mannan, because he wanted the song to build a blockade against people who wanna wash him off from the history. The mass denial is still ongoing, people are too shy to talk about him. I told that to Steve.

So, he composed this song. To pay the homage to Xulhaz.

It was a collaborative work. I talked with Steve for hours. Our conversation, which Steve fondly refers to as 'Our story', has taken the shape of this song.

It was Blake Zolfo who gave his voice. And Elizabeth Pax.

The song did not end. This is no curtain call. And I don't wanna sound like that, either. But without these people, I couldn't do this.

And there was Peg Fisher, who introduced me with Steve years ago. My own angel, with the gift of music, my Peg.

I'm grateful to you all. The song will not end. It just begun to play.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

"The Space Pirate Puppy Musical" in Orlando Fringe, May 20-28.

What is The Space Pirate Puppy musical?

Even if I knew I couldn't tell you It's a wacky idea from Heather Bagnall and Luke Tudball -- two foolish Brits in Brooklyn -- who asked me off-handedly, one day, whether I'd like to write songs for a children's show and I said yes (because I always say yes).

This is the final poster.

Original artwork bySeamus Corbett. Additional artwork by Tasty Monster Productions #OFringe25 #KeepingItTasty — with Orlando Fringe, Luke Tudball, Luke Tudball,Heather Bagnall, Steve Schalchlin, Heather Bagnall,Orlando Fringe and Monster Arts at Orlando Fringe.
I have never really written this kind of show tune writing before, nor have I had to deliver so much material in such a short amount of time -- a month or two -- so I have to thank Heather Bagnall who wrote the book and Luke Tudball who's, no doubt, doing something contributive in order to look busy -- and the surprise casting of old Bonus Round buddy from The Big Voice days, Wesley Slade, who auditioned because he liked the title, without knowing I was involved. (And then he got cast with no help from me! I am so proud of him!)

Personally and professionally -- and I'll talk about this on The Steve! Show when I can take a breath -- my challenge was to write the songs, music and lyrics based on a character/plot concept by Heather, then write out the sheet music (the most tedious and hated part of show business) so it could be read by cast members, then make rehearsal mp3s, and then orchestrate the songs, making tracks for the actual performances.

And I know there are people who do this every single day, but this is my first time. I don't know if these songs are any good or not. I didn't have time to evaluate them. I had to just grab whatever came out of my head and throw it down on paper. I used action words so the actors would have something to play, and tried to make them singable and move the plot along -- and have some fun along the way. It's not exactly Cole Porter at Yale, but what can I tell ya?

It's no fun 'til you can play with everyone.

Rehearsals started yesterday down in Orlando and I'm up here in New York hoping the cast and creatives are having fun! Cuz I'm kinda diggin' it.