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Eloise Gynn Blog:

A view from the wings

In September I was given the opportunity to shadow David Roche as he worked with Odyssey Theatre Company in the creation of the music for their Christmas show ‘Hansel, Gedeon and the Grimms' Wood’. I joined David quite late on in the process when he had already written a lot of
music, and witnessed the interaction between him and Jon the director during a few rehearsals, and the subsequent cutting, expanding and re-moulding of his soundscapes.

Whereas I missed a lot of the early collaboration, I learned an extraordinary amount just from watching the fabulous cast rehearse, and the way Jon directed them. I was very inspired by the music David had made, yet still couldn't stop myself from imagining how I would have done it if I were in his shoes! As a composer of mainly acoustic music, I was particularly interested in how David had used Logic to put together his tracks, and then QLab to program them in for the performance. He was very kind in helping me to understand the basics of how these programs work, and introduced me to the gear he used to input the music. I feel inspired to create a mini studio too! A couple of years ago I made a soundtrack on Logic for ‘Hiraeth’, a dance piece by Krystal Campbell, that included soundscapes (mostly made by layering little clips of sound I’d recorded myself playing on cello), and myself playing live during the performance. Watching David work and edit his tracks during the rehearsals gave me an insight into the much bigger potential of making and developing music this way, and I’m keen to explore this further.

Finally seeing the performance was incredibly inspiring, moving and hilarious. The cast were fantastic, and it was such a treat to see how everything (sound, light, set, performance) came together. One particularly important thing I learned was that each of David’s tracks had to allow for the flexible durations of each scene. He had created loops that could be repeated, or faded out depending on what happened on stage at the time. I also loved the way he had themes for each character and recurring sound effects. I would like to thank Ty Cerdd, David and Jon for giving me the opportunity to receive such a deep insight into the creation of this magical show.

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I was particularly interested in how David had used Logic to put together his tracks

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