Well, sort of on the home stretch. On one particular project – Converging Paths.
The final instalment, the final show – Story Book – is this Saturday, 28th July. It’s been a long time coming. Our first instalment, Darkness at the Sun Court, was back at the beginning of the year in February but the work on the score preceded that by a couple of months.
Slung Low‘s shows are usually short run or one-off affairs (with the exception of The Knowledge Emporium, which will tour forever!) and once they’re done, they’re done. They are made for specific cities, venues, castles, car parks, countries. As the projects have got bigger over the last few years, so has the time I spend delving into the possiblities of their musical scores. But this one takes the biscuit. All in all, it’s been around 6 months or so of solid musicking and arranging and booking musicians and rehearsing.
It’s been a huge learning curve to work with the talented choral group, The 24, who’ve lent their vocals to all of the recorded scores and been present in all but one of the shows.
I learned with Early Cartographers that skilled musicians can work wonders with only a melody and chord plot, and for me opened up a whole new, more efficient way of working with different types of musicians – and the idea that the musicians can become more a part of the stories that we’re trying to tell than I could have hoped or imagined. Seeing them appear as if by magic on Cattal Train Station’s platform (below) really was brilliantly magical.
I think this show, as a process and a mindset, might be a hard one to let go. But then again, I’m not sure we have to.
This current series of shows, this Converging Paths, is an adaptation of the various themes and characters and stories from The Ground Remembers, a novel by Matthew David Scott… which was based on a previous Slung Low show called Time At Moghul Gardens (2005)… which was based on a novella by the same author… based on a series of photographs by Alan Lane, Slung Low’s Artistic Director.
This show has really not just been 6 months in the making for me, it’s been more like 7 years. So maybe the ‘home stretch’ is an illusion. Maybe it’ll carry on in another guise? Ad Infinitum…?
In a world of inevitable finality and often brutal endings, that’s rather a nice thought.