You can find out more about this great 18-page booklet and download it HERE.
Special Offer June 2 & 3 Only: $8
To celebrate all the amazing publicity we’ve received, we have a very special offer for this weekend only! If you pledge $8 towards our Kickstarter Campaign you will not only become part of a wonderful group of fellow supporters of this worthwhile project, but you will also receive the iPad app (or any other digital product of your choice: eBook or digital music album). Hurry! Offer ends on June 3!
Also, people have been asking exactly what our product is, so we’ve made this short and informative presentation to reveal the contents – there’s also a sneak preview of a new song sung by Sherman:
Oh, in case you were wondering what all this great publicity is, we got a mention on Wired.com’s GeekMom blog, an article in the leading Korean American journal KoreAm, and a lovely mention in the Everyday Shakespeare blog. We’ve also had tweets from celebrity backer Cory Silverberg and the Folger Shakespeare Library!
Addressing Children’s Issues
Something that’s become an important part of this songwriting process has been to find children’s issues that can be addressed through these songs – it gives the children something tangible to identify with, and it’s kind of therapeutic for them to have their personal issues addressed. Here are some examples of my songs and the issues they address:
CORDELIA from King Lear – “I Don’t Know What to Say”
A song for when you’re feeling shy, or you don’t know the words to express how you feel.
JULIET from Romeo and Juliet – “It’s Just a Name”
For when they call you names, or get your name wrong, or don’t know your name…
HELENA from A Midsummer Night’s Dream – “The One Thing I Can’t Catch”
When you’re afraid that your friend is prettier or more popular than you.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS from The Comedy of Errors – “You Treat Me Like a Football”
What should you do when you’re bullied?
ACHILLES from Troilus and Cressida – “Butterflies”
For when you’re afraid, lacking the courage to do what you have to do…
Some of these are pretty serious issues that young children confront in their daily lives. Some of my other songs address slightly lighter concerns.
OLD SHEPHERD from The Winter’s Tale – “What Is This Thing I Found”
When you find something that doesn’t belong to you…
QUEEN MARGARET from Henry VI part 2 – “Crocodile Tears”
When someone is faking…
PETRUCHIO from The Taming of the Shrew – “I’m Going to Make You Love Me”
If you know what you really want, don’t give up!
IMOGEN from Cymbeline – “A Horse with Wings”
For those times when you miss someone who is far away…
Of course, I have plenty of silly songs whose raison d’être is just to gain a laugh or a chuckle, but even a song like my “Donkey Head” (sung by Bottom from A Midsummer Night’s Dream) has the potential to be something more than just a song about your head turning into a donkey’s. It could be about how your friends might be afraid by your changed appearance (a nasty bruise? or braces, as Sohyun suggested) but it’s still you underneath. I’d better go away and do a rewrite of that one! If any readers have ideas of other children’s issues that I might address, please feel free to leave suggestions in the comments…
Some Concept Art
These are just concepts, but I think they’re quite beautiful. They’re mixed media – fabric and paper, overpainted (is that a correct term? I’m not an artist, so I don’t really know these things) and then lyrics added in Photoshop. Great job, Sohyun!
So what you have to imagine is that in an interactive environment, you would touch Juliet and she would say,
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet…
It’s Just a Name (sung by Juliet from “Romeo and Juliet”)
I didn’t intend to make a video of this one, but I had some footage left over, so I cobbled this together.
I Don’t Know What to Say (sung by Cordelia from “King Lear”)
This is it! Sherman’s singing debut!
La Basilique du Sacré Coeur and Falstaff
Spent the afternoon sitting in the Square Louise Michel, that hilly garden with steps leading up to the Sacré Coeur, the hot sun streaming down the back of my neck, writing a new song by Falstaff called “Dirty Laundry.” It’s basically about playing hide and seek, hiding in a laundry basket, and finding yourself among the kind of dirty clothes and disgusting smells whose descriptions never fail to delight small children. Writing about stinky socks and greasy napkins and soiled underwear made me think of The Twits.
We’ve been making some initial recordings of some of the songs. Garageband on the iMac will do for now. We’ve come up with a really cool concept for the arrangements. Although the songs themselves are ‘popular’ in feel (they are like lullabies, or ballads, or jaunty pop songs), we’re using lutes and harpsichords here and there to give them a little Elizabethan feel. It’s working nicely. Also, instruments are chosen to represent not only the mood of the song, but also the ‘character’ of the character singing – fanfare trumpets for Henry V, a little music box sound for little Perdita (from The Winter’s Tale), a cello for Juliet…