Monday, September 14, 2009

Pop History

So blogging has gone to the bottom of the list for me lately. In my precious spare time, I've had a choice between blogging and napping; I've chosen napping. It's all good, I'm sure I'll get back in the swing after the show opens.

At least, I hope so. The show currently runs 3 hours. The good news: it does not feel like 3 hours at all; it's so engaging. The bad news: It runs 3 hours.

This past week, we added some sound in for the transitions between scenes. The director, Terry Nolen (who incidentally is also the Artistic Director for The Arden), loves using the cast as scene changers. I have to agree, it makes everything run so smoothly and offers the audience continuity by allowing them to see the same people on the stage all the time. There is also the chance to work the scene change into the action of the show as well.

Anyway, our sound designer (who will also be providing some video for the show) is Jorge Cousineau. This guy is so bloody awesome! I can't think of a better way to describe him. The assistant Production Manager calls him "a mad genius." That fits as well.

He grew up in East Germany and came of age in the 1980's, around the time The History Boys takes place. He told us how he would rig antennae and recording devices up in order to get the radio stations coming out of West Germany and the rest of Europe. He'd record them on a tape player (old school) and then he and his friends would share what they had. He said that sometimes he'd have to stand "just so" in order to get the station he wanted.

So you can see why he became a sound designer. He also composes music; there's no end to his genius.

Well, the actors in our play are quite young since they have to play teenage boys. They didn't come of age in the 1980's. So Jorge made them all a CD of 1980's music so they could listen to what English lads were listening to at that time. I, of course as stage manager, had to have a copy and I love it! I actually recognize some of the songs which made me happy because the songs on the CD are all what teens listened to in Europe.

Jorge and I had a quick conversation about music of the 80's. I said I listened to: David Bowie (Let's Dance anyone?), Talking Heads (Stop Making Sense), U2 (I did hear them first in France on a school trip in 1984), and, hmmm, well, I can't think of the rest. Jorge just said, "Yup, American music."

As I write this, I'm listening to the CD and loving the trip down memory lane and learning about the music I missed on this side of the pond. What did you listen to in the 80's?


  1. i was a metal head in the 80s...metallica, motley crue, poison, tesla, skid row, yeah i could go on but you get the point. hope the show continues to go well.

  2. That's so funny because I think of the 80's as my 'musical desert' years. I love alternative music, always have but for some reason 1984 - 1990 was filled with Pop . .Fleetwood Mac 'Rumours', Barbara Streisand and that Gibb fellow, Elton John, Dire Straits and Sting - Dinner Party background stuff and a plethora of commercial rubbish combined with "There's a Bear In There' Australia's Play School's first CD! Thank God I woke up in the 90's and rediscovered The Prodigy, Nine Inch Nails, the Cult, Radiohead, The Cure and as my kids have got older, I now enjoy their musical tastes, very eclectic - just don't ask me who's singing other than Sarah Mitchell or Emilia Tourini But I've made up for lost time. I'm cool now (haha legend in my own lunchtime!). Please take some video footage of your rehearsals. I'd love to see what you do. I miss the theatre more than you will know.

  3. Pardon me, but to whom do you owe some of your musical cred? Talking Heads, Bowie? You could give a shout out to those who steered you down the path. Of course, I'm just looking for credit. Can I have a copy of that CD?

  4. The Clash, The Cure, Elton, David Bowie, Talking Heads, Roxy Music, Pet Shop Boys...Pat Benetar, Joan Jett...I could go on...

    Thankfully, my tastes have expanded and I now listen to lots of different things.

    I hope your rehearsals go well,too.

  5. Thanks everyone. I love hearing what people were listening to back in the day. I'll try to find some footage of the show.

  6. The 80's? Oh my. I can't possibly list them all here. I was in high school from 83-87, so we missed the early punk scene and only came into it later and pretended real convincingly that we listened to it when we were 10!

    Oh my. I'm lost in a sea of sound memory right now.

    Hope all is going well with the show, and you, and kids, and all...