MUSIC & LYRICS
For the songs I have worked closely with the script to write a sample of something that could musically and lyrically fit the moment. With the instrumentals, I have given a flavour of the kind of music that could set the stage for some of the key dramatic moments in the Musical, while also demonstrating how the same instrumentation can be easily altered to significantly change the mood e.g. the inquisitive, playful mood of ‘Island Exploring’ transitions to the sinister, tense mood of ‘Island Chase.’ Dialogue with the writer would be required to profound the words and accentuate the arc of the Director's vision.
This is the most developed in terms of lyrics, mood, instrumentation. A super happy, bouncy song with the drums and double bass grooving, ukulele strumming, electric guitar providing happy little lines and the marimba, whistles, handclaps etc to give a real splash of joy and sunshine. The instrumentation for this song provides a really contemporary and “cool” setting, something the audience will immediately relate to and the perfect soundtrack to this triumphant moment in the four’s (plus Timmy!) coming together. The four take it in turns to sing individual lines (marked on the lyric sheet) and then all together.
The first chorus acts as the kids’ first realisation, the subsequent verse provides a chance to have a final dig at one another, while the following verse showing their maturity in realising that no one is perfect. The “drop out” we hear in this final verse, with all instruments cutting out except for marimba and handclaps, sets up the joyous final chorus, as all the instruments come back in, which acts as the sealing moment of pledging allegiance to one another.
Percussion (shaker, tambourine)
Whistles, handclaps etc
The idea of this track is to show how the same piece of music (e.g. drums and structure remain the same for ‘Island Chase’ as do instruments) can start positive and major, and then with only a few key elements changed, can quickly turn sinister in accordance with the plot. This can be done with other songs in the musical e.g. Home for the Holidays.
This is largely an African percussion/drum track with a viola playing a lead major, pizzicato line and a cello playing major soaring lines with light tremolo. The drums could be played by members of the cast (as well as musicians) to give the music a playful feel.
Drums (kick drum, floor toms)
Percussion (udu, congo, knives and forks, djembe, dunun, ride cymbal, woodblock, agogo, bongo)
Strings (viola, violin, cello)
This is the same track as we heard for the kids exploring with the same African percussion and drums. However while the drums remain the same, the optimistic, playful major strings have been replaced with sinister minor one. There is a low sustain running throughout giving the sense of impending doom. The major piz on the viola to suggest frolicking is now minor piz on violin to suggest hard running. The warm soaring swells on the cello to give the feeling of being outdoors on a sunny day, are now minor descending chords on tremolo violin which gives the feeling of being chilly. This piece ends with a jangling Marxophone which gives the impression of rattling skeletons, an orchestra cymbal clash and a note of dissonance. Something bad is about to happen!
This is predominantly a percussion/drum track with a leading violin playing a minor pizzicato line and tremolo violin playing the descending minor chord line. A sustain on the double bass is held throughout and the Marxophone comes in (with its mandolin-like tremolo) at the end at the height of the climax.
Drums (kick drum, floor toms)
Percussion (Udu, congo, knives and forks, djembe, dunun, ride cymbal, woodblock, agogo, bongo)
Strings (violins, cello)
Sparser production compared to rest, with more space in the music. This is more of a sketch of an idea for a song focusing on the mood/tone of the song rather than full instrumentation/lyrics. With this song, it could be good to keep the instrumentation simple to allow the emotive lyrics and melancholy/plaintive tone to come through, building to the final chorus as this suggests.
Simple guitar playing single chords and then more rhythmically plucked as it goes from verse to chorus, mirroring Sam becoming more emphatic. As the song builds in emotion, e.g. when we hear some of Quentin’s most personal thoughts and fears, more instruments come in to support the vocals and build the emotion of the track e.g. romantic piano, simple drums, pulsing bass. This is a good indication of how the song can start simple, build to a big heartfelt chorus and then end quiet and reflective.
Percussion (shaker, tambourine, kick drum snare)
An idea for an instrumental track (which could have lyrics or lines over the top) at a key point in the plot. This instrumental, along with the ‘Island Chase,’ signify the darkest moments in this otherwise joyous, light-hearted, romantic and hugely comic musical. The Argentinian tango gives it an exotic flavour and opens it up to a more universal context, while the lustrous strings, with its Russian vibe, gives the feeling of a scene in a Spy film. The introduction of the castanets and legato string lines, which join the dramatic string stabs, opens the music up and acts to dissipate the tension slightly, which would fit the moment when the cousins jump in. Though not through the danger yet, they are fighting bravely and the music reflects this.
This is in the mode of a tango, with castanets tying in with that South American feel and provide the perfect music for a hostage moment with the sharp drums, staccato strings giving the impression of rigid movement and tight tension. The strings, which add the colour of drama, open up halfway through which is when the kids would move in.
Strings (cello, viola, violin)