The Free Music Directory Wed, 23 Nov 2022 14:37:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Free Music Directory 32 32 Composer Johanna Telander talks about KALEVALA THE MUSIC Wed, 23 Nov 2022 14:32:38 +0000

Johanna Telander is a Finnish-American designer/artist based in New York. As a teenager, she collaborated with major Finnish labels, signing a recording contract with Universal Music. She holds a BA in Music and Jazz from Capital University, Columbus, OH, and a Diploma in Musical Theater Performance from AMDA in New York. Having worked professionally in and around New York since 2007, she has performed at the United Nations and on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, alongside Residente and Bad Bunny. She is the music, book and lyrics to Kalevala the Musical, her first musical.

Kalevala the musical. Like “Kale”, the vegetable, and “Vala”, as in Vala Morgulis, a term known from the Game of Thrones series, is what you told us, a kind of mental map for the title. Pronounced Kah-leh-vah-lah. Thank you for clearing up this pronunciation mystery for us. So what is this high-profile musical about??

I am humbled by any hype he has created so far! Everyone is welcome in the forest. Kalevala the Musical is a mythical fantasy inspired by the Finnish national epic poem. Compiled and abridged by Elias Lönnrot in 1835, the Kalevala consists of many stories thousands of years old largely collected from the Karelia region and Finland, where these stories have been kept alive by oral tradition through generations. . The tales have inspired the likes of JRRTolkien, CS Lewis and beyond.

What prompted you to write about this collection of myths from your home country?

The Kalevala stories, although the basis of the musical, were actually not in my first draft. Part of the concept is a by-product of that other musical that I started writing while I was still in school. I had this dream in which a tree invited me to explore the golden inscription on its falling leaves. I pocketed this project for several years, until it became relevant again when Finland turned 100 as a nation in 2017. I went through a sort of existential crisis, exploring who I was as a as an artist, mother of two toddlers, and as a human being, digging into what it meant to me to be an expatriate Finn, having made the United States my permanent home. I wanted to find ways to meaningfully share parts of my cultural heritage with my children. I turned to Kalevala for inspiration and started writing songs based on the runes. The poems reminded me that my ancestors were people of nature, people of the forest. It spoke to my very heart. So while this musical is about the Kalevala, I put this magical forest at the heart of it, wanting it to be more of a character than just a setting. This is a story where nature is the leading lady. The trees are the guardians of these long-lost characters, the storytellers who take us through the myths. The forest is full of melodies and memories, a place where spirits and ghosts cradle a time when we were one with nature. I’d like to think of this forest as an escapee’s favorite place to hang on, reassess and reset some values.

What has been the development path so far for this epic forest mythos extravaganza?

Columbia University holds an annual Kalevala Marathon, where people gather to read the poems, often in multiple languages. I decided to perform two of my songs there. Event attendees were intrigued, and one project quickly followed another as I continued to expand the song cycle. It was at the Finnish Street Fair in Greenwich Village, organized by the Finlandia Foundation NYMC, that I repurposed some songs from my “musical tree” and added them to the song bouquet. The songs fit perfectly – I only had to change a word or two of the existing lyrics!

The play became theatrical, when my friends and I cast a cast, added a band, a musical director and even choreographed a few songs. I’ll fast forward a handful of subsequent concert readings at New York Estonian House, Scandinavia House NY, Kapsäkki Theater in Helsinki, and a staged reading at Signature Theater in 2019 up to-

Until there is the pandemic.

Yes. And the world stopped. We all pressed pause, except for actor/producer and Kalevala cast member Quentin Garzon, who took care of producing virtual videos online. After mostly producing songs from established musicals, Quentin asked me if I had thought about producing a concept album for Kalevala the musical. I confessed yes, but the idea seemed daunting, with such a large cast, ensemble, and my big dreams of featuring a full orchestra of live instruments, including two harps and a kantele, a Finnish folk instrument. Fortunately, he shared my dream and took charge of making the project a reality. I have never met anyone else on a mission to make the impossible possible! He is a strength! As Quentin began gathering talent for the album, Kristi Roosmaa and Petra Jasmiina Haapamäki signed on to help produce the album. I asked my childhood friend and brilliant orchestrator Marko Hilpo to orchestrate the material and he did an amazing job, bringing the music to life on a whole new level, while staying true to the original flavors of the song. We decided to record in studios in Los Angeles, New York, Helsinki, London and in home studios around the world.

Interview: Composer Johanna Telander talks about KALEVALA THE MUSICALYou have big stars on this album, like Ramin Karimloo and Julia Murney! What was it like working with the talent during the recording process?

I still can’t believe we were lucky enough to have Ramin Karimloo on the album as our legendary Väinämöinen! He is the protagonist, the spirit of humanity that the children follow through the stories. Working with Ramin while recording remotely between London, OH and NY has been a highlight for me during the pandemic. I found it so inspiring to witness his humble process of taking on brand new material. His voice isn’t just the embodiment of a rock god, he also kills theatrically as a mighty mage, with a mix of animal beast and raw vulnerability. Recording the legendary Julia Murney as her nemesis Louhi, the powerful witch matriarch of the North, was awesome because we were able to do it live in a studio in New York. I had so much fun bonding with her about Finnish things, who knew she loved Moomins! She’s a smart actress and a real powerful singer. Fun fact, one of his songs, Tide of the Sun and Moon – is actually one of the repurposed “tree songs” I wrote years ago. I’m also impressed by the multitude of other Broadway talents we’ve collaborated with, as well as Finnish theater star Reeta Vestman, who has been our Rainbow Maiden almost from the very beginning. She recorded from a studio in Finland. The entire cast brought such richness to these mythical characters!

Once you got everyone checked in, putting all the material together cohesively must have been a challenge.

Yes, mixing was a huge challenge. Especially when a lot of the recording was done remotely. After many phases, this task finally fell to my college friend Jay Alton, who used his unusual magic ears to make us all sound our best. Brian Lucey of Magic Garden Mastering then mastered it to absolute perfection. All in all, it took the involvement of almost 100 other people to make this epic and incredible journey of the original concept album happen! I am grateful to each of them. My husband, my parents, our supporters and donors, our album cover designer David Garzon, the many professional contributors, the ensemble, the orchestra, the assistants and the fans – who have kept us going. After almost two years, the many crazy phases have finally been healed – since the album is now out.

Now anyone can enter the forest. At least via streaming platforms or your website by listening to the album. But what’s next for Kalevala the Musical? Is this this?

Certainly not the end of the line here. I think this project could take many forms and be expanded. The interest generated by the album encourages me to believe that our audience is ready to embrace more original stories. I would love to see Kalevala fully realized on stage. Or I’d like to see this filmed – preferably in my woods in Tuxedo, NY, and places in Finland. There is a possibility that partnerships will bubble up with other artists. If fate and luck have it, some interesting developments may soon be afoot. The only thing I won’t do is silence the forest. It’s just too strong in my head, and it really wants to come out into the world in some kind of 3D form.

So why do you think your trees don’t want to be silenced? What do they want to tell us? What is their goal!

The Kalevala is cool! If my trees could influence people both inside and outside of Finland to pick up a copy and check it out, that would be a goal I would gladly achieve. But it’s not just about the Finns and their mythology. We humans are more rooted in nature than we remember. In our modern comfort, in celebration of the inventions and technology created by man all around us, it is sometimes so easily forgotten. If I can spark conversations about the environment, make us think of nature more as a part of who we are, and not some external factor we live around, maybe we’ll be more likely to want to do something for Save her.

Exploring human nature, where man and nature come together, makes this story both current and universal.

All the words of wisdom you’d like to share with the next generation of musical theater writers or composers?

Trust the story that wants to be written. Be kind to yourself, you don’t have to be perfect. Be temperamental, explore your thoughts without too much attention, see what sticks with you on the fly because that’s, in my experience, where those best ideas like to live and be discovered.

Learn more about Kalevala the Musical here.

Live streaming has gained popularity in 2022 among AsianDate members looking for online adventures and refreshing chats Tue, 22 Nov 2022 14:12:16 +0000

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Review: Jefferson Mays Brings His Horribly Good Christmas Carol to Broadway Tue, 22 Nov 2022 01:30:02 +0000

There are so many theatrical, film and TV versions of Charles Dickens’ Christmas Ghost Story A Christmas Carol available for your holiday consumption that you might be wondering why in the name of Bob Cratchit we would need another one. To you, dear reader, I would say that you have never seen a Christmas song much like the one currently playing on Broadway at the Nederlander Theatre, and if you only see one version of the classic Dickensian tale this season, it should be this one.

The main reason for this praise is Jefferson Mays, who plays more than 50 characters in a 95-minute adaptation that he, Susan Lyons (his wife) and director Michael Arden put together. This isn’t the first time the production has been staged; it had its world premiere at the Geffen Playhouse in 2018, and in 2020 it was filmed for streaming audiences at the United Palace Theater in Washington Heights while Broadway was closed. According to our review, the taped version was a triumph, but no movie can come close to seeing Mays work her stage magic in person.

Unlike Jack Thorne Reimagined Tony-winner Christmas song as of 2019, the script for this production comes verbatim from Dickens’ writings – both the book and the text that Dickens used in his own performative readings. That doesn’t include all of the short story (it would take a little over three hours), but Ebenezer Scrooge, Marley’s Ghost, the Three Spirits, Tiny Tim, and dozens of other characters you know (and some you might not) all come to life in one of the scariest Christmas songs you will ever see.

It’s because Arden and his creative team have really looked into the ghost story corner of the tale. The first thing we see on stage is a barely visible open coffin in a thick shroud of shadows (lighting designer Ben Stanton does as much with darkness in this show as he does with light). The sonic slamming of the coffin lid (Joshua D. Reid’s sound design echoes through the theater with thrilling clarity) had audiences jumping out of their seats in laughter during the performance I attended. It also caused a baby in the audience to scream in fear. It’s worth mentioning that while tweens and teens will likely have fun with the loud noises and eerie atmosphere, some little ones may find the sounds and sights of this production too scary.

Jefferson Mays portrays over four dozen characters in his solo performance of A Christmas Carol.
A Christmas Carol Live)

As the theater is plunged into darkness, a voice can be heard intoning: “Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt about it. Then, with the flick of a match, we see Mays, hauntingly illuminated by the flame of a single candle, standing before us wearing a black suit and top hat (suit designed by Dane Laffrey ). He plays the mourner who will recount the events that unfolded on Christmas Eve, when three spirits – the ghosts of Christmases past, present and future – visited the misanthropic Ebenezer Scrooge and changed his petty greed into love and compassion for him. ‘humanity.

Arden’s production uses a fun house of special effects to tell this familiar story. In addition to Stanton’s masterful lighting, which transforms the mourner’s face into the gruesome apparition of Marley’s ghost with only the green glow of a banister, Laffrey, who also designed the set, surprises us at every turn. with its decor of changing shapes. Like the grand staircase Harry Potter movies, the stairs leading to Scrooge’s rooms seem to appear out of nowhere and then disappear just as silently. Projection designer Lucy Mackinnon, working hand in hand with her husband Stanton, cuts through the shadows with spectral effects that create ghostly images everywhere and give us the illusion of Scrooge flying over the streets of London with the Ghost of the Christmases past.

Although Mays is the only performer on stage to speak, near the end Danny Gardner enters as the ghost of Christmas yet to come, completely concealed in a huge black shroud, and raises a prophetic arm to warn Scrooge of his impending peril. does not change. his ways. Sound designer Reid lends even more menace to the room’s most terrifying apparition with a metallic whine as the spirit seems to float through the misty graveyard (here and elsewhere, Laffrey’s rotating set is put to good use ).

But what about Tiny Tim, Bob and the rest of the Cratchit clan? Rest assured, dear reader, that this production is not all morose. In a brilliant tour de force, Mays hilariously plays the entire Cratchit family at their festive Christmas dinner, portraying goose and flaming pudding so we feel like we can see it all. It’s a theatrical feat to remember, as is the show’s finishing touch: a gloriously surprising reveal that will have your eyes popping out of your head. This Christmas song will send you out into the cold feeling warm, thoughtful, and maybe – maybe – a little less cynical about the state of the world right now. What gift could be better this time of year?



Why Austin Butler cries when he sees an Elvis performance Mon, 21 Nov 2022 14:00:47 +0000

Austin Butler has, as you might guess, a ton of Elvis playlists on his Spotify account. He created the first three years ago while painting a Los Feliz house he had just moved into, just at the start of the five months he spent trying to convince Baz Luhrmann to choose him for the main role in “Elvis”.

Butler won the role, and for the next two years he never stopped listening to Elvis. He created playlists to inspire emotions for scenes in the film. (The loneliness was high in those sets.) He created a playlist of gospel and blues music that Presley loved and listened to. And, for a challenge, he’s cut down his 40 favorite Elvis songs, including what might be Butler’s two go-to numbers, “Milkcow Blues Boogie” and “Polk Salad Annie,” songs that never fail to inspire him. make happy. It’s a flawless mix, even though it includes “Never Been to Spain,” a song we both agreed to disagree on during a long conversation on a recent sunny afternoon in Los Angeles. .

Can Butler even listen to Elvis these days after spending two years so engrossed in the king’s role that he had to be hospitalized for a week the day filming wrapped? (What was thought to be appendicitis turned out to be a virus that caused her lymph nodes to burst.)

“You know, now he’s like my best friend where if I’m having a bad day, I just put his music on and it’s fine,” Butler says. He did it the other day, listening to Stax Studios recordings of Elvis while driving around Cincinnati, where he’s currently filming Jeff Nichols’ motorcycle movie, “The Bikeriders.” He might do it again tonight, returning home to Los Feliz.

“I love listening to ‘Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues’ when I’m in LA,” Butler says. The first lines of the song: “Everybody’s leaving / He said they were moving to LA”

Butler slept in his own bed for the first time in months last night, so he could enjoy the soulful mood of the song. He grew up in Anaheim and misses Southern California, especially the weather, sushi, and “smelling the air here,” which isn’t the first time he’s come across a scent like one. of his favorite things. He loves Disneyland but hasn’t been there for a few years. He wants to go back and tap into that “feeling of going out there and holding my mom’s hand.” Favorite ride: Pirates of the Caribbean. What other answer is there?

Austin Butler prepared so much for “Elvis” that the late singer became his best friend.

(Photos by Warner Bros.)

“I love the smell,” he says, smiling. “There’s a person who makes cologne and candles, and they bottled Pirates of the Caribbean perfume. I could feel that all day.

What does Pirates of the Caribbean smell like? “Sweet and musky,” Butler replies in a honeyed Southern drawl, an accent still ingrained in his speech some 20 months after finishing “Elvis.” He is aware of this and laughs when I point it out to him. “They had to hire a dialect coach for the next thing I pulled [‘Masters of the Air,’ a World War II limited series about the 8th Air Force] to make sure I didn’t look like Elvis.

In an alternate universe, we could be sitting here right now talking about Butler playing another fighter pilot – Rooster Bradshaw in “Top Gun: Maverick.” While starring in the 2018 revival of Eugene O’Neill’s ‘The Iceman Cometh’ on Broadway, Butler’s agent called, telling him ‘Top Gun’ producers wanted him to go to Florida to take a screening test. Butler said no. Days earlier, he and Quentin Tarantino had struck a deal for Butler to play Manson “family” member Tex Watson in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” It wasn’t a big role, but Butler had grown up revering Tarantino’s work, and he wasn’t going to pass on the dream of working with him.

So Butler did “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” wrapped filming in November 2018, then found himself out of work — and plunged into sadness. During his career, he had considered quitting acting several times, but could never let go. While going through years creating teen sitcoms for Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, and the CW, he kept coming back to a quote from Ira Glass about how your taste gets you into art, and then you have to keep working. until your skill level catches up with your tastes. Butler hung on to that and would watch “Raging Bull” for the 100th time, get inspired, perfect his technique, and hope for a chance.

Starring alongside Denzel Washington in “The Iceman Cometh” (“you could see he was going to be a star,” Washington tells me) was the first step. “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” – in which he tells Brad Pitt in the climactic showdown that he’s “as real as a donut”, a line that was originally “I’m as real as a ball”, but Pitt misheard it in repeat and, just before saying action, Tarantino told Butler to substitute in “doughnut” – was the second.

But after that, nothing came that convinced Butler that he would take the next big step. He remembered something Pitt had told him – “play the long game…if it doesn’t resonate with your heart, don’t give it the time of day” – so he refused everything for four months, even if it was “maddening”, even if he felt his mental health deteriorating. And then he heard that Luhrmann was doing “Elvis”. And that’s when he started making his Spotify listings, treating his extended audition like a job and, as he puts it, “deluding himself into thinking that if I just believe this job is mine , then no one can stop me”.

The defining moment came after he filmed himself singing “Love Me Tender” to send to Luhrmann and walked away crestfallen. It was an impersonation of Elvis. Nothing more. At the time, Butler had watched every Elvis performance he could find on video and YouTube, and came across “Unchained Melody,” a song Elvis sang on his last tour a year before. his death. Elvis is out of breath and struggling, but in the middle of the song he nails a high note, and he looks at the audience and smiles. Butler cries every time he sees that smile, the twinkle in Elvis’ eyes reminding him of the young singer who won the hearts of the world.

One night Butler woke up from a nightmare – he dreamed that his mother was dying again. Cancer had taken her when Butler was 23, the same age as Elvis when his beloved mother died.

“It was that thing where I knew it could turn into a really bad day, you know, where you start out in deep grief,” Butler says, recalling that morning. “And I just thought there had to be a way to channel that feeling. And I was so obsessed with Elvis that it became this other thing to go, ‘OK. He felt grief. How about it? Is he taken? Well, he would sing. He would pour out his soul in the song.

While still in his pajamas, Butler put on a bathrobe, sat down in front of a piano, turned on a camera and sang “Unchained Melody” to his mother.

A few weeks later, Luhrmann called with the offer.

“You know, I’m a shy guy, I’ve never sung, never danced, so even if I didn’t get the part, I was going to relish the fact that I got to explore that part of myself for five months and experimenting with Baz,” Butler says. He pauses, then bursts into a smile. “Having said that, I’m pretty glad I got the job.”

I am a visually oriented music composer: Devi Sri Prasad Mon, 21 Nov 2022 05:47:23 +0000

If a film has good visuals, the music automatically falls into place, says composer Devi Sri Prasad, better known by his initials DSP.

It’s only fitting that Prasad, who rose to national fame with last year’s mega hit ”Pushpa: The Rise”, came to compose the music for the Hindi sequel to ”Drishyam”. ‘, which means ‘visual’.

For someone who leans towards experimentation, director Abhishek Pathak – a crime thriller – was a step in the right direction, said the 43-year-old composer.

“It’s a kind of genre that I’ve never done before. They were also experimental songs. The songs had to be catchy, but also intense and appropriate to the situation. I was able to understand the depth of the film through the making.

“Director Abhishek Pathak, Cinematographer Sudhir K Chaudhary and Editor Sandeep Francis did a great job. Visuals inspire my music. I am a visual music composer. If you have good visuals and a good story, the music automatically clicks into place,’ Prasad told PTI in an interview.

He boarded the Ajay Devgn-starrer back when it was already in production.

”’Drishyam 2” came to me as the film was almost shot. They wanted me to do the background music as well as the songs. Whatever they shot and edited, they showed it to me. I immediately fell in love with it,” he added.

The first part of ”Drishyam”, released in 2015, centered on a family of four whose lives are turned upside down following an unfortunate incident that happens to their eldest daughter. The second episode sees the past come back to haunt the Salgaonkar family as former IG Meera Deshmukh (Tabu) returns to avenge the murder of her son with the help of fellow IG Tarun Ahlawat, played by Akshaye Khanna.

Apart from the three songs, written by Amitabh Bhattacharya, ”Drishyam 2” has distinct musical themes for its main characters.

Prasad said he used a solo voice as background music only for Tabu’s character. To add to Khanna’s intelligent character, he took the help of a single French horn. For Devgn’s protagonist, he used the cello.

”I used instruments that aren’t widely used these days. Like, the cello and a double bass which also as a solo instrument. The main theme of ‘Drishyam 2’ is on the cello. ”But we keep changing the instruments in the score depending on the mood of the film. Sometimes it sounds like bells or very orchestral,” he added.

About the background score, the composer said he tried to design the music in such a way that the viewer could tell which character was on screen even if they closed their eyes.

“All the background music in the film must have a color and inside of it there must be three different colors for the three characters. The background of this film could not be noisy. It had to be intriguing, it should arouse curiosity. ” Prasad also said that he was lucky enough to work with veteran singer Usha Uthup, who lent his vocals to the title track along with Vijay Prakash.

“Madame Usha and I always wanted to work on the song. She loves me, I love her. Finally, we had the chance to do a track together,” he said.

With Ranveer Singh-starring ”Cirkus”, ”Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan” with Salman Khan, Nitesh Tiwari’s ”Bawaal”, ”Waltair Veerayya” led by Chiranjeevi, ”Suriya 42” and ‘ ‘Pushpa: The Rule’, Prasad has a busy year ahead of him.

He recently released his non-album single ”O Pilla” in Telugu along with its Tamil and Hindi versions.

No points for guessing that ”Pushpa: The Rule”, starring Allu Arjun, is his most anticipated project, and the music director says work on the sequel is underway.

”’Pushpa 2” is going very well. We have composed some of the songs, the lyrics are being written. (Director) Sukumar sir wrote a brilliant script. ”We are on video calls every day wherever we are. They call me to tell me whatever the next scene they are going to shoot.” The work will only ”increase,” Prasad said, sharing the songs of ”Pushpa 2” will be recorded in many many languages ​​other than Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi.

“The biggest exercise is that we’re going to record songs in all languages. They plan to dub songs in more languages ​​than before,” he added.

The music director, who said the team didn’t expect ”Pushpa: The Rise” to be such a hit, is working on the second part with complete sincerity.

“During ‘Pushpa 1’, we just worked hard and gave our 100 percent. We should never take the stress of that and pursue it. ”We have to be sincere about what we do. We should enjoy everything we do and then things will fall into place. This way, ‘Pushpa 2’ is looking good.” ”Drishyam 2” was released in theaters last week.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Joe Buck skeptical of Tom Brady’s broadcasting future Sat, 19 Nov 2022 16:44:57 +0000

Joe Buck and Troy Aikman spent 20 seasons as the main team of NFL broadcasters for FOX.

After failing to reach an agreement to stay on the network with his contract expiring, Aikman agreed to a massive deal, which exceeds Tony Romo’s 17.5 million/year with CBS, to move to ESPN to become the Monday Night senior analyst. Soccer.

Meanwhile, Joe Buck, who had one year left on his contract with FOX at the time, was granted a release from his contract so he could follow suit.

The two have since picked up where they left off at FOX, but now they cover the illustrious Monday Night Football game together every week on ESPN.