totally, totally fucking stuck writing the first song of clown bible. no fucking (good) ideas except for this really obnoxious jump jazz line that keeps running through my head, "well i love this god of mine", a squirrel nut zippers anthem. hot hot. but is that the musical i want to write? is that the opening i want?
good musical openings:
the music man (best ever. all rhythmic talk. on a train. yeah.)
west side story (10 minute instrumnetal overture? good.)
miss saigon (fast minor 9 chords and that sense of backstage urgency. good.)
fiddler (lays it all out. plus like twelve great melodies in a row.)
oklahoma (oh, klahoma!)
cabaret (trilingual, nice 6 chords)
chorus line (that insistent jazz chord vamp, god i hope i get it? mm!)
guys and dolls (nice fugue, male voices. though its not a fugue, its a round. thats always pissed me off)
in the middle
jesus christ superstar (its just that first line..."my mind is clearer now'...totally starting the show in the middle of a psychological epiphany. thats cool.)
bad musical openings:
cats (kill me)
all the ones that just start with some mild boring song. which is a surprising ton: sound of music, my fair lady...eh surely something else. wait, i dont even remember how my fair lady starts. why cant the english? hm.
well this hasnt helped. the thing is, its clowns, were all clowns, and how do clowns sing? its a hard queston. clown training has been pretty eye open amazing; ive got a lot of freinds who have done the physical theater school thing, and they all went on about how clown training is the most intense theater traning there is. its not about bending balloons. its not about polka dots. the true clown, the classic clown, is serious business: man at his most exposed, vulnerable, innocent. all the world against him and yet he perserveres in spite of/through his foolishness. an open heart, the holy fool. the holy fool again! the unnumbered card, outside the deck.
honestly a lot of the training seems real similar to buddhist meditation training to me. theres a lot of stop the mind, stop doing things, stop performing and just BE. mind wants to tick tick tick and when you let it youre not so beautiful up there!
you can really see it, you can. you can see when someone is not seeing. when they are thinking too much...
the mind running is not so beautiful as the heart beating is.
za told me once about some college basketball coach of hers who viewed coaching as a meditative art, because he was mindless while doing it. lost in the moment. i can dig that...i can dig that my best piano playing happens when i turn it all off too. i dont know where my clown is headed...i feel like ive got my mind off and i can be real honest and true, but whats going to happen when i have to start doing things? its one thing to look someone clean in the eye and see them and be seen, but its another to do that while palming an egg. and another to do it while singing...what a non self conscious thing singing so often is!
but: friday night went to see some lovely georgian singing groups. the trio of men, what an example in performance they were: two of them smiling, and moving their heads with the music, and indicating, and gesturing. subtle, but there. and a bit fake. not that they werent really feeling it, but that insistence on letting us know...this is actually an issue for me, this trust, you have to trust that the audience will get it, you dont have to show them. trust, they are smart and deep. they are...they are? they are. not smart, thats not even the point, its instinctual, theyll know, if youre honest theyll know and feel it with their gut. no mind, just nerves. you cant let someone know that youre seducing them until theyre already seduced. you have to trust thatll happen.
the first two didnt trust it. they were fine, and certainly wonderful singers, but they faked it a little. and maybe people liked them. but for me, it was the third, ah the third.
and he was beautiful.
stand and sing, its the heart not the mind.
i want this first song to be all that, effortless and vulnerable and beautiful exposed joy and terror in the face of god, all of the human heart staring deep into the void and letting us see that fear and wonder.
and also with a good backbeat so we can have some cartwheeling.
ok i have an idea!!!!!!