The Dance of Madness

This is a hybrid orchestral / pop piece I arranged for the stage show, “Silence of the Music”, produced by Desert Rose Music.

From the marketing blurb:

Silence of the Music is a ground breaking musical drama set in 2030 South Africa and tells the tale of an elderly couple whose intercultural marriage was spurned [...] by their families, friends and broader community. The story of Maria, a music composer (played by the inimitable Michele Maxwell of Isidingo and Scandal fame) and Khalil, a cab driver (played by veteran actor Farouk Valley-Omar – 10 000 BC, Tree of Life) reflects on the multitude of challenges they’ve experienced, through their love for each other, and their common love of music.”

The song was written by Lynne Holmes-Ganief, and features vocals by noted oratorio soprano Antoinette Blyth, who directs Cape Town’s Philharmonia Choir. It also features additional violin performances by François Luc Arzul, first violist of South Africa’s National Symphony Orchestra.

The rest of it is, of course, produced through the magic of very large sample libraries and the investment of far too much time, a sprawling monolith of a project that eats more than 70 tracks in my mixer. On this piece I used East West’s Symphonic Orchestra, legato patches from VSL’s Opus 1, and the very excellent TAL Bassline VST, which is available for free here.

Silence of the Music is on at the Baxter Theatre from late September through October 2010.

Dance of Madness by mdavisto

Tuesday AM

En route to the Yami of Yawn So, I woke up on Tuesday with this tune in my head. Staggering over to the console, I had a bash at capturing it before caffeine or daylight could dissuade me.

This particular approach to writing music is a mixed bag. The tunes we hear in our dreams are often earth shatteringly fantastic and emotive – but suck once you drag them into the real world. I keep a dictaphone next to my bed so that if I wake up in the night with an idea I can hum it and go back to sleep. 90% of the time the idea is rubbish or I cannot understand what my nocturnal mumblings are about.

In this case I quite like the result. Like much of my work, it’s not quite finished, but this is as far as I’m going to take it. I’d rather move on to something else before it becomes a time sink.

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Spirit of Africa

Album cover So, as one of my friends has been nagging me for updates on this project (yes YOU Vorgan), I can tell you that Spirit of Africa is now complete. We wrapped production about a week ago. Even though my involvement was fairly limited – I came in on the back end – it was pretty challenging, as Lynn’s arrangements tend to be epic in scope.

This is probably one of her most involved and daring productions to date, and features a host of guest performances by some really top players, including Pops Mohamed, Dizu Plaaitjies and some wonderful vox samples performed by Nobuhle Ketelo. She’s one to watch, her voice is fantastic – very rich and soulful.

My involvement was basically some percussion programming (make drums biggerer) and some input on the mixes. Work on Sands of Time II should begin within the next few weeks.

Lynn has kindly given permission for me to post a clip from the album here; you can listen to more at her website: Desert Rose Music.

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