As a person who always has a song running through my head and for whom music is a central part of life it seemed only natural to have a theme day for music. While it is probably cliché to do music on Mondays, I don’t really mind. Anyway, you can’t go wrong with a little alliteration!
My hope for this feature is not just to talk about a song or a new album or to give reviews. What I really want is this to be a place to discuss music in life, however that happens to come to mind. Could be talking about music in movies or shows, sitting in on the musical theatre singing class here at the U of U, or just something about the song that has been stuck in my head all week. I am just going to play it by ear and see how it goes.
To kick things off I figured that I would start by talking about the music that we used in “Touch(ed).” The show closed on Saturday and the music has been stuck in my head from day one. On the day of our dry tech, Joe, our sound designer was setting up his space at the tech tables and while checking to make sure everything was working he started to play some of the sound cues. I immediately recognized the voice and the music style but not the song.
Turns out that the track, and all of the music for the show was by Imogen Heap. Now, it probably wasn’t until last year that I had ever heard of Imogen, but better late than never. Imogen is a singer-songwriter from London who really does some quite amazing tracks. She only has three solo albums out but they have quickly become some of my favorites.
One of the interesting things about Imogen that I learned while working on this show is that she not only does all the vocals and instrumentals, but she engineers her own tracks. She was nominated for two Grammys in 2010, one for her engineering of her newest CD Ellipse and one for Best Pop Instrumental Performance on the track “The Fire” from the same album. This is one of those things that not too many artists can do as most artists don’t engineer their own tracks.
The director of our show herd Imogen and some of her music on NPR and was so hooked that he went out and bought Ellipse. It turns out that a lot of tracks pair very nicely with the themes in “Touch(ed)” both lyrically and musically. The show opens to “Wait it Out” which really embodies so much of the feeling of the show.
Everybody says time heals everything
But what of the wretched hollow, the endless in between?
Are we just going to wait it out?
Being able to use music by a contemporary artist in one of our shows is a rare thing. I really enjoyed coming in to the show every night and hearing this music. I even have found myself singing Imogen’s tracks to myself while skiing to keep my rhythm. One evening I even had a patron who came up to the booth after one performance just to ask who the music was by. Another interesting tidbit is that our sound designer’s sister is friends with Imogen.
Personally, I enjoy listening to Imogen because her music is really just amazing. She has some really great vocal work with nice tight harmonies. Also, many of the other sounds (aside from the instrumentals) she does vocally. While you often see her grouped in the genre of electronica, her sound is often very natural. It actually disappointed my brother when he found out that some of her vocal harmonies are done with a vocoder. If the opportunity ever presents itself, I would jump to see Imogen live.
So, if maybe I piqued your interest, you can learn more about Imogen Heap at her website: imogenheap.com. you can also find her music on the iTunes Music Store and Amazon.