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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Products from the Artwork

My recent discussions with Jency about our display needs have led me to print out a few of the characters onto our 12x18 watercolor stock. The end result is a very excellent collection of little gnomes, which I intend on creating as free standing displays for use in our Bookstore, Lobby Exhibition, and Backers Audition presentations.

I expect to also make a product line of smaller cut-outs for kids, so if you are a retailer or even a distributor of published goods who may have interest in this, please let me know.

Recording Sessions:

Thoughts on the Music

Recording sessions have begun for the lyrics of the music of "Zach & Zebby's Grand Adventure". We are moving forward to record the Solos, Duets, Trios and Quartets.

We have over sixty songs composed and orchestrated with very excellent MIDI arrangements, of which we went to great lengths to make the MIDI instruments blend very well and sound like a real orchestra.  We anticipated that, in some circumstances, a presentation of the show in smaller theatres, along the parade route, or even for a sound track for our film work, would need quality recorded instrumentals. Not only because an orchestra would likely not be possible or cost prohibitive in some situations, but also as a means of creating the CD album and music that would work well as rehearsal material for our performers/singers.

We have had numerous comments about how good the music sounds, orchestrally. The most recent from Nathan Odhner, who is singing our Zach.  Nathan is also an active French Horn player who plays with the Bryn Athyn Orchestra, so as I was playing some of the music for him, while showing him our advancements in the puppetry shop,  his off-handed comment about how good it sounds, is a very big complement about how we managed to get a full sound from the MIDI.  This from a person who plays in an orchestra on a regular basis!  It gives me hope for the Boston Pops and other such performance opportunities.

What people will think of the music, overall, is another story.  I have played the music for numerous people and have had an assortment of responses.  Generally, the comments have been that it is very Gnomic in nature and  jaunty.  This is true, for it is intended to accompany the action on the stage and they are The Gnomes of New Hope who are at first all upset and worried about the humans closing in and finding Gnomeville.

Frankly, I have also sensed that in some ways, it was difficult for them to understand the music.  I believe this is from the fact that a person expects the music to tell the story, because it is musical story, but without having a foundation of what the story is, or who the characters are, or how they are relating to one-another, the listener is left out in the cold, so to speak. It is especially challenging when no lyrics are present to clarify why odd beats are taking place or why the orchestrations have an assorted level of complexity.

But I also realize that as instrumental music, the composite of the music in the show is at times difficult to listen to. Every song is well balanced for it's intended purpose and quite listen-able individually, when viewed in the context of that purpose. But without a full understanding of the show or knowledge of the lyrics that are intended to go with the music,  it can be challenging. This in itself makes me realize how important it is for us to get these lyrics recorded. For, what I feel is that; the insertion of the lyrical music into the composite of the show's overall musical signature, will give it the balance that I anticipated. There is a tension and relief that needs to occur and that happens when the diversity of the spoken, or sung, language is part of the listening experience.

I have had my concerns about the balance that needs to be reached in creating the theatrical experience for the audience. One of my basic tenets is that  the overall composite of the show is what creates the atmosphere and that no one element can stand entirely on it's own. Certainly there needs to be, and will be, musical numbers that can stand on their own without the show.

The first lyrical song which we have just recorded is intended to be such a song.  The experience of finally hearing this song, sung with the lyrics by excellent vocalists, is unbelievable!  Nathan Odhner is singing Zach and Justine Buss is singing Ferny. The song has taken on such a new dimension and both Shawn and I were brought to tears by it.  It gives me hope (from the Gnomes of New Hope) that our conception of how this music will expand into the full expression of what we imagined it would, will start to take shape.

 This first song is titled "Completely" and it is a Love Song/Duet between Zach and Ferny. It is actually part of the last scene in the show leading up to the Finale, but since it is a Love Song, which makes no reference to Gnomes, we thought it would be best to use this song as the one which might break some new ground,  help us promote the project generally and help us to raise the money we need to produce this show.  We intend to submit this song (and a few others) into a  song-writing competitions and use it to open up opportunities for us, partly by seeking distribution on the internet.

 I have found that the more mellow numbers still seem busier than they really are, because the lyrics are absent. These lyrics being sung, are intended to take the lead while the instrumental aspect of the songs are more in the background.  Of course, without the singers voice this cannot happen, and so the composite of the songs do not yet have the wide range of tonal expression that is designed into the score. It is clear to me that the tonal expression is derived in great part from the introduction of the human voice into the mix.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Artwork of Jency Latta

A new page has been created specifically as a gallery of the artwork we are using for the Gnomes of New Hope and I am placing a link in the side bar.  It doesn't seem to want to add try this  The Artwork of Jency Latta

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Artwork for the Illustrated Storybook and Animation

Now that the Libretto is finished and fairly well illustrated, I think it is time to post some of the characters from "Zach & Zebby's Grand Adventure".

We have a second edition of the show which is titled "The Stone of Wisdom" which will require an entirely different group of Gnomes, as it is part of the history of Gnomanity

 I will be gathering a representation of the citizens of Gnomeville and possibly a few scenes from the Storybook to post here.

As mentioned elsewhere, we are moving forward to construct our puppets, based on the drawings which you can see here. Our most immediate intention is to present the puppets against a green screen and then insert them into the backgrounds. (You can find one Illustrations, which shows a few more characters, here- Limited Edition Lithographs)

As you will see we have a very well developed product here and will be reminding you that we seek to license these product out to partners who are willing to provide a substantial contribution to our production expenses.

My goal with licensing is to gather our production funds from sources which I do not have to pay back. Therefore, I will be working to outline some of the product lines we expect to produce in house or license out for manufacturing and distribution to our partners.  Anyone who would like to come to the studio to look at some of our materials is welcome. I ask that you do so by appointment.  More later... AG

Puppetry, Marionettes, & Animatronics

We are moving ahead with planning for doing the stage show, scene by scene, with marionettes. We will be working the scenes out in the studio in front of a green screen, not only for the purpose of creating a television program, but also to refine the presentation of the live puppet show which will be licensed out to puppeteers who may want to present the show.  If you are a producing organization who is interested in puppetry, please let us know. We plan on working out the construction of all materials at Image of the Mind Studios, but then making the show available as a rental package to specific regions in the United States and eventually around the world.  That rental package will include all the materials necessary to put up the show according to the specifications in the script.

I am looking for a documentary filmmaker and television producer who may want to take on the instructional video which will accompany the package, but also work on producing a television special. We have a number of options before us, so that discussion is best left for another time and for persons who have expressed interest in being involved.

As always we are looking for investment partners. We anticipate developing an animatronic show for use in theme parks, but also are looking forward to setting up a storefront operation in New Hope, Pennsylvania at some point.

Realize that I am a conceptual artist and making these things manifest will most certainly require partnering with others who share this vision and are capable of joining forces to make some of more complex ideas come into reality. So feel free to dialogue with me on any of these subjects. AG

Recording the Lyrics

   We have begun to record the lyrics to the music of "The Gnomes of New Hope: Zach & Zebby's Grand Adventure" in anticipation of submitting to The International Song Writing Contest. We are doing a Love song Duet titled "Completely" and will post that on the IMS Music Studio site when it is finished.

  Our first session with the vocalist doing Zach was beset with interface issues and so we have determined to up grade our recording equipment to bypass the interface.  As it stands now we are still using a MOTU 324 with a 2408 and I have been unable to patch the unit to give us a real-time feed on the mic signal while also feeding the music. So far I have been haunted by a delay I can't seem to get rid of.  We are onto other methods and are about to switch from Digital Performer to Garage Band for recording the vocals. We can then put them back into DP and go from there.  I will continue to post production updates on this site and keep the management updates on the IMS Virtual Studio or IMS Producing Partners.  AG