news, updates, and conversations from Volcano Theatre

Monday, 23 March 2015

Dear Diary: Infinity Rehearsal, Week 3

Every week, Infinity Assistant Director, Mariel Marshall writes us a diary entry of her experience in the rehearsal hall. If you haven't already, start at the beginning by scrolling down to Dear Diary: Preparing for Infinity Rehearsals

It’s been very busy in the rehearsal hall this week, so this post is a little behind schedule! But Mariel has treated us to something a little different:

I sat down with composer, Njo Kong Kie, who is the mastermind behind the score of Infinity, and asked him to tell us about the inspiration of the music.

NKK: When we first started, Ross asked if I could build a solo violin piece based on a passage contained in a track from Picnic in the cemetery, my album for violin, cello and piano. The piece is called Formula 1. I know this title suggests car races, but it is also a reference to using a mathematical formula, a recipe if you will, to compose a piece of music. In the context of Infinity, it makes sense that there are some suggestions of math in the musical score, however simple and subtle they may be. I suppose music is inherently mathematical anyway, but I did think about math a little bit more while working on this score and there are subtle references; but unless one goes looking for them, one likely won’t notice them. For the music detective audience out there though, see if you can break the code to uncover our thinking in the musical design.

The score has evolved gradually from one workshop of the script to another until it reaches its present form. And it is still evolving. I am a gregarious person. I enjoy a collaborative environment. I get ideas from whatever is in the room: a movement, a word, or in this case, the characters and the situations they find themselves in.  I reckon the process is similar for all collaborative artists.

If we compare composing to cooking, then musical ideas are the ingredients. Some ingredients you can find already in your kitchen, some you have to get from the market, some you discover by happenstance. Once you have the ingredients, you have to decide how to prepare them, what shapes you are going to cut them into, what to cook them in, how to cook them, what spices to use, what sides to serve them with and how to present them. I don’t know where I can go with all these, so feel free to expand on this analogy and see how far we can stretch it. Please do join us at the show. Let us show you what we have cooked up for you.

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