Ever since I was a young boy, I've had a passion for musical theater. I am fascinated by the ways in which musical form adapts into a dramatic plot and by the emotional power conveyed by so many different art forms merged together on a single stage. However, what intrigues me the most about musical theater (compared to, say, Opera) is the skillful way in which its limited musical forces are used: a relatively small amount of instruments needs to be used in a variety of different ways in order to create a number of different musical worlds to match different parts of the dramatic plot. This is quite a challenge: sometimes the orchestrator needs to use instruments in very unconventional ways in order to create dramatic effects and at other times he needs to create musical illusions, like fooling the ear into hearing an 'orchestral sound' when he only has a few instruments at his disposal. Furthermore, a single show could be made up of numbers that encompass a variety of different musical genres. Therefore, the composer/orchestrator needs to be familiar with many different styles of music and have the skillset to make a limited amount of instrumental forces bend to his will.
With all of this in mind, last spring I began working on a musical theater project entitled"The Mage". The story explores the difficult life choices of a character who doesn't quite fit in society (in this case has uncontrollable supernatural powers). Is there a way to blend in? Should you blend in? Is Love more important than Duty?
In April 2017, I decided it was time to showcase one of the songs from the show. In the video below, you can watch a short rehearsal excerpt of the song "How Quickly They Grow" - a song that explores the feelings of parents watching their children grow. Please note that since we didn't have microphones available, the voices sound softer than they should (the piece was orchestrated with microphones in mind). However, since the performers did such a fine job, I thought that it would be nice to share an excerpt of our work.
I would like to thank my friends and colleagues at Manhattan School of Music who generously allocated some of their precious time, during a very hectic part of the semester, to help bring this song to life in a very professional manner, and on very short notice. I would also like extend my deepest gratitude to Dr. J. Mark Stambaugh for all his help and support with this project. Finally, I would like to dedicate this song to my parents.
"How Quickly They Grow" from "Mage - The Musical" Music & Lyrics by Aris Antoniades
Monica Alejandra Talavera, Mezzo-Soprano Marshall Morrow, Baritone Coreisa Janelle Lee, Flute William Fossett, Clarinet Liana Hoffman, Horn Hamza Abouelhouda, Percussion Moises Barradas Cinta, Piano Alexandros Petrin, Violin Tzu-Wei Huang, Violoncello Abraham Masso III, Contrabass Aris Antoniades, Conductor