Notes on Music
Take a trip upstairs to The John and Kelly Hartman lobby to see “Notes on Music: As Told by Baikida Carroll, Composer for The Piano Lesson.” Carroll explains his vision for both writing new incidental music, as well as recreating certain styles of music. His words are interspersed with photos of some of the musicians from the 1930s era.
He opens his comments with a description of the types of music:
The title expresses the essential element of music in this play. The African-American culture and experience are imbued with the influence and expression of music. In The Piano Lesson, the music is used like a surrogate griot in which the story and history are propelled by the Blues, a Railroad song, Boogie Woogie, a Work song, a Traveling song, Jazz, Stride, R&B and Gospel. It’s a documentation of the African-American legacy.
The incidental music is designed to set the tone, enhance dramatic and emotional moments, imply the perception of time, bridge act and scene changes while accenting plot twists, and create romantic and haunting atmospheres. I feel the sound format of this play is closer aligned to a musical than a play with music.
The lobby is open before and after the show and during intermission.