Monday, August 13, 2007


Argh, my brain is starting to fry with learning the keyboard parts for the Twelfth Night gigs. ;-)

Try as I might, and I’m making copious crib-notes here, some of the parts are starting to blur into each other. One of the major difficulties is that there are constantly at least two versions of any given tune running through my head.
  1. The original version. This is the one I’m attempting to pull parts from by ear. Though I’ve got a bunch of notes to help me (thanks, Clive!), it’s realistically more easy for me to zip backwards and forwards through a tune and dissect it, before working out the sounds that most closely resemble those used at the time of recording.
  2. The “live” arrangement. This would be me sat down, thinking, “well, I can’t play that, that AND that as well,” so I need to work out what can actually be played by a keyboardist with less than six arms, and what are the most relevant parts for live performance.
  3. The “this century” version. This is the trickiest one for me. Not wanting to butcher the songs, but seeing the screaming great holes where FEEL is missing or where a section is crying out to be instrumentally rearranged to bring out the best in the tune. I’m also not really in the market for pissing off the rest of the guys in the band by breezing in and saying “No no no, do it like this, it’s much better than the way you ever did it before I came along”. That’ll go down like a lead balloon full of plague and herpes. That said, there’s a particular tune which, in my notes, I’ve christened the Twelfth Night Christmas Special as it’s a disturbingly Yule-tastic ballad, with enormous Phil Spector-like strings and (over) production. Rather than attempt to go bonkers sequencing a huge string section (which is unlikely to be played in time with live), I suggested stripping it down to a two-guitars-and-singer basic arrangement, bringing out the simple elegance of the song, and letting the singer not have to compete with eight hundred violins sawing away in the background. And that, it seems, is how we’re going to be doing it. He’s got a good voice and it also adds a lovely bit of light and shade to the set.
Harrumph. We’ll see how well the other ideas go down at the end of the month. Back to a bit of Flash programming for clients to take my mind off it...


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