Having not worked in theatre before, I had an interesting and fulfilling experience recently working for 2 days as part of the development team for Maya Productions forthcoming musical Benny And The Greycats.
In my normal world as a gigging session musician and composer/arranger with a wide variety of bands over the years in many different genres of music, I’m used to working to a specific brief: i.e. learning a set of music for performance, or writing and/or arranging some music in a particular style, which enables the channeling of one’s creativity effectively to address the situation at hand, sometimes requiring an amount of consultation, sometimes not. Obviously I knew that working in theatre (like film of which I have some experience), the music is there to serve the script, but what I found particularly enlightening was the amorphous “workshopping” process in which the script and music are read/listened through, examined, discussed, distilled and eventually shaped into a more finished product by a group effort of engagement, consensus, and objective evaluation; and all this before the actors are even given a read through.
Quite an eye opening experience, and very rewarding to help create music in such an environment. It does remind one that contrary to the popular cliched perception of the lone artist creating in isolation, the actual “artistic process” is if anything, a multifaceted entity that embraces many different undertakings, challenges, problems and solutions, which in the end, by hook or by crook, result (hopefully) in a worthwhile piece of work, which the creators of, and the experiencers of benefit by it’s existence.
– Mike Gorman, Musician/Collaborator for Benny and the Greycats