Pink! The Musical: The Music
After the creation of costumes for Pink! The Musical, it was time to turn to the music. I established six key moments when a song would punctuate the action:
• It's Fun to be a Penguin (Patrick playing with his friends at the beginning)
• Lullaby (sung to Patrick by his Mum while he changes into his pink costume)
• Boys Can't Be Pink! (when Patrick is furious that the Doctor can't fix him)
• I Can't Do It (after Patrick has tried unsuccessfully to do what flamingos do)
• This is Me (a song celebrating diversity when Patrick is welcomed home again)
I started by writing the lyrics to all these songs, as I can only imagine it must be far harder to put words to music. With the help of an electronic keyboard that shows each note on a staff, I was then able to compose the tunes, note them down (very inexpertly) and give them to Alan Orr, the Musical Director for the project, who transformed them into proper musical numbers. As he explains below, Alan has a clear process to help him sculpt the finished piece:
“I take the basic melody and play it again and again until I'm fairly comfortable with it. Usually then I have an idea of the chords that will sit underneath the melody - there are several variations that could be used on every melody, so I like to try and use varied chords rather than stick to the obvious or easy chords. I find it makes the finished song much more interesting to listen to. All my tracks are produced on my laptop: I have a library of literally tens of thousands of studio-quality instrument samples at my disposal, which can be called upon at the click of a button!”
Alan explained that the dynamics of a song can often relate to its main message:
“In the finale, 'This is Me' -- I liked the idea of it being more anthemic. The lyrics in the finale really sum up the message of the show and I wanted them to be the focus - so it's quite a simple track with piano/guitar/strings/drumkit and a few brass/woodwind instruments towards the end as the track grows to its conclusion.”
Alan produced a CD of the final music which is being distributed as part of the Pink Resource Box to every school booking the show. This Resource Box also includes a copy of the original book, song lyrics and fifteen sheets of classroom activities developed by education specialist Mark McLaughlin.
Mark's free resources explore the issues of diversity and tolerance which have been raised in the show. Central to our Pink! the Musical project was the objective of sharing a gentle, anti-bullying message in order to combat discrimination and encourage acceptance of others' differences.
Listen to a performance of ‘This is Me’
Read more about Pink on Lynne’s blog
Check out the rest of Lynne's blogs on the challenges of bringing Pink! to the stage