How did you and Lin-Manuel work together on Hamilton? What is your workflow, and when does Finale enter the process?
Lin composes mostly into Logic. Since he doesn’t notate music, he hands off his demos to me or my assistants so that they can get transcribed into a piano/vocal chart using Finale. As I edit the music, I customize the piano part and organically improvise some arrangement ideas that become part of the song, such as vocal harmonies, rhythmic breaks, endings, etc. Lin will give me feedback after I present my edits to him.
Sometimes we’ll work side-by-side on a moment, but mostly he’ll hear the big picture at a vocal or band rehearsal after everything’s been taught and then give his notes. We’ve worked together so much that I feel like I know what he wants, and he trusts me enough to let me do my thing and add my own voice to his music. When it comes time to orchestrate, I input directly into Finale. The Hal Leonard Vocal Selections for Hamilton were also done on Finale, drawing from the files that my team and I created for cast rehearsals.
Can you share a specific hurdle or significant challenge you encountered in orchestrating Hamilton?
The trickiest part of orchestrating a show like Hamilton is finding the balance between the electronic and the acoustic, between the live instruments and the loops. Fortunately, I had just worked with Lin on Bring it On, which had a similar challenge. With that show, I had some misfires where I oversaturated the orchestrations with too many keyboards and pre-recorded tracks, thereby obliterating the vocals and drawing attention to the charts — I basically learned what NOT to do. If it hadn’t been for Bring it On, I would have been much more lost on how to orchestrate Hamilton; I got to establish a vocabulary that allowed me to know where I was going.
What was your role in creating the sheet music?
I get the distinct honor of having a strong say in how Lin’s music gets visually presented to the world. I’ve been transcribing since I was 9 years old, and I have always obsessed over the details of how sheet music is “supposed” to be notated. That makes me a meticulous caretaker of Lin’s work, and I take great pride in being in charge of that.
If it weren’t for Finale, I wouldn’t have the means to make my edits so quickly or to make the charts so easily accessible to the actors and the band. An author needs some kind of word processing software to notate their ideas and broadcast them; as a musician, I use Finale to make the music transmittable to others.
Were you introduced to Finale at Berklee?
I first heard of Finale as I was graduating high school in the early nineties. Finale was accessible to us in the computer labs at Berklee when I got there in 1993, so that’s where I became comfortable using the software. When I bought my first home computer in 1995, Finale was one of my first purchases, and I have never stopped using it.
What do you like about Finale? What would you change?
I love that Finale gives you the ability to adjust any facet of your music, whether it be spacing, measurements, fonts, etc. On Broadway it’s still the most popular notation software, and I get to be part of the “club” that trades insider-tips. While I know that it’s not the easiest application to learn, it’s certainly the most powerful that I’ve seen. The one thing I would change is the bugs that pop up from update-to-update. When you upgrade, there’s always some little quirk that appears that wasn’t there before, and that’s frustrating.
EDIT: Since the video was made back in May I reworked the picture and it’s a little different than in the video!
It’s weird that one was done in May and watching it again, kind of bring back really good memories especially with the song! I know it’s only like 2 months ago HAHA but I already miss my graduation and friends! So much changed in so little time, it’s amazing!
I couldn’t help but ask
For you to say it all again.
I tried to write it down
But I could never find a pen.
I’d give anything to hear
You say it one more time,
That the universe was made
Just to be seen by my eyes.
With shortness of breath, I’ll explain the infinite
How rare and beautiful it truly is that we exist.
Summary: @litterally-trash said: Hello!!! Could you do a oneshot where Bucky comes home from a mission, and the reader is dancing around the apartment they share, listening to some music from the 40’s? Keep up the good work!!!👽
How long had it been? Two weeks? Long enough to have almost forgotten how it had felt to have Bucky’s warmth up against you, his soft breaths as he dreamt lulling you to sleep. Your apartment, which usually was so comforting and safe, felt sterile and cold, like the heartbeat was missing.
It is missing. You thought to yourself. Bucky is missing.
You are question, answer, my euphoria and my calmness.
You are your beautiful smile, the rhyme and the soul.
You are the cold, the warmth,
You are the fear, the courage.
You are the shadow that comes out, when the sun is burning.
The dreams, the truth and much more. Much more.