Q & A with Composer Blake Thomas

Q&A-blake

Just because we’re not doing the musical version of Peter Pan, doesn’t mean we don’t have some awesome musical surprises up our sleeve! Blake Thomas has composed an original score for Peter Pan or The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up, and we got the inside scoop straight from the source – check out our Q & A with him below.

Blake-Thomas

PH: What is your role in the Playhouse’s production of Peter Pan or the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up?

I’m composing and recording original music that will accompany the play.

PH: What type of instrument(s) do you use?

This project has been particularly fun because I’ve been able to get really creative with the kinds of sounds I’m using. It’s a mix of traditional instruments, technology/software, and found objects. You’ll hear guitar, piano, banjo, fiddle, accordion, bass, etc. Mixed in with that are orchestral instruments from a virtual orchestra (scoring software), and synthesizers. But I’ve also sampled the sounds of animals (whales, wolves, roosters) which allows me to “play” these sounds too. There are some typewriters, drills and teakettles thrown in there, and I made a pan pipe out of PVC and pennies. That was a fun little project.

PH: How is this production different than what you’ve done in the past?

One of the reasons I’ve found myself gravitating towards work in theatre is because I’m seldom repeating yourself. Every show is different and presents its own set of challenges… Peter Pan is a crazy story. It’s brilliant. I’ve always been a fan of work that can appeal to both children and grown ups, and I’m so glad The Playhouse chose to do this version of it, going back to the original script. In a way I’m trying to write music that can live in the world that exists in the minds of children. It’s a challenge, but it’s also super enjoyable.

PH: What should the audience expect to hear at the show?

I don’t really know what to call it. “Folkestronics,” maybe? You read it here first, folks… Anyway, everyone has put such an incredible amount of work into this show. It’s going to be brilliant. And if you come see it you’ll hear some music that supports that brilliance. You’ll be glad you did!

PH: Anything else you’d like to add?

Keep an eye out for “Take It With You: Live Radio Theatre From Duluth, MN!” Starting this coming February I’ll be hosting a live variety radio series from The Underground. Music, comedy, news, science, fun, Mayor Don Ness. What’s not to love? For more info, check out takeitwithyou.org

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Tickets are selling fast for our holiday show, so make sure to order yours soon!

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