We Are The Music Men
Music is key (piano pun intended) when putting together a production like ours. Last year, the Gold Fever Follies asked two young men, Drew Chale and Boris Vdovine to write the music for Trapped In The Murphy Inn along with performing in the show. They did such a good job, they were asked back this year to write some more.
Boris: “(We were) very excited to hear that they wanted our music again. That means we did something right, right?”
Drew: “This year I knew exactly what I was getting into. I was also aware of the new challenges that would arise from doing everything from across Canada.”
Yes, the boys had to communicate their ideas from Ontario to the director and executives via email.
Boris:”… (and everything) had to be finalized to the max, because unfortunately, we couldn’t be there to teach the music to the cast.
Drew: “This year we had access to iSTARS recording studio, so it made it really easy to record and score all of the music before we sent it off to Rossland.”
What’s their whole process like working together?
Drew: “Well, I find cowriting is all about arguing and fighting; thinking your idea is better than your partners — ”
Boris: “ — Passionate arguing.”
Drew: “I think this process naturally edits the songs as you work to reach a compromise. Boris and I work really well together. He is a pianist while I’m a guitarist. Boris is completely in charge of the piano accompaniment. For example, if I write a song on the guitar, he will transcribe it to the piano. Because of this, Boris turned out to write the majority of the music while I wrote the majority the lyrics.”
Once their work is done, it’s up to Matthew Johnson, the music director, to work with the cast on getting it complete.
Drew: “Matty J did a fantastic job by applying little tweaks to the music and lyrics. It made everything fit fantastically.”
Boris: “Matt is such an amazing person and a great friend. He’s completely open minded, ready to take action, a great sense of humor, so naturally, it was only a pleasure working with him — even though he never went jacuzzi hoppin’ with the rest of the boys.”
Boris: “Inside joke.”
And, funny enough, both Boris and Drew’s favourite song from the last two seasons, is one that Matt sang.
Boris: “At Peace holds a very special place in my heart because Matty Jay did such a good job on a song. He made people smile through tears!”
Drew: “The show would not be the same without him.”
So, did they manage to come back to the Kootenays to see their music performed on the stage? Yes and no.
Drew: “I got to see it! Woo hoo! It was funny being in the audience instead of on the stage. I could sense all the nerves from the performers singing my material for me. Each one of them made eye contact and smiled at me at one point or another during the show.”
Boris: “I didn’t see the show. It’s extremely hard knowing you won’t be able to see the show live. It’s like your wife went through 16 hours of labour to give birth to a beautiful baby boy, and you missed it ‘cause you were in Dubai or right in the middle the guerrilla warfare.”
Drew: “I also regret that I was unable to perform with the Gold Fever Follies this 2011 season.”
Boris: “And I didn’t get to spend a weekend in the Rocky Mountains!”
Don’t worry, there’s always next year, guys.
Both Boris and Drew agreed that Gutted Like A Fish was their favourite song this summer. The man who sings it is Harris Anderson; we wanted to see if it was his favourite. We found the pianist on his dinner break eating a bowl of rice when we popped the question.
“No. My favourite song is Who Won The Race?. I’m really proud of working with Matthew and turning what was originally a 30-second song into the big number that it is with all those dance breaks.”
Harris finished by having a spoonful of rice. We asked him how it was.
“This rice is pretty good.”
We believed him. That’s why when the interview was over, we got a bowl of our very own.