Tuesday, 30 December 2014

2014 a great year

Yes, 2014 has been a great year. I have never before started so many new journeys in a sngle year.

To start the year, I wrote a Rock Opera. Not a bad way to start off a good year. That rock opera has gone on to make up a very important part of the rest of the year and the year's activities. Yes, that is the rock opera known as Wake Not The Dead.

In getting that rock opera onto a stage, I met many amazing new people. I got a band together. Through many line-up changes, I eventually got an amazing group of people playing and singing my rock opera. I had 10 people playing and singing my music. All my music and nothing but my music. I had bands before. Those were all mainly cover bands and musical theatre bands. Either playing cover songs at weddings and parties, or playing songs from other people's famous musicals. I even wrote many songs before. Mostly, those songs took only one or two slots in a night's set list. This was the first time I had 10 people doing only my songs for a whole show.

We had an amazing 5 peice band, and 4 amazing singers / actors. All amazing musicians and amazing friends. Yes, I knew some of them from working on previous shows together, but working so long on my show something special.

I will talk about Wake Not The Dead a lot more at different times, but let's get back to the year that was 2014.

Next, the Dog-on-blues Studio had a huge facelift. Yes, Wake Not The Dead sparked it off a bit, but this was much more than just the rock opera. The studio moved from a small 18 square meters room to a 54 square meters studio. Yes, that is a whole 6 meters wide and 9 meters long.

I took over the Swan Lake Dance studio, previous belongng to my friend Graham. It was converted into a rehearsal studio with the sound absorption panels later on, to become a true recording studio as well.

With the studio came a swamp. Yes. A whole swamp. Now I am - just like Shrek - an owner of my own lonely swamp.

Life is really great as I walk along the water front every morning before going to work, and every night before  rehearsals start. Things are seriously easier if there is no need to pack up all the equipment each night to take to a rehearsal studio.

After Wake Not The Dead had it's public viewing at the Fringe Theatre in Joburg, we started with another project, New Parade.

Another great band with a bunch of great guys. We already had 2 successful gigs in our fist month of operation.

The year that was 2014 had many more moments, but these must have been amongst the greatest. Each one of these moments were only seeds for a promise of an amazing 2015.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Grand public preview at the joburg theatre

Have you seen the news?

Yes, we are going public.

When? 16 November 2014

Where? The fringe at the joburg theatre

Watch the video on youtube. There are many snippets from the music of the show. If you like it, you MUST come to watch the whole show! Some - or rather most - of the songs will be heard for the first time in public on the 16th. That means only a selected few would have heard this wonderful cast performing these amazing songs. That is you, and my neighbors who have been listening to us rehearsing these last 6 months!

Also, watch the video and listen to this wonderful opening theme song at http://youtu.be/8DmPyEF6RJo

Now for a few secrets!

Let's start with The cast:
Drums: Gideon Meintjies
Guitars: Werner Benade and Gideon Jones
Bass: Andre Liebenberg
Keyboards: Nathan Lowe
Soprano: Camilla Kinman
Alto: Anne Lombard
Tenor: Tedd Croukamp
Baritone: Michael Shane Brownhill

If you recognize a few names, I am not surprised. Every one of those cast members are playing or singing in many other groups and shows. Heard about Protea stage, pubnighters, Scicoustic, Cutting Jade, Dave Mathews band, no rest for the wicked and many more?

More secrets to be revealed soon!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Wake Not The Dead

Introducing Wake Not The Dead and the Rock Opera Orchestra.

What is Wake Not The Dead

Let start at.....well...at the start.

Ok. I know that was not very original. Rule number one in writing songs is to never use cliches, and that was a shocking cliche.

The one thing we can however promise you, is that Wake Not The Dead is not a cliche. It promise to be something very different from what you have ever seen or heard.

Wake Not The Dead is a new and exciting rock opera with book by Anne Lombard and music and lyrics by Eric Swardt. Based on Johann Tiek's story, this tale of horror, bravery and love that never die, will take you on a journey through a fantasy world of dark cemeteries, castles, and medieval towns to be remembered for many years.

The rock opera tells the story of Dominic (Michael Shane Brownhill), a baron who wakes Brunhilda (Anne Lombard), his childhood lover, from the grave with the assistance of Batista (Tedd Croukamp), a wandering sorcerer, while back home, Swanhilda (also played by Anne Lombard), his wife and mother of his children is trying to keep things sane.

In the next few weeks we will keep you up to date with all the news you want to know about Wake Not The Dead.

The Rock Opera Orchestra

More importantly, we will tell you all about the people who are bringing Wake Not The Dead to life.

(Was that pun a bit better?)

You are most likely receiving this newsletter because you know somebody who are in the Rock Opera Orchestra, or maybe you are in the orchestra yourself. Whichever, in the newsletters over the next weeks we will tell you all about these wonderful people.

In short, the Rock Opera Orchestra is exactly what the name implies. It is the orchestra who will perform our rock opera. The members are:

Michael Shane Brownhill - singer

Tedd Croucamp - singer

Anne Lombard - singer

Gideon Meintjies - drummer

Andre Liebenberg - bass guitar

Nathan Lowe - keyboards

Werner Benade - guitars

Gideon Jones - guitars

When and where?

Ah. This is the important question.

Everybody wants to know when and where they can come and see the Rock Opera Orchestra performing.

Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook and twitter to make sure you do not miss us.

What we can tell you at this stage is that the Rock Opera Orchestra are rehearsing in all earnest and are almost ready to go out and play. We are also in process of recording a concept album. We are talking weeks - not months.

Make sure you are the first to know when and where we will perform and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.



Even more important, please forward this email to your friends, mothers, family and foes. In fact, please forward it to anybody you think might be interested. Ask them - no insist - to join us.

Keep in touch and we promise you a time of fun and love.


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