Composing and Performing the Music Score for A Christmas Twist

The following is a guest post from Allan Loucks.23319988571_45d51672f7_k

Allan composes and plays music for BAT and a number of other theaters in the area. (He does other composing and playing beyond theater, too.)

When you produce better live theater you meet a lot of talented people. Allan is one of the most talented. BAT met Allan when he composed the score to Dracula for us. He has been a joy to work with since then. Most recently Allan was part of the band (anything that was not percussion or piano) in The Addams Family. Right now he has composed and is playing the incidental music in A Christmas Twist.Get your TICKETS HERE, before A Christmas Twist is gone forever!

Allan writes about his current adventure:

When reading the script for this show, many “sketch-comedy-like” aspects to it reminded me of classic radio programs and silent movies (and even the circus) that used an organ as the main instrument (often augmented with additional instruments). These shows would use music for stingers, scene-changes, and underscore. This idea then got it started – to add a campy string of influences: radio, movie, and circus clichés thematically adapted to go along with the rapid flow of clichés in the script.

There are many references to songs, movies, mythology, etc in this story. This added another fun element to the music. You’ll hear subtle whisps of these items in the music as the story unfolds.

For the Christmas show at BAT last year, I tried to find qualities that made Christmas songs sound the way they do. I found a motive (or shape), common to most of them, that is used superficially as well as a fundamental structure in these songs. Since I didn’t have to do all that research again, I used this as the main motive for this show, to again provide unity, as well as add a Christmas flavor to the music.

This quickly became irresistible! Naturally this music had to be performed live! From my arsenal of keyboards and synths, here is the assembled keyboard rig (5 keyboards, bass pedals, and rack) used in the show to help me do this:

IMG_20151212_191927You will hear organs, cellos, flute, bassoon, horn, and piano in the palette.

The music is used as another character in the story, functioning like a narrator that stands off to the side and fills you in on details.


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