Antigone was the first production of my wife Anna Lien's new independent theater company, Gorilla Theater Productions. I got wear a lot of different hats on this one, from production assistant, composer of house music, assistant director, documentarian, and promotional assistant/trailer director. For now let's talk about the score.
Anna and I are big fans of using minimalist set designs that rely on the marriage of sparse structures and props with lighting and ambient sound. The goal was to make a series of mood tracks to fill the space between the play opening, intermission, and closing.
Opening score: Track 1 "Digging"
Anna requested that the score be primarily drum pieces having originally desired to have a live percussion group present. I did a little bit or research and found that most Greek drums, were similar to Native American Earth Drums, I set out initially to have spacy high bass drums booming which contradicted the more African drum sound that a percussion group would have produced. As the production evolved and I saw that Anna was going more for a timeless place out of time aesthetic similar many modern productions of Shakespeare I opted for less concern about anachronism and ran wild with what felt appropriate for the world of the play.
"Digging" could as easily have been called "Sneaking" as it's about Antigone going out in the night before the play opens. Of the tracks I put together and particularly pleased with this one on an arrangement level.
Transition into Intermission: Track 2 "For The First Time..."
This song became the theme of the project and was one of the earliest composed. The title comes from a line the Chorus says before Antigone's confrontation with her uncle. For the first time, facing her fate, Antigone can truly be herself.
Intermission: Track 3 "Searchlights on the Beach"
There were two waves which the Antigone Score was produced in. The first produced tracks 1, 2, 4 and 6, with 4 being the closing track. When asked to make music to stretch out across intermission (giving a more distinct cue that intermission was over), the second wave produced tracks 3, 5, and 7. Tracks 3 and 5 were drew more from themes in the play. Track 3 is named after the oft mentioned beach from Antigone's childhood memories with her brothers, and the idea that it is now oppressed by her her uncle's regime. The tune is very ambient as they are to be played while people stretch, use the restrooms and buy concessions.
Intermission: Track 4 "Sacrificial"
Originally the closing track this was moved to the intermission when the alternative closing track was made.
Intermission: Track 5 "Immurement"
Foreshadowing the fate of Antigone in the cave and the dungeon scene prior to it I made this tune very subterranean in tone. Along with Track 3 this tune has a very emotional association for me. They were both composed while my mother was in surgery. The procedure would take several hours, and as opposed to sitting in the waiting room feeling powerless, I decided to go home and be productive, more to stay sane than anything else. The state of mind however made this a particularly gloomy piece. I though of omitting it, but Anna encouraged me to include it, so I did.
Transition out of Intermission: Track 6 "Fate"
Somewhat the 'other theme song of the play', I was very inspired by how soldiers would bang their shields and armor against one another pumping up for battle. I think the turn was very effective in giving the actors a sense of urgency to the drama and was really happy with how it played out in the trailer (more on that later).
Closer: Track 7 "Blind Mice Dance"
When we were painting the set, at Random Row, someone was playing the Soundtrack to the remake of Girl with The Dragon Tattoo. The cover of Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song really stuck with me and was frequently hummed all through the later quarter of production. I think the influence is pretty present in the beat here. Also, one of the things I was doing as assistant director on the production was helping the Guard characters with their marching routine. Between the two influences and the play ending on the Guards playing cards, I came up with this track which I felt ended the show on a more militaristic tone, as well as a little swagger.
That's about it.
More on the trailer coming up!