26 March 2012

Floral Notes: The Perfect Songscape

Director Emma Kinane talks to drama on the waterfront about putting together the perfect score for Floral Notes.

Today, a week away from opening night, we are embedding a new song into Floral Notes. We finally have our complete songscape to accompany our story.

When Geri was writing the script for Floral Notes she left spaces in the story where a song would take over the narrative and it was up to Jane and Michael to find the appropriate song to bridge the gap or to expand on an idea or feeling.

Once the songs were chosen and we began rehearsals we found that some of the songs just didn't feel right. The song might have the perfect lyrics, but the mood or tone of the music wasn't a good fit for that part of the story. Or the music was exactly what we needed but the lyrics weren't quite saying what our characters needed to say. So a few songs were ditched and there were more late night riflings through songbooks and internet searches. A few replacements later and our score was once again complete. Or so we thought.
We sent the initial notice to APRA – the song licensing agency who administer music rights – only to find that one of the songs was unable to be licensed. Eeek! Yet more midnight internet trawling.

It's surprisingly hard to find songs that celebrate the joy of friendship without sounding either mushily romantic or, perhaps worse, twee. Iris and Rosemary are not in love, nor are they Sesame Street characters. They are adult women who have renewed their old pen pal friendship and are discovering that giving and receiving true friendship is a wonderful, transformative experience – and deserving of a song or two!

Many hairs were pulled from scalps as successive songs were found, tried out and then rejected but, like with many internet situations, the key to success lay in refining our search terms. 45th time lucky! We found our song, with a week to spare. As I'm writing this Michael and Jane and Geri are sitting around the piano playing the newly found song; “Good Friends” from a musical called Applause. It's perfect! And they sound fabulous! 

Floral Notes opens Wednesday, 4 April and runs until 28 April, with $25 Specials on 3, 6 and 8 April. To book, call the Circa Box Office at 801-7992 or go online at www.circa.co.nz

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