When I was asked back in November to start writing the music for PINWHEEL! I jumped at the challenge. I've performed in a few musicals as well as written my own, so I have always been a fan of the theatre.
As time went on I slowly realized that...
...due to the holidays in December and two trips in January, I would only have about a month and a half to write this. I buckled down and devoted all of my spare and even borrowed time to this project. Over time I was able to write more efficiently and was able to get into this musical landscape even more.
The play is set in NYC in the year of 1927. So I watched a bunch of films and listened to a lot of music from that era so that I could create an a appropriate musical pallet to coexist with the text, dancing and overall aesthetic of this play.
Also, with time being a commodity, I didn't have a lot of time to spend re-writing or second guessing myself. A lot of what is in this musical was off the cuff and purely stream of consciousness. With that being said, I have been finessing and molding the music closer to where it needs to be in rehearsals, so not all was written with that "one take" mentality, but I feel that original essence is still in the music.
Also, writing musical to someone else's words, especially some lyrics that was lifted straight from the 1927 play, was a challenge. It took a little bit of time to wrap my head around the text and the dialect of that era. In most cases the music was dictated by the text and natural rhythm of the words. I did work with the playwright Caroline Prugh on a few bits, just to mold some of the songs into a more concise progression and adhere to some of my own songwriting tendencies.
Overall, it's been a surreal experience. To start from creating demos in my basement to having 10 of the most incredible performers I've worked with thus far, singing those songs... I still get chills listening to them.
Final - working on this production has been one of the most surreal and rewarding experiences of my career.