Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

I’ve been recently composing music for a fabulous theater company: Synetic Theater. This company is producing an original, very dark version of the classic, “Beauty and the Beast.”

Here I show a video clip from an older production of the same show. At the end of the story, the witch’s spell is broken, and the beast is transformed back into a prince. This scene is followed by a final dance between Belle and the prince.

Vocal Phrases

The first half of this video shows the lifting of the spell as the beast is transformed back to a prince. The music is dominated by eerie vocals, male and female. Here I show blow-ups of 3 of the VST instrument libraries; two are from the Ethera Gold 2.5 library from Stephano Macarelli and the third is from the Atlantis 2 library from the same developer.

To achieve the eerie mood, I chose to use “reverse vocal phrases” from these libraries. As this video clip zooms in, note how the cursor glides backwards from right to left across the waveforms!

Strings: Piano Roll

This video clip is from the “Final Dance”, a waltz in 3/4 time. The video shows the piano roll for a string section, playing “solo” without other instruments. The strings are from the “Lush Strings KS Legato” preset of the Afflatus Chapter 1 Strings library by Strezov Sampling. This library is unique, because it has “True Polyphonic Legato.” I am not aware of other libraries that have this feature.

The upper panel shows the notes in green. Note that in the first half, the Violin I and Violin II sections play an octave apart. Then in the second half, the Viola section plays an octave below.

In the bottom panel, the pink outline shows the envelope of the modulation controller. This controls the intensity and volume of the performance. This is very important in performing with virtual instruments, because it generates the phrasing of the melodies.

Horns: Piano Roll

While the strings are playing, they are accompanied by horns. This video clip shows the horn section playing solo. This piano roll shows 4 panels. The upper panel shows the individual white-colored notes. Note that there are 3 horns playing a repeating ostinato pattern. The horns are performed by the Infinite Brass library.

The second panel shows a pink-colored envelope, corresponding to modulation, which controls intensity and volume.

The third panel shows velocity of the individual notes. In this library, velocity controls the initial attack of each note. Here, the legato has been turned off, so that all 3 notes can play simultaneously.

The fourth panel shows an orange-colored envelope that controls the depth of vibrato.

Full Video

Here is the full video, with the transformation from Beast to prince, followed by the final dance.

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