How to use the power of music ? Luna Cottis, 24 January 2015 (rough draft )As a singer/composer/ musician I am very interested in the use of music in performance and the role it has in creating an “experience”. We began talking about musical theatre and its “sound”. Does musical theatre have to sound like that ? What other roles can music have and what are the other ways that theatre can be musical ? Someone mentioned a performance in which a drum could be played all the time, and this would mean that when it stopped it would be very powerful. In this way silence becomes the act of significance. The “Alice” by Tom Waits was mentioned; it carries a script which has not been acted out as far as we know. Tom Waits and Robbin Wilson were also mentioned as a collaboration worthy of noting, It was said that the problem with musical theatre is that it tries to be too “real”, hence the bursting into song can be awkward at times. Perhaps by indicating to the audience that this isn't the real world, like opera, those forms of expression could be more smooth. Warning the audience: “ This is going to be a bit weird.” You could also turn it upside down and use the fact music is already present in our everyday lives. So why not use this? Why not have actors interacting with these everyday sounds in a musical way, football fans in the tube? characters walking around shopping malls and changing the lyrics to hit tunes … Although music is very powerful, it was said that the visual element of music, the performance of it is also a crucial element of the experience. There was a push for more dialogue between band/orchestra and actors during the live performances. Circus was mentioned in which the band has to react constantly and adapt their performance to that of the artists. Example of the drummer who has a sound he makes when clowns fall. The “dots on the page” were also mentioned, sheet music can sometimes be a barrier to conveying the “root” of the music: the emotion. Outdoor theatre and sound was mentioned. The example of opera in street performance was said to be a very interesting approach, street performance music does not always have to be joyful, or vaudeville like. We went on to discuss method of compositions. My method is very much one of repetition and cycles, looping different patterns and riffs and when there is one that I like I repeat it a lot so as not to forget it. Another composer mentioned that when composing he thought of: 1- composing a melody that musicians would like to play 2-composing a melody that the public would like to hear. Someone mentioned their outdoor performance festival and ways in which sound, sound scapes and music could act as a unifying factor. All very interesting !! Luna Silva.