Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Alice, Slowly Unraveling

I told y'all I'd be back this week.

Before I get into my blog post, though, have you witnessed "Friday" by Rebecca Black yet? I'm sure it's been beaten to death in the past 5 or so days, but in case you didn't know, the video's a production of the Ark Music Factory, which as far as I can tell is solely designed to separate extremely rich parents from their money in the hopes that their young daughter will become a pop star.

Good. Fucking. Luck.

Now, onto music that really matters.

In my previous post, I detailed an arrangement of Cole Porter's "Love For Sale" that Kelly Izzo and I did recently, and I thought I'd share it with you all. It's... an interesting treatment, to say the least. Thankfully Kelly liked it, and was even keen on the idea of translating the color palette used in the arrangement to her upcoming musical I'm orchestrating, Alice Unraveled.

Love For Sale Arrangement by Michael Hart

But in ADDITION to that, she gave me the OK to post a scratch arrangement of the opening song I did. The song's called "Space And Time", and admittedly, this was the throwaway arrangement. Our independent study teacher who's working closely with us on the project asked me to create two arrangements for the song. The first I worked my heart out on, crafting a guitar driven arrangement with string quartet (actually, more like string orchestra... I love my big string patches, ok?), tubular bells, distorted drums, the whole nine yards. It was big, it was bombastic, I thought it worked really well as an opener to a musical.

The day before I have to present the arrangement comes, and I realize that I still had the entire other one to do. I had spent much more time crafting the first arrangement, I completely forgot about the second! In my haste, I decided to go an entirely different route. Removing the guitars entirely, I decided to make the piece spacious, with a small palette of instruments. Held synth chords, a lead reminiscent of a clarinet, glockenspiel, and eventually bass synth, drums and an extra synth pad painted a picture DRASTICALLY different than my first arrangement.

Of course, my teacher and Kelly liked the second one better. And after listening through again, I'm inclined to agree. It's still very much a work in progress; the glockenspiel gets painful and piercing at points, and the wedge form of the arrangement clashed with Kelly's original interpretation of the song. She thinks the ending is still too big. Personally, I like it, but I agree in the context of the musical it's entirely wrong. We're going back to the drawing board relatively soon to finish this up and dig into the rest of the musical, so I'll have updates as they come.

Space And Time by Michael Hart

I also have details about a new movie I've been tasked to score. At least, I think I have. More on that in the coming weeks.



  1. Great arrangement. I love the Fox-style drums.

  2. I can't wait to finish that arrangement and get started on the other songs! It's gonna be so cool. :)