What this is all about, and my first dive into the moleskin.

I’m trying to figure out WordPress. If this looks like crap, sorry.

This blog is officially dedicated to my involvement in the past, present, and future of The Circus In Winter, a musical I have been blessed enough to compose and write lyrics for over the past year and a half. As I am in the process of composing the instrumental parts, and just finalized the vocal score for the opening of the full production (Sept. 29th at Ball State’s University Theatre) I felt like this might be a good time for me to reflect on how much this project has meant to me. Since its initial conception, it has become this seperate being I’ve been taking care of. I hate it sometimes. But for 85% of the time, it magic. Its magic not because of what I have done as an individual, but the respect others, actors, audiences, educators, and professionals have given to the work myself and others have done, and the connections that have been inspired from seven staged-readings in all different reigions of the country. I hope you enjoy this, but if you don’t, I’m gonna keep doing it anyway. I like nostalgia.

Inserted above, are scanned images from my moleskin journal I’ve had since before the VBC project began. A friend of mine bought me this little book before I wrote the musical so I could keep my ideas in it, and I have ever since.

The first entry I scanned was from December 29th, 2009. I came up with a lick in 7/8 time in double-D tuning that months later would become “All Your Days”, the concluding song in Circus. In the first script, it was a mother-to-son song entitled “My Little Brave”, later that entire script was scrapped. The riff was pulled back up by suggestion of the rest of the members of the seminar, and applied to become a great cap for the second act. The funniest part of this journal is looking at how I did things wrong. I began transcribing the riff (a new skill set at the time) in 7/4, only to later revise to 7/8. The score now has it as a 7/8 and 9/8 combo. Simple ideas turn into big stuff. The next one I remember writing in my living room.

Again, double-D, its the three tone rain simulation I used as the motif of the flood sequence in the show. It only shows up in the storm section, never reprized. I thought and thought and thought on this idea, I was really excited about myself and my collaborator Nick Rapley working together to give this heightened situation the right kind of drive.

The third image set, three pages from February 17th 2010. The song is entitled “The Very Best of You”, sung by Irene right after she and Wallace enter their new home after marriage for the first time. This was actually the first song ever performed publicly from the show, at a cabaret in Muncie at Vera Mae’s Bistro. Emily Behny sang it then, and Anna Segatti will perform it this season with the university. It stays with me because it was the first positive response to my music for the show outside of the seminar, the first time I thought “maybe this is going somewhere…”

We’ll see.

Ben