Finnegan’s Poem

Here we are at the end of “Club Bazaar” (that rhymes in a very satisfying way).

Finnegan’s Poem is a final monologue about how we should respect the arts and not take it for granted. With on-going cuts in funding to the arts resulting in a potential loss of interest as well as resources and opportunities, this monologue pleas for people to respect the arts while we are lucky enough to have the access and freedom to speak our minds onstage through theatre. After learning about places in the world where it is illegal to make theatre, we didn’t realise the freedom we had to write and perform such a show as “Club Bazaar” which is set in a dystopian future where art is illegal.

“We found out about a theatre company called Belarus Free Theatre, who are banned in Belarus but still continue to do what they do throughout the risk of imprisonment and death. After finding out about them, Ben and I were close to calling it quits on the show. We thought it would be appropriative and perhaps just mean to write a show about a time and place in which art is illegal, when we have no understanding of empathy with people who are currently fighting this battle not too far from home. We thought about making the show about struggles of and similar to that of Belarus Free Theatre, but without meeting them and in the short period of time we had to make the show, we decided to take a different approach.”

You can read the whole directors note from Miriam and Ben here.

In writing this final monologue, Ben and I had a very different approach to our usual ‘words then music’ way. Like with the singing in The Balloon Ghost, I showed Ben what happens when you play a trumpet into the piano with the sustain pedal down. The result is a mighty chorus, with the ability to make up chords with just one player. We recorded the sound, again on a phone, and Ben took it away and wrote the final monologue whilst listening to the music on repeat. For our final scene, the music inspired Ben’s writing. You can hear the trumpet improvisation below.

It was the plan to play this trumpet piece to underscore the monologue, but early on in the rehearsal stage I made the decision to not use it for two reasons.

1. The scene before had me singing into the piano, so to use the same technique straight after wouldn’t get the same response of awe from the audience.

2. To let the trumpet sound catch well in the piano, I would need to be playing quite loudly; too loudly to be accompaniment to Finnegan’s speech.

I changed it to solo piano accompaniment, again moving with the speed Stan (Finnegan) spoke at each night. I wanted this piano piece to sound reflective, to match the reflective tone of the monologue itself, and I used a lot of rubato to combine the musical accompaniment with the monologue; you can check it out below!

Featured Image by Cordelia O’driscoll

That’s it for “Club Bazaar”! Thanks so much for reading if you’ve got this far, and if you’d like to get in contact with me please don’t hesitate to send an email to: emilycomptonmusician@gmail.com

ART IS ILLEGAL BUT IT WON’T STOP

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Published by emilycomptonmusic

Emily is a freelance composer and trumpeter currently based in London. If you'd like to collaborate, please get in touch!

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