We catch up with lyricist Alex Rubin and composer Nicola Jane Buttigieg about their heartfelt song – Living Statue – inspired by their Piccadilly Line stop – Covent Garden.
How would you describe the song?
There is a man in Covent Garden who pretends to be a statue. If you drop some coins into his bucket, he’ll come alive and perform, but he never smiles. He waits beneath St. Paul’s clock everyday hoping the woman he loves will walk by and they will be reunited. Until then, he remains not quite alive, but as a living statue.
What vocal type are you having to perform the song?
A tenor-Baritone, the range of the song is F – F (I have written this up the octave on the vocal staff for ease of reading). I can however change the key of the song, should a solid Baritone voice-type be cast.
Alex tells us…
Working with Nicola has been wonderful! She is not only a talented composer, but great person to chat with. Our sessions tend to split time between working on our song and talking about writing, day jobs, and the differences between our home countries and England. The work we’ve done together is mostly discussion and planning, asking questions like: What’s the best way to tackle this subject? Would you call this a song of loss or of hope? How can we make use of the expansive sound in the church?
As I’m in America, we have met solely by Skype which is a new challenge for me. Because of the time difference, our meetings were at odd hours for us both and technology sometimes got in the way buy refusing to work! But Nicola has been so on point with delivering music and presenting a clear musical idea, that I felt like I had plenty to work with.
It’s been a pleasure collaborating with such a fantastic artist and lovely human being!
Nicola tells us…
Working with Alex has been delightful! Collaborating periodically during online sessions has allowed us our own space to try different things, cut and paste and delete when appropriate in our own time, and also when able to focus at our best due to timezone differences.
We started with a few simple passages of Alex’s lyrical ideas to create an atmosphere, from which I started to compose ‘micro-clip’ fragments of music, which were soon manipulated into sections of our song. Our song is now under development from its first draft. Could we ever have a band or orchestra at our disposal, our song has certainly developed some grander and softer sections that could easily build or deplete in instrumental timbre for dramatic effect.