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Stratford 2012!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Merlin, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. Merlin

    Merlin Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    I got my contract for 42nd Street at Stratford back in December. Reed 5 - clarinet/bass clarinet/baritone sax. Pretty straight ahead.

    Usually, I get one live contract, and do a few pre-records for straight plays.

    Yesterday, I found out I have a second live contract. I'm doing Pirates of Penzance.

    Pirates is being completely re-orchestrated, so the traditional ww books are not being used.

    There will be four woodwind players on the show. One is a flute/whistles/pipes specialist, one is a clarinetist, one is a doubler with excellent oboe chops. Then there's my book - bassoon/clarinet/flute/whistles...and guitar!

    That's two years in a row with woodwind and guitar doubles on a show.
  2. Ha, guitar double!!! Is this something I need to start shedding? Are you playing rhythm or lead lines? Acoustic or electric? DI or mic'ed amp?

    I've never heard of this! I can't do Joe Satriani, but I could do Freddie Green.
  3. Merlin

    Merlin Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    At this point, the type of guitar is unspecified.

    DI or mic'd is up to the sound designer and FOH sound mixer. Given the other stuff I'm playing on the show, I may have 2 or 3 mics just for the horns. Normally they'll use a Neumann KM184 as a flute overhead. They'll probably go for one medium or large diaphragm condensor mic to cover the clarinet, bassoon and whistles.
  4. The last show I did used condensor mics as well. Most of my professional carrer has been on cruise ships, or unmiced, but is this common practice to use condensors in pits? For starters it picks up the sound from behind it as well as what you're playing. It is my understanding that medium and larg diaphragm condensor mics are built to pick up room ambiance, in a really nice sounding studio environment. The last show came off well. The kick drum was a bit heavy, the piano was a bit loud, but as I understand it he got a good mix. Maybe everything blends together better when you put condenser mics around and ensemble. Especially on the instruments with more volume. (Saxes instead of flute per se)
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Pickup pattern and mic type are not necessarily related.

    Condensors are available with a number of different pickup patterns.

    Omnidirectional, cardiod, and figure 8 patterns are commonly available on these mics.

    No intelligent sound designer would use anything other than a cardiod pattern in a crowded pit. Omni patterns can be useful for capturing a group of strings in a well baffle area, or percussion, but again, in a room of their own.

    The issue of small versus large diaphragm mics generally centers around the general frequency range of the source.

    These days, a pit or loft on a professional musical is set up much more like a recording studio. I always think of a performance as a single take live session.
  6. I hope I get on that level some day. I hear that the musucians in Spider Man are conducted on a tv monitor. And I spent last night watching bootleg youtube video of Lion King. Man can they do some innovative stuff now a days. I'd much rather play the music than watch the show, but Lion King is really good. It helps that the music is incredible.
  7. Merlin

    Merlin Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    I've done several shows where I watched the conductor on a monitor. Pretty common these days. They often use a small LCD monitor that can be placed where ever the player deems it convenient. Percussionists really appreciate this on multiple perc setups so they can see the MD even if they facing away or are located in a separate room.

    We often have to play shows on headphones as well. It's a must if there's click on the show. There's a personal monitor mix when we use the Aviom system. The player can control what and who they want to hear, and even recall different setting for cues.
  8. Very cool. I'm still stuck in tradition land. I don't mind it, but my pay scale is sadly lacking fortitude. I can imagine there being quite a leap in salary in certain performing markets.
  9. Congrats Merlin! I am sooo happy for you!!!!!!! If all goes to plan I will be home at the end of September so I will come and see you!!!!!
  10. Wow, NAV was my second ship! Is a Bulgarian piano player named George the MD?

    I did Mariner, Navigator, and Explorer. Are you in the Meditteranian?
  11. Merlin

    Merlin Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Just found out the guy who is re-orchestrating Pirates is Michael Starobin. The man has two Tony awards for best orchestration!
  12. Merlin

    Merlin Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Here's Michael's Broadway credits (not including his off-Broadway and film/TV work!)

    Broadway Productions (Orchestrations)

    • The People in the Picture (2011)
      Sondheim on Sondheim (2010)
      Next to Normal (2009)
      How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2006- )
      25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (2005)
      Assassins (2004, Tony Award: Revival, Orchestrations)
      Tom Sawyer (2001)
      A Christmas Carol (1994-2001, Madison Square Garden)
      Face Value (1993, composed Incidental Music)
      Falsettos (1992) (Tony Award: Best Score)
      Guys & Dolls (1992) (Tony Award: Best Musical)
      Once On This Island (1990)
      Legs Diamond (1988)
      Carrie (1988)
      Romance, Romance (1988)
      Rags (1986)
      The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1985, Music Director) (Tony Award: Best Musical)
      Sunday In The Park with George (1984) (Pulitzer Prize)
  13. Merlin

    Merlin Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    We had our first orchestra rehearsal for 42nd Street last night. Nice to be back to work with so many great players.

    We're going to be performing on a platform above the stage this season! Rhythm section instruments will still be in the loft, but the piano/conductor and all the horns are out front.

    Bari parts are pretty easy; clarinet parts are little more independent than they sometimes are on this type of show. Bass clarinet parts are a bit tougher than average. They range up into the altissimo on several occasions.
  14. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Altissimo on Bari/bass sax and bass clarinet just makes me sad.
  15. Merlin

    Merlin Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Not a big deal really. The lines are played in sectional harmony, doubling the lead at the octave. Bass clarinet is used because there are sudden jumps to low register notes.
  16. saxhound

    saxhound Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Minor hijack. As a novice bass clarinet player, I've found the altissimo easier to play than anything else. I can play the high C to double C scale pretty easily. Notice I didn't say play it well! Probably my 40+ years of playing clarinet. I was really struggling with the break from B up to F on the staff. I finally took the horn to my tech, and the thumb key is leaking. Looking forward to getting it back so I can really start shedding.

    I've set a goal of playing a show on the bari / bass book by the fall. Someone posted a link to a bunch of show parts a while back, but I can't seem to locate it.
  17. I've worked on Once on this Island, Rags, and the '92 arrangement of G&D. The orchestrations are topnotch!
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