Constellation Theatre and Tom Teasley receive second Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Sound Design
What an exciting and busy spring this has been! I am delighted and honored to announce that I was awarded The Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Sound Design again this year for Constellation Theatre's production of The Ramayana. So much credit goes to collaborator and artistic director Allison Arkell Stockman. It was a fascinating journey as it allowed me to tap into my recent travels to the Middle East for inspiration for the music. The response was so positive last year that we will remount the production again this summer beginning August 4th. But you don't have to wait until then to catch some of my new theater music. We are in the middle of a run of "The Green Bird"! This commedia dell'arte fantasia involves a lovesick king, a greedy fortune teller, an insatiable sausage-maker, a seductive statue and a magical green bird. This vibrant world combines philosophical ideas about truth, love, sacrifice and compassion with inventive physical comedy. This has allowed me to change the direction of my music by expanding it with several new melodic instruments including vocoder, bansuri flute and a variety of exotic synthesizer sounds to even include some DJ technology. The music has caught the attention of several theater critics.
The Green Bird Reviews
"The other clue you're in for a good time is the witty presence of composer/performer Tom Teasley, ensconced above the stage in a kind of bird's nest DJ booth. Playing almost non-stop throughout the play, he keeps the energy both onstage and in the audience lively. But it's his interplay with the actors that's really the key component of the production's success, as his musical accompaniment weaves through the dialogue sometimes like an echo and other times like a conversation itself. With him, it's stupendous fun and does much to counterpoint the play's silliness." -- Jenn Larson, We Love DC
"Two-time Helen Hayes Award winner Teasley performs his richly percussive underscoring and incidental music on this bandstand....composer Tom Teasley's evocative score reaches its peak in moments when motion and design synchronize to create magical transformations and epiphanies .The production's lighting turns blue and green, while synthesizer sounds and a throbbing bass line in Teasley's score suggest the high-voltage enchantment that has animated stone."-- Celia Wrem, The Washington Post
"The music has expanded to include Middle East-infused melodic elements along with the percussive. Perched high above, shadowed in a dusky twilight on a platform supported by winding wrought iron stairs in pale aqua on either side, its Slinky-like swirls echoing the floor design, is the one-man band of Helen Hayes Award winning musician Tom Teasley. The sound of drums, recorder and keyboard synthesizer and Teasley's scat vocals, alternately punctuating and underlining the characters' actions." -- Leslie Weismann,
DC Theater Scene
"Tom Teasley, who recently won a Helen Hayes Award for his sound design on Constellation's 2010 production of The Ramayana, composed the music for The Green Bird, which he also performs sitting atop a sculptural tangle of metal. Teasley is a one-man Kraftwerk without the formalwear: He plays drums, a synthesizer, and what looks like an accordion with a mouth tube, while also beatboxing and creating his own special effects.. together with the action on stage, it's seamless." -- Sophie Gilbert, Washingtonian
"The stage's concrete floor is striped with colored lines leading to a modern-looking metal contraption that doubles as the backdrop for much of the action as well as a wizard's den, housing live multi-instrumentalist Tom Teasley. Teasley's futuristic score, based in Kraftwerk-like electronica but also incorporating exotic, acoustic instrumentation, deserves recognition along the lines of his work last year for Constellation's The Ramayana, which earned him his second Helen Hayes Award." --Doug Rule, Metro Weekly
The actors, sets and lighting as always, are incredible and costume designer Kendra Rai has reached new heights in the fantasy world she has created via her amazing costumes. Shows are selling out at a rapid pace so reserve your ticket well in advance to secure your space. http://www.constellationtheatre.org/tickets.html
In April I concluded my residency at George Mason University. Thanks to John Kilkenny for inviting me and I offer my congratulations on the world-class percussion program he has created there. I also found time to tour Roanoke, VA and present several school programs in the Washington, DC area through Young Audiences of Virginia and CHIME (Community Help In Education). Next season I am looking forward to more residencies, clinics and master-classes throughout the nation and region beginning with a presentation at Peabody Conservatory for one of my favorite people and percussionists, Nassar Abedy.
Future plans include a CD inspired by my theater music, collaborations with Dianne Falk, a gifted yoga instructor and a benefit concert at Accotink Unitarian Universalists Church in remembrance of 9/11. Please stay tuned for details as they become available.
This Month's Free Download is "White Orchid" from my CD Painting Time
I would like to leave you with this month's free download, "White Orchid" from my CD Painting Time. As always thank you for your interest in my work. Without you my music becomes the proverbial tree falling in the forest. Please visit me on Facebook or drop me an email.
Until next time Peace, Salam, Shalom,