As is the case with rear view mirrors, sometimes objects in life are closer than they appear. This is an accurate representation of how I feel about the coming musical. What once seemed like it was far away is suddenly right here, and it’s not a particularly pleasant realization.
I feel like I’ve played decently complicated music in my past years doing band, but the music that I have for Oliver makes it seem easy in comparison. In addition to being challenging music by itself, it’s also music we have to play alongside the actors on stage, meaning that the tempo and length of each song is not guaranteed. Despite that, I think the hardest part is simply the volume of pieces that we have to play. While a normal band concert might be 4-5 pieces we have to learn, for Oliver we have 35. Taking out reprises of songs(same song but in a different key and general mood), there’s 31 unique songs to learn. These songs range from super slow(As Long As He Needs Me) to very, very fast(Food, Glorious Food). Despite these challenges however, I still think that we can pull it off. Everyone in the musical band group, which is a smaller subset of the regular band, has been putting in their best at every rehearsal, and also is practicing the music at home. Last year, I practiced my instrument only on weekends. Now with the musical, I end up practicing basically every night at home.
I’ve definitely made good progress in improving on the songs since the beginning, but there are still a couple of songs that always get me. For me, the hardest song is the aforementioned “Food, Glorious Food”. This is due to a couple of reasons, with the biggest one being it’s speed at an insane tempo of roughly 200 beats per minute. Add this into the fact that the majority of my notes are 8th notes(1/8th a beat), and you’ve got the recipe for a very hard song. Thankfully, the majority of my notes are with all valves open, as I wouldn’t be able to move my fingers fast enough to keep up otherwise. Regardless, I’ve actually been enjoying it as a song because it’s quite fun and I look forwards to learning it well enough to preform, and I’ve made significant improvements on it as of recently. Some of the other songs are just difficult through being slow and difficult to count as I have lots of rests during them.
Here’s a link to food glorious food, as well as the link to the Gecko Network video of the preparations. Take a listen to food glorious food if you can, and appreciate just how fast it is.
Food, Glorious Food:
Gecko Network video of the production preparations(I’m actually featured quite frequently!):