I recently wrote some cues for an upcoming episode of Archer. Have you seen this? It is a cartoon on the FX network–but calling it “a cartoon” is like calling Neil Gaiman “a comic-book author.” Archer is dark and funny, and its humor bounces back and forth between urbane, fully adult humor full of current arty references and equally funny, but absolutely puerile and downright raunchy jokes. The music is a combination of faux-spy-thriller and Mad Men. Of course, since I live in my own delusional world of a perpetual 1962, replete with narrow lapels and Sammy Davis Jr. arrangements, this was not a problem for me.
I’ve been arranging three arias for San Francisco soprano Andrea Plamondon, an artist in many genres whose voice has been called “both atmospheric and entrancing.” In December, we’ll record these three operatic works with full orchestra as part of her forthcoming album. The best musical surprise for me has been Andrea’s choice of the song “Nella Fantasia.” It is actually a film cue written by the famous composer Ennio Morricone for the 1986 drama The Mission. Chiara Ferraù wrote lyrics to it, and it is beautiful. I can’t thank Andrea enough for introducing me to this wonderful piece of music.
As you may know, I am the musical director for Gia Mora, the brilliant writer and producer of a one-woman cabaret show called Einstein’s Girl. In this show, Gia has managed to take the latest concepts in theoretical physics, the Big Bang, and the experience of falling in love, and come up with a unified theory that ties them all together. We have been performing the show coast to coast, garnering rave reviews (including perhaps the only ink I’ll ever get in Scientific American). We will be back in New York at the Metropolitan Room this Saturday, October 12th. Then on Friday, October 18th, we’re playing in my hometown: Easton, Pennsylvania. If you come, please introduce yourself! By the way, the CD of the show is out on my label, Modern Songbook Records.
The CMJ jazz chart, which tracks airplay on college, NPR, and community radio stations, has embraced the new album by my band Chaise Lounge, Dot Dot Dot. We debuted at number 23 last week, and this week we were up to number 12! I don’t think we will be challenging Miley Cyrus’s place in the pop pantheon, but it is nice to know that there are spots win the world where people are listening to music like this.