Witches! the Musical – Writer Interview

September 7, 2012 – Mount Vernon, WA

Interview with Conrad Askland – writer of “Witches! the Musical”

Premiere Info

Why did you choose the subject of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials?

Originally I had picked a different subject. But while researching that other project I ran into a major problem with the plot that ruined the project for me. That plot problem became my new focus for a different project which I started working on, and may be my next project. During that process I realized it was just too big to attack for my first full length musical. So I started over looking specifically for an existing story, a topic I felt hadn’t been done well as musical theater in the past, and that incorporated children.

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Press Release: Witches! the Musical World Premiere

Press Release
September 7, 2012 – Mount Vernon, WA
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Theater Arts Guild presents Witches! the Musical, a Halloween world premiere production based on historical events of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. Famous historical characters come to life with a cast over 30 strong as Witches! the Musical portrays the dark events of the Salem Witch Trials with a spine tingling score of rock, hip hop, classical and 20th century music styles mixed with satire, fantasy, fact and fiction.

Directed by Jane Skinner with book, music and lyrics by Conrad Askland. Rated PG-13 for content. More info at www.WitchesMusical.com or call the Lincoln Theater at 360-336-8955 for tickets.

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Witches! the Musical – Auditions June 5-6, 2012 – Mount Vernon, WA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Auditions for “Witches! the Musical” June 5-6, 2012 at the Historic Lincoln Theater in Mount Vernon, WA.  Show dates will be Oct. 19-Nov. 3 at the Lincoln Theater. This is a world premiere show about the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. For more info and audition signups visit http://www.WitchesMusical.com.

Produced by TAG – the Theater Arts Guild of Skagit County.
http://www.theaterartsguild.org

Shy Boy and Friend WOW Audience with The Prayer

I got a little shiver and the start of a tear when I watched this. Another lesson for us that we can find inspiration in places we might not expect. Each of us has a special voice. Part of the beauty of life is to find that voice and express it the best we can to help lift others up.

Check out what Simon says at 5:20 and the response at 5:34. Beautiful. From a musical standpoint I think the male singer will have to be very careful not to blow his voice by bringing so much weight to the voice (no reference to his physical size) in trying to simulate an older singer’s voice. (Male singers usually do not fully mature to full voice until late twenties). But I love the story. It’s inescapable. Bravo!

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Derek Paravicini – Savant Pianist

Lesley Stahl profiles British musical savant Derek Paravicini, whose computer-like memory for music is matched by his creative abilities to play it in any style.

This is so inspiring I wanted to share it with you. It’s partly about music and overcoming obstacles, but also about human connections and communication through music.

Jeff Zaslow and Reaching for the Best

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/03/04/opinion/greene-zaslow/index.html?hpt=hp_c3

Great article by Bob Greene about Jeff Zaslow, the author who helped Randy Pausch write “The Last Lecture”. If you haven’t read the Last Lecure, I highly recommend it.

Bob Greene’s article talks about doing your best at all times. He says it’s not often that it pays off, but it’s an admirable endeavor.

“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problem.” – Ghandi

165 Million Year Old Cricket Song

http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2012/8210.html

Excerpt:

The love song of an extinct cricket that lived 165 million years ago has been brought back to life by scientists at the University of Bristol. The song – possibly the most ancient known musical song documented to date – was reconstructed from microscopic wing features on a fossil discovered in North East China. It allows us to listen to one of the sounds that would have been heard by dinosaurs and other creatures roaming Jurassic forests at night.

CDS Zaia closing Feb 19, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Macau, China – Just announced to the cast and crew of the Cirque Du Soleil show Zaia that it is closing in Macau and last performance date will be Feb 19, 2012. Official announcements are currently being made by Cirque publicly. Zaia opened as a resident show at the Venetian Macau resort and casino in September 2008.

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Q&A: How to play AAC audio files on website?

Email question received:

no problem getting my site to play mp3 files, but what do you do if you’ve got an AAC file that you want people to hear.

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Response:

Hey there, great question! What I found is that Adobe Flash supports AAC, so you could use a flashplayer to stream your AAC music files. From what I read it appears there are some other players also but they only support internet explorer. I’m assuming that you want your solution to be cross platform. It also looks like Orbis may have some players but you have to purchase them.

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Acoustic Treatment for Audio Mixing Room

As part of my Critical Listening class with Berklee Music Online I’ve been spending a lot of time tweaking my audio mixing room. The point is to level out the environment at the listening position for an audio response that minimizes comb filtering and nodes that cancel out frequencies. If the problem is not minimized, at least knowing the frequency problem areas can give you crucial information so you don’t over adjust in the final mixes.

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Kung Hei Fat Choy 2012

The entire company of Zaia wishes you a Happy Chinese New Year. Kung Hei Fat Choy!

I had my noodles at the local Chinese restaurant and let off bottle rockets into the water of Macau. Happy to report no rockets hit me this year.

Good Bye ZED

ZED had it’s last performance December 31, 2011 at Tokyo Disneyland. I was lucky to travel to Tokyo in October 2011 to see this Cirque Du Soleil show and meet the artists and musicians. The show and music were so fantastic. Consensus is that this was one of Cirque’s best shows. It’s an artistic crime that it is closing. I mean it was fantastic beyond words. It had that Cirque “magic” through out.

There are always hopes with the fans that the show will resurrect somehow – but Cirque has redeployed many of the artists to other shows and the ZED theater was built for the show which makes it difficult to move somewhere else. Artistically I know in my heart that whatever happens the original magic of ZED will have to be a time capsule for the short time it ran – about 3 years. A new magic can continue but you can’t go back and recreate the same magic.

To the musicians, artistic team and cast of ZED I say what you already know: You created a one-of-a-kind masterpiece that you can always carry in your theatrical heart. You were part of something truly magical…

In this video the various Cirque Du Soleil shows say goodbye to ZED, including the show I work currently work on: ZAIA.

I Want to Quit Smoking

I really want to quite smoking. I’ve been smoking for 26 years at a pack or 1.5 packs a day. Today was my quitting day. I made it 7 hours. Was dizzy, disorientated and thought about smoking almost every second. I’m smoking a cigarette now as I write this.

I don’t want to die from a smoking related disease. I have a lot more music work to do. Any tips from people that successfully quit smoking?

Bruce Swedien – Keeping the Mix Primitive

Audio engineer Bruce Swedien talks about keeping the mix primitive. Years ago I had his video series on microphone usage. The big tip I picked up from that was to use microphones to capture part of the room. Using microphone pairs to combine the source and ambient reflections. Also started to record keyboard parts going through amps rather than direct to the console.

I think it’s a wonderful approach to sound design and engineering. I’ve also always enjoyed Bruce Swedien’s low profile presentation. Most of us producing music these days are guilty at one point or another of getting too involved in the gear. I guess like with most studies the key is to study the details and geeky procedures as much as you can – but then forget all that and do your thing when it comes to your productions. Swedien really emphasizes the important of not losing the root passion of the music.

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2001 Space Odyssey Opener

I find this incredibly disturbing so I’m posting it in the hopes that it incredibly disturbs you as well. And now ladies and gentlemen, the official 2001 Space Odyssey opener. (Mmmm…Also Sprach Zarathustra or something like that)

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