Stiles and Drew blog number 4


france pic sweet

Day 3

Worked at the Gite today in the morning.  Happy to be plinking away on the guitar at last and knocked off most of a new song with the fetching title “I want to kiss a rat.”  In won’t go into detail explaining the origins and purpose of this song, but – trust me – it is required by the plot.

Lots of yesterday’s ideas are already bubbling into song possibilities.  We walked up to the house in noonday heat and were very impressed by the insect life: floods of butterflies, praying mantises, some sort of copper coloured bee and a blue-black moth decorated with what looked like bright red love hearts.  Which made a neat as escape while Susie and I were fumbling for our phones.

The next couple of hours were a bit of a social whirl.  A troupe of theatrical friends are staying in a house very near George and Ants and dropped in for lunch: two directors (Lottie and Luke), a lighting designer (Howard) and a sound designer (Andy), as well as A and G’s producer assistant, Lettie, who was coming to join us for a few days.  We had enough of a theatrical production team to make a show right there.  But instead we played some spectacularly inexpert water volleyball and drank Rose in the sun.  Another delicious lunch of two quiches and some splendid theatrical chit-chat.

I was keen to get back into my songs and leave Susie elaborating the synopsis some more.  From time to time she issued a crackle of insight from the next door room (or the pool) and I’d have a go at incorporating the latest thinking into the lyrics I was working on.  I explored writing some fairly straight and (by my standards) “on the nose” lyrics for our protagonist in the opening song, just to see what that would feel like, bearing in mind the oft-touted merits of a boldly stated “I Want” sung moment in a musical.  I was keen to try and mark out the tonal parameters of the piece (look at me with my tonal parameters), hence having a go at writing both an Intense Power Ballad and a Ridiculous Rat-Kissing Interlude.  I’m hoping to get a sense of how far we can go in each direction with the centre still holding, so to speak.

We presented the developed synopsis again to George and Ants (this time with a few new song snatches thrown in) and also – very helpfully – to Lettie’s entirely fresh pair of ears.  This read-through prompted a lot of really useful discussion and input from all.  I apologise if anyone who’s read this far is getting a sense of déjà vu. We write, we discuss, we re-write, we re-discuss: and so it goes on a musical mentorship scheme.  Which is constantly illuminating and utterly invaluable for us, but only so thrilling to read about in a blog.

Tomorrow is Susie’s last day and we need to inject the latest insights into our storyline so it’s in as clear and believable a shape as it can be for me to build on with lyrics and music.  So we need a good night’s sleep and thus I bid you goodnight, gentle bloggee.


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