Jake Bright – THE LIGHT BURNS BLUE – #composer @BristolOldVic

17.07.07 020…composer Jake Bright has been working hard in the rehearsal room, devising the music for THE LIGHT BURNS BLUE. here, he explores the process of scoring a piece of devised theatre, working COLLABORATIVELY with the young company, and tells us what we can expect from the show…

Can you tell us a little bit about the role music plays in The Light Burns Blue?

I’m always trying to work out how to enhance the drama and characters onstage – what they’re thinking, where the story’s going, how the characters feel. That’s the most important thing for me, capturing the moment. Since the whole piece is about a series of photographs, I guess that’s quite a good philosophy!

How do you even begin to approach the process of scoring a play – particularly one that is devised in the rehearsal room?

It all starts with great drama and Silva’s script has plenty of it. If the emotional and dramatic content of a scene is clear then the music flows naturally. For the most part, the music is based around a small series of piano pieces that I started sketching when I joined the process in early January. They were just little reactions to how the various characters were developing through the workshop phase. Since then, I’ve tried a few different ways to deliver these melodies, but the simplicity of the piano really seemed to cut through for me, particularly in support of Kate Alhadeff’s interpretation of Elsie. Aside from the prewritten cues, we rely a lot on improvisation to come up with some of the more complex choreographed scenes. It’s almost impossible to score these before I’ve seen them, so having a team who are keen to improvise has been a blessing…. Read more

I think it sits somewhere between Claude Debussy, Ralph Vaughan-Williams, Brian Eno and Ólafur Arnalds.  Sonically, it’s quite hard to describe, but all will be revealed on opening night!