Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Day Job Waltz/ Melodramatic Theme: Web Series Composer Process #3

The latest in a series exploring my process composing an original musical score for the comedy web series Theater People.

Here's some more material from the pilot episode, Day Jobs. Director Matthew Anderson wanted to contrast the actor characters' humdrum work days with the catharsis of their onstage personae, so it made sense to underscore this contrast musically.

First we'll look at the dichotomy of a day care provider who portrays Medea after hours. To embody the tedium of the day care job, the grinding repetition of music box gears came to mind. So I put together this "Day Job Waltz" as a plunking music box melody:

For the Medea shot I got bombastic:

Here's the interplay of the two contrasting cues in the final edit, spliced in with the main title theme during the credits at the end of the episode:

The same contrast plays out earlier in the episode, this time between the daytime occupation of shoe sales versus the declamatory pathos of classic Russian drama by night. To help create the atmosphere of the shoetique, I recast the Day Job Waltz as a schmaltzy chamber piece featuring piano and strings.

The Russian sequence warranted quieter, more introspective underscoring to emphasize its existential torment. Hence a folkier version of the bombastic Medea cue above:

Here's the finished edit featuring the juxtaposition of both cues:


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Index of "Theater People" web series composer process entries:

1: Main Title

2: Crowley Theme

3: Day Job Waltz/ Melodramatic Theme

4: Mambo Madness

5: Dream Rock

666: Devil Worship Music


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