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The Seal Lullaby (With Recording!)

June 1, 2008 at 7:59 pm UTC

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A truly beautiful concert last night. The Towne Singers sang so well, the church was gorgeous, and the audience was genuinely warm and appreciative. Best of all, they made a giant cake for the reception with a little baby seal on it! I’ll post the photos as soon as they send them to me.

I’m really happy with the piece, because I think it retained it’s original ‘cinematic intention’ while at the same time functioning as a stand-alone choral work. My great friend Amy Arms, who sang a beautiful solo at the concert last night, asked me after she heard The Seal Lullaby if I had been listening to Danny Elfman lately. (The ending of The Seal Lullaby has a pretty obvious tip of the hat to one of my favorite film scores of all time, Edward Scissorhands.) I laughed, and told her yes, of course I had. The truth is, though, that it’s almost impossible to write a I-iii chord progression anymore without it immediately making you think of that movie, or at the very least, Christmas. Personally, I like it because it sounds shy, and melancholy, and filled with longing — just like Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands, and just like the little baby seal in Kipling’s story.

So now that the piece has been premiered, I can post a recording. This isn’t the Towne Singers (still haven’t received the CD from last night) but instead it is a recording of the USC Concert Choir that I made a couple of weeks ago for use in promoting the printed sheet music this fall. My deep thanks to Dr. Megan Solomon at USC for again letting me conduct and record her terrific group; to my dear friend Tali Tadmor for playing so beautifully (as always); and to the singers of the USC Concert Choir. We’ll post the ‘making of’ video of this recording session on YouTube soon.