Jonathan Ainscough: Music Learning HQ

Jonathan Ainscough's Living Room Floor

My living-room is currently doubling as Music-Learning HQ, as I do my best to get my head around as much of Thousand Furs as possible before we start music rehearsals in a mere (gasp!) five days’ time. Every time I sit down with the score and my instruments, I like to think I feel marginally less daunted than I did the previous time; it’s still very early days, but progress is definitely being made! I’m a firm believer in the principle of LSE (Lists Solve Everything) so I’ve currently broken down the first half of the show into a list of smaller sections detailing whether I’m singing, playing sax or accordion, or doing a combo of all three, and a vague (read: incomprehensible to anyone but me) outline of the musical material. Is it helping? I don’t know. but I think anything that makes me engage with the score in detail is a good plan at this stage.

I’m trying my best to remember how I felt at the end of our R&D period in Aldeburgh a few months ago. While we were there, we explored around 16 minutes of music and, by the end of our three days working on it, I reckon I could have made a half-decent attempt at performing it from memory. So I’m sure it’s all going to be fine!

The other memory I’m holding onto from Aldeburgh is the excitement that filled the whole cast and creative team during the moments where we did manage to step away from our scores, trust our memories and start creating a scene with our voices, instruments and bodies. Actor-musicianship is such an brilliant tool in theatre-making and, although it takes a tremendous amount of work and skill, it’s my favourite way to perform. Thousand Furs is going to be very special indeed! Right, back to learning…