Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Music in 'The Nine Lessons of Caliban'

We have not up-dated our rehearsal blog for some time because we have been focussing more on making films that describe and show the processes we have used to make The Tempest. These films have been made by Ann Pugh of Redweather Productions and document our work on The Tempest, including our devising process and rehearsals.

Our hopes and plans for these films are to design and build an educational web resource that will include such materials as scripts, poetry, art work, design notes and plans as well as useful links and other resources. We will also have suggestions and ideas for group discussion and practical activities, which we hope will help students, practitioners, teachers and others to engage further with how we make theatre, inform their own work and learn more about us as a company.

For this post on our blog, we thought people may be interested to know about a workshop for The Nine Lessons of Caliban that we had with Sarah Moody in September 2010.

We did not have long to rehearse for The Nine Lessons but the script developed quite quickly, with Claire Williamson and the Firebird Poets working together to write new lines and links between poems to create a complete and coherent piece of work. We also used a couple of extracts from Shakespeare's The Tempest, Caliban's famous 'Be not afeard' speech and used some of the insults and names that Prospero calls

Caliban: moon calf, monster, slave, hag-seed mixed with some of the names that members of Firebird have been called in the past: subnormal, low grade and brain lost. This made concrete the connections we had made between The Lying Doctors and The Tempest. Please see News blog for more information about this connection. 
Liz with cello

One of the main aims of The Nine Lessons was to create a multi-media choral poetry performance that would include projections, music and sound. As part of this, we wanted to work with Sarah Moody again and develop the piece musically. Because of lack of time and funding, we have only managed one workshop with Sarah to date, but this one workshop was great and enabled us to develop the sounds of the island, the bells of Milan and a new dance piece, featuring Sarah and Alex on guitars. The workshop was based around Sarah providing as many musical instruments as possible, showing how each one could be played and then supporting everyone in Firebird with the time and opportunity to play, experience and explore as many instruments as they wanted to. The workshop ended with a recording of each person playing the instrument of their choice, as well as a recording of the 'sounds of the island.' 

Richard (above)  and Tina: the bells of Milan

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