(Photo: Andre “Virus” Karkos – Guitarist for Rock of Ages 2015)
Just finishing up my second contract as music director and keyboards for Rock of Ages out of New York with NCL International. What an awesome run this has been! The arsenal band for this run are some of the most talented and just all around cool musicians I have ever worked with. Awesome grooves and strong, hard hitting rock performances throughout the entire contract. Way to go Arsenal!
100 Rules for Drummers is a video compilation put together by my Rock of Ages bandmate and drummer, Steve Such. The catch is: each person could only use three words. My contribution is around #4 with “wear your earplugs!”
Peter Erskine, Jeff Hamilton, Zoro, Johnny Rabb, Curt Bisquera, Ari Hoenig, Victor Indrizzo, Jonathan Mover, Walfredo Reyes Jr., Steve Fidyk, Bermuda Schwartz, Dan Needham, Bruce Becker, Conrad Askland, Bill Bachman, Jeff Queen, Pete Lockett, Andre Boyd, Nick Ruffini, Dave Kropf, Richie Gajate-Garcia, Tim Lefevbre, and many more give their top piece of advice to drummers.
I am very honored to be included in the book Music Direction for the Stage: A View from the Podium, by Joseph Church and published by Oxford University Press. This textbook also includes a forward by Alan Menken.
Are you working in Ableton Live and trying to unsuccessfully load a set that crashes with “Out of Memory” warnings? A very simple workaround (as seen in the graphic above) is to turn off “Use Audio Units”. This will load the set without plugins so you can get the set up and running in order to cut it down and resave.
So once again I join the Rock of Ages cast as music director and keyboardist for the 2015 runs in New York and Bermuda. The band “Arsenal” is rocking hard this year with Guitarists Gino Del Sole, Andre “Virus” Karkos, Steve Such on drums and myself.
Most people know me as a music director, pianist or conductor for live shows and recordings. But what is very dear to my heart are my new musicals. These have all had an amateur 3 week premiere run to work out all the script, score and technical elements. They are all currently unpublished and await a professional run and agent representation.
I hope you will contact me either about agent representation of these musicals, or about performing them with your theatre group. I am very excited to see what other groups will do with these new works!
Romeo and Juliet the musical
Overview: Set entirely to William Shakespeare original text. In over 400 years there has never been a successful musical version of Romeo and Juliet using only Shakespeare’s original words. I believe this could be the first.
Reviews: “Revolutionary music”
For more info visit: http://www.RJmusical.com
PAN the musical
Overview: A retelling of the Peter Pan and Wendy story by JM Barrie. A new Peter Pan musical with classic score and updated for contemporary audience interaction.
Reviews: “Askland creates magic again”
For more info visit: http://www.PanMusical.com
Witches! the musical
Overview: The Salem Witch Trials come to life in 1692 Massachusetts.
For more info visit: http://www.WitchesMusical.com
Romeo and Juliet the musical will have it’s world premiere January 30 – February 15, 2015 at the Historic Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, WA.
RJ is my largest and most advanced musical score to date and features 10+ live musicians with a cast of 30+. The script and lyrics use only the original source text from William Shakespeare’s original Romeo and Juliet. Our time period is the authentic time period of Shakespeare’s original world premiere of RJ, late sixteenth century (1592-1594).
This work is orchestrated for Key 1, Key 2, Trombone, Horn, Flute/Piccolo/Recorder, Oboe, Clarinet/Bass Clarinet, Drums Bass and Guitar.
In over 400 years, since the original premiere of Romeo and Juliet, there has never been a successful musical rendition that has been embraced by both audiences and theater critics. Artistically this is a momentous challenge as we aim to do just that. We are brave. We are strong. We are RJ 2015. HUZZAH!
Follow our progress at the website for Romeo and Juliet the musical
I had a great time taking a break to take some photos in Lyman, WA. Particularly I enjoyed the rustic landscape and looking for interesting textures that we might overlook on a brisk walk.
I’m always amazed how just having a camera in hand can change our perspective for what the eye notices in it’s surroundings.
(Score sample of Keyboard Two part from Conrad Askland’s “Romeo and Juliet – the musical”, July 2014)
As I’m working on orchestrations for my third full length musical, “Romeo and Juliet” (http://www.RJmusical.com), I realize the need for a particular scoring approach for the Keyboard Two part. Here is the solution I came up with to incorporate Apple’s MainStage with Sibelius for use in orchestrations and creating the final Keyboard Two patch setup.
From left to right: Miki Santamaria (Guitar 2), Conrad Askland (Music Director and Keyboards), Paul Wandtke (Drums) and Angel Paz (Guitar 1).
Diario de Pontevedra, a Spanish newspaper, published an article about our Rock of Ages lead guitar player Angel Paz and included a photo of our band. This is “Arsenal” for the 2014 Rock of Ages at NCL New York.
We’ve had a great run as the 80’s Arsenal band on this show. A lot of work, but totally worth it and a stunning cast to work with both on and off the stage. Now, if I can only figure out what the article actually says…
The scripts and scores are completed for my latest musical – “PAN” (http://www.PanMusical.com). Even though the show had a community theater premiere in Sept. 2013, the follow-up process of completing the scores is very intense. Edits to script and score from the live run have to be incorporated. Tech notes, alternate melodies, clarifications to script and tech, and the never ending process of adding as much complete information as possible to the final orchestral score.
Here’s the Rock of Ages band for the NCL Breakaway run from March through September 2014 out of New York. We just finished several weeks of rehearsals down by Tampa, Florida and we’re getting ready to install the show on the ship.
Auditions for Conrad Askland’s Romeo and Juliet the musical will be October 7-8, 2014 at the Historic Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, WA. Visit www.RJMusical.com to sign up for auditions.
This show will be a world premiere with an all new musical score set to the original words of William Shakespeare. Directed by Joe Bowen and presented by META Performing Arts. This live musical version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet will run Jan. 30 – Feb. 15, 2015 at the Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, WA.
There will be NO participation fees for this particular production.
My upcoming musical theater opera, “Romeo and Juliet” was written with an Akai LPK25 two-octave USB keyboard. What? Muahaha, yes! In retrospect kind of hard to fathom, but there she is. I did all the music composition and beginning orchestration sketches in the Officer’s Bar of a cruise ship on my off time. The Akai LPK25 keyboard has convenient octave switching buttons on the side so I was able to easily navigate through bass and treble parts for fairly effortless composing. It was only a little tedious when doing soprano vocal lines; that’s when I really wish I had that extra octave. But hey, writing an opera on a two octave keyboard that fits in my computer bag – I’ll take that! Thank you Akai for an awesome product!
After the run of my latest musical, “PAN” (http://www.PanMusical.com), I’ve escaped to Europe and the Bahamas to perform, reflect and work on new projects. I love the different musical influences, especially Rome, Italy and Greece where I stumbled upon a concept for a new musical theater work that is dark and engaging.
Now in the Bahamas, I can’t really say that the musical influences of the tropical islands apply to my projects much, unless you need Reggae or club dance music ideas. But it’s good for relaxing and I’ve enjoyed the beaches and tropical locations with my compadres including Nassau, Belize, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Honduras and Jamaica.
So, to current projects: Yes, it’s true that I am working on a musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
The review is in for C.L. Askland’s “PAN the musical” world premiere!
From reviewer Lily Olason from Entertainment News Northwest Magazine:
“Askland creates more magic”
“…this show delights believers of any age”
“Askland’s take on the Neverlandian pirate troupe is excellent”
“Captain Hook (Peter Whited) is delightfully menacing”
“Throughout, the musicality and original score stuns”
“It’s as much fun to watch the show as to listen”
“The aesthetics of this show…are a knockout”
“Choreographed fabulously by Glynna Goff”
“Forty-year-olds will love this as much as their third-grader”
“It is certainly appropriate for kids”
PAN the musical “asks the big questions, it makes you think, and hands you a mirror”
“Pan: The Musical is a local, skilled and professional-caliber production with a big heart”
Cover articles from Cascadia Weekly magazine and the Skagit Herald newspaper on my latest theater work, “PAN the musical”. Previous cover articles included Entertainment News Northwest magazine. Thank you very much to these publications for supporting new theater works. For more info about my treatment of JM Barrie’s “Peter and Wendy” story visit http://www.PanMusical.com