|Student composes music for Brecht production
RELEASED: April 17, 2003
DANVILLE, KYDavid Flora knew early on that music was part of his destiny.
As a kindergartner he once got in trouble for humming a movie tune too loudly in class.
These days Flora, a junior drama and music major, still has music in his head.
Flora has undertaken an exciting new creative musical project. He's composed all of the music for DramaCentre's upcoming production of Bertolt Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle (April 23-26, 8 p.m., Weisiger Theatre).
Originally from Carlisle, Ky., the Centre College student has studied music since he was young, and he was a percussionist in his high school marching band.
When he came to Centre, Flora, a drama student, became active with the Centre Players and the Shenanigans Improv Troupe. He's also enjoyed working as the P.A. announcer for Centre's sports teams, singing with the Centre Men's Voices, studying composition and playing in the percussion ensemble.
During his freshman year at Centre, Flora discovered that he enjoyed writing original music.
Flora comments, "I found that I had a lot of fun just coming up with little songs on the computer's notation software, so I pursued that enjoyment."
When he learned that the College was going to present The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Flora volunteered to write the music for it. Using six student musicians, Flora's music has been written for voices, flute, violin, clarinet, guitar, congas, dulcimer, mandolin, accordion and didgeridoo.
Laurence Bitensky, composition teacher and assistant professor of music at Centre, says, "David's work for this project has been remarkable. His music seems fresh and natural, and it's easy to overlook how much time and energy is involved. He's spent countless hours composing, revising, scoring, planning and rehearsing. His creativity and dedication are truly impressive, and I'm sure that the audience is in for a treat."
In looking back on the work that he did to prepare for this project Flora says, "I had to get really familiar with the text, reading it over and over, making notes, etc. I talked with Patrick Kagan-Moore [the show's director] about what he wanted from the music and listened to some other composer's renditions of some of the songs. I listened to various themes from movies and video games and pop music (including Beetlegeuse, the Legend of Zelda, Dave Matthews Band, etc.) and got some inspiration from that. Basically, I just sat at the keyboard and computer and wrote what came to me, edging for an almost Middle Eastern/Eastern European feel."
Flora faced many challenges in this endeavor including finding time to get the project completed, rehearsing with the musicians, and making the music "fit" with the play. He also has a starring role in the play. All of his effort has paid off.
Flora says it was gratifying to see "the actors onstage reacting to and using my music, whether it be jumping from a loud bass drum hit, taking stage to sing their character's woes, or just the heightened excitement from a fast-paced musical interlude that's brought onstage with them. This lets me know I'm helping them reach their goals, and that makes me happy."
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