ROUNDABOUT BLOG

On Music

Posted on: December 9th, 2011 by Stephen Karam

I want to highlight the music we use in Sons of the Prophet, composed by
Nico Muhly
.

Nico Muhly & Stephen Karam

Our sound designer M. L. Dogg (or Mutt) deftly weaves Nico’s music throughout the show during Peter DuBois’ beautifully orchestrated transitions. Nico’s music speaks for itself. Here are a couple samples, which can all be found on iTunes (most are from his Decca album “I Drink The Air Before Me”):

Salty Dog
[audio:http://www.roundabouttheatre.org/Roundabout/media/Media/I-Drink-The-Air-Before-Me_Salty-Dog.mp3]

Music Under Pressure #3
[audio:http://www.roundabouttheatre.org/Roundabout/media/Media/I-Drink-The-Air-Before-Me_Music-Under-Pressure-3_Ensemble.mp3]

The song that ends the show is called “Relief”, arranged by Nico, sung by the incomparable Sam Amidon (Sam’s albums are all on iTunes). When I first heard this song, I was in physical therapy (and was fascinated by nerve glides—the closest I ever got to feeling like a ballet dancer), and I would practice them to “Relief”.

Nerve Glides

Sons of the Prophet is likely the only time I can claim the credit of both Dance Captain and Arm-Choreographer as well as playwright.

I discovered Mark Abernathy’s version of Come, Come, Ye Saints (All Is Well) on YouTube:

After sending Mark the script (which I thought was the best proof that the play isn’t mocking anyone’s faith) Mark was kind enough to re-record it for Mutt so we could use it in the show. Nico then added a few instrumental kicks to help it fit into the soundscape of our show.

Back to “Relief”. I thought it embodied the emotional landscape I was trying to create–emotional and hopeful and sad…but not sentimental (this is my opinion, of course).

Relief
[audio:http://www.roundabouttheatre.org/Roundabout/media/Media/Relief.mp3]

More remarkable is that it’s a remake of an R Kelly song. Nico/Sam made a poignant, heart-rending song out of an R Kelly song that is, well, not so poignant and heart-rending.


Okay who am I kidding I like the R Kelly version too.

Nico Muhly & Stephen Karam

Sons of the Prophet is playing at the Laura Pels Theatre through January 1, 2012. For more information, click here.



Related Categories:
2011-2012 Season, Sons of the Prophet, Stephen Karam's Blog


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