I feel stuck.
Stuck with something thoroughly infuriating.
Some people would call it writer’s block, but for me it’s more like melody gone missing.
One of the best but also the trickiest aspects of writing for musical theatre, is that you get to write music that is inherently singable. Doesn’t mean they’re not complicated, but in order to be successful, it needs to have a certain degree of catchiness and ease to it. In many ways, you need to have multiple potential ‘ear worms’.
Right now, that is what is stumping me. As apparently simple a melody is to write, I am just stuck. So I’m sitting here, desperately trying to pin down a melody for an opening number. I have options, good ones. But every time I open the music, all I can think of is another layer to add, that really is quite pointless if I haven’t found the melody first.
The question I have right now is this: what is a melody? According to the dictionary it is “a sequence of notes that is musically satisfying; a tune.”
But it’s also more than that. It’s what makes or breaks any piece of music. I can write a melody. I’ve written some that I genuinely enjoy. What I don’t know right now is how to find THE melody. The melody I know is just around the corner and will suddenly make everything make sense. The melody that will breathe this song into life.
I’ve left this for 24-hours and am still left feeling stumped. Therefore I’m employing a tried and trusted technique; letting it stew. I am going to leave it for a while. Work on something different. And just maybe, when I come back to it, I will understand what was frustrating me. Just maybe.
So, feeling entirely cynical that this is going to work, I am committing to not looking at that particular piece of music for a whole week.
It’s going to drive me insane, isn’t it?