COMPOSING FOR THE LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC USING STYROFOAM, NAILS, PAPER AND PLASTIC BOTTLES!
Sound designer and composer/arranger for Janni Younge’s adaptation of Stravinsky’s Firebird – a large-scale puppetry performance, which was performed with top US orchestras, including: The Philadelphia Orchestra; National Symphony Orchestra; Los Angeles Philharmonic in the Hollywood Bowl; and others.
To compose an overture for The Firebird, as well as three interstitial musical compositions, to be inserted into various key moments within the production. New sounds and music had to be created, using instrumentation of my choice, to support the narrative.
During one of my visits to The Firebird workshop where the incredible puppets were being constructed, I was struck with the sounds that were being generated during this process.
It occurred to me then, to use these construction materials, to create musical instruments. I loved the sound that styrofoam made, as well as nails striking together. The large sheets of paper used to create the puppets’ wings created an amazing sound, which I incorporated into the music composition. These new “instruments” were notated for a large orchestra. The orchestra was therefore asked to do some unusual things.