Another product of my degree, “Hello, Good Evening & Welcome!” was the brainchild between a group of us collaborating in a joint module of our respective degrees known as “Performance And Creative Technologies” or PACT for short.
This project involved the work of fellow students Amy Harrop, Rachel King, Steph Peason, Bruno Siu, Victoria Connolly and Emily Chalder (née Julier).
When we formed as a group as part of the main assignment we were given a choice of breifs to follow (one of which was revealed as a suprise when it came to deciding. We chose this suprise which bore the title “Repetition, Suprise and Empty Space”. Once we were assigned a group supervisor we had to decide on how best to display our work. Given that our group was based around three theatre performance students (with specialisms in Dance and English) and Music Technologists we settled on a live movement performance with live technican support and edited/composed music (of which my role in the development was on the latter).
Our production took the concept of popular gameshows with a minimalist approach (no props) and involved a cast of three contestants (one a nervous genius, one a bubbly shopaholic and one determined to win), a stereotypically bombastic host and a glamourous assistant to spin our invisible wheel.
The musical layout to “Hello, Good Evening & Welcome!” began with a small 30 second minimal sine wave piece (see below), followed promptly by a gameshow introduction, which I composed using Cubase Essentials 5 (the DAW of choice for the whole project in fact) with Toontrak’s EZDrummer Lite and IK Multimedia’s SampleTank 2 Lite (bundled with Cubase) as VSTis, with the saxaphone part initially played in through my Yamaha PSR-275 via MIDI. A shortened version was also created as an advert break jingle (Which also separated the first scene from the movement).
After this opening, our host with the most introduced the show and her beautifully glamourous assistant with ‘the wheel’, where the jingle was played once. Then one by one the contestants were introduced (not included on the playlist due to Copyright Reasons). Our Determined winner contestant was introduced first to the tune of Naughty By Nature’s “Here Comes the Money”, where the first 10 seconds were used, followed by 2 repeats of an extract from 0:52 – 1:03 of the track. A breif scripted section follows talking to the contestant. The second contestant was introduced with the first 30 seconds of Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” and finally the final contestant with 2pm’s “Tetris”, taken from ~0:31 – 0:59, also with short scripted speeches for each contestant. Once this is complete, the show cuts to a break with the jingle playing out again and the lights fading to black.
In the second act, a movement piece was devised depitcting the spinning of the wheel as performed by each contestant, displaying their trademark traits as part of it. For the composition of this minimalist performance a minimal instrumentation was chosen, composed and titled ‘Etherial Traits’ – 2 sine waved synths to be precise providing the main melody with heavily reverbed piano phrases echoing the sound of the game show introduction piece. The piece was edited into 3 versions – a 30 second piece used at the beginning and as part of the final track, a 2 minute version initially used in rehersals and an extended version of this to 3 minutes that later replaced this for the final performance.
The final act consisted of my final piece played in darkness, titled ‘Spin the Wheel’. This consisted of sampled voices of all of the cast plus myself and Bruno as a suprise to the audience (and as part of the ‘Suprise’ part of our breif), repeating a rotation of different words of all of the catchphrases mentioned within the script of the first act, this culminates in the phrase “Spin the Wheel” and the fade in of the final 30 second ‘Etherial Traits’ jingle where a smaller set of lights faded up to ‘Eloise Winterbottom’ (our nervous genius contestant) being declared the eventual winner followed by three short sharp claps from the performers and ending with a blackout.
We tried to film the performance for later watching back, however due to a fatal lens cap shutter failure, this wasn’t possible (and the audio track recorded via a Zoom H2 didn’t work without it). However, the soundtrack of composed components is available below:
The following year, the group would come together again with 2 new additions to form ‘Boxes and Chains’ and produce another performance. But that Re-Wind is for another time.