Archive for music
We love gettin’ our groove on. Putting choreography to music is a truly enjoyable part of our job. When the music is good, it makes us perform better, just like when runners sprint on the treadmill to Rihanna (admit it, you have her on your ipod too).
It seems like at the end of an act, people are clapping in appreciation of our physical prowess, but music can make or break a performance. We have seen some great acts done to either cheesy or weird music and it makes them fall flat. On our end, we have learned our lesson in hiring acts. We no longer want to mouth to each other backstage, “What are they thinking?” and now make sure we listen to music ahead of time.
When we are hired for a gig, sometimes we pick the music according to the theme, and sometimes the client gives us what they’d like. We have performed to some real stinkers: from pieces that sounded like they were created on a 1984 midi to Livin’ in America sung live by a girl with Cyndi Lauper’s voice.
Whenever a client gives us music, we hold our breath a little. We are not afraid of disliking the music, but we are afraid of it not working. Our personal preferences vary, but we know what works onstage. And performance music has some specific needs. In choosing music, here are some things to keep in mind.
Top 5 music mistakes
The ending trails off without a button
We can’t trail off; we’re in the air or juggling corkscrews or sitting on our own heads. We have to know when to hit the final pose. If the audience doesn’t know the act ended, it gets as awkward as saying goodbye to someone only to discover you are walking the same direction.
Too repetitive, no highs or lows
Keep in mind we’re acrobats. Like dancers, we can only count to eight and we can only keep track of about five 8’s at a time. We need places in the music that are distinct so we know were we are. Then we can begin counting again.
We also need accents like a beat that drops out or a symbol crash or a high note. Otherwise, the piece appears like a run-on sentence.
As stated above, we love us some drama, but as Ms. Parton and the Jersey shore have taught us, we CAN have too much of a good thing. If you have hired one little aerialist, she can’t compete with an 18 piece orchestra. And Movie music works best for movies.
Too Many Strong Associations
You might love “Mamas don’t let your Babies grow up to be Cowboys” but it’s very hard to perform in a cowboy hat, which is what we’d have to do to make this work.
Impossible to count
Again, we’re acrobats. We can only count to 8. If the tempo starts with four 5’s and is followed by a 6 and then goes into three 3 counts, we will arrive at your gig in a strait jacket and never be in sync. If you aren’t sure about what the musical tempo is, feel free to send it to us and we can let you know.
We’ve enjoyed performing to Classical music, Lady Gaga, Ella Fitzgerald, live Taiko drums, you name it. We also thrive on the unexpected. The most important thing of all to remember about music is: we need it as far in advance as you can possibly give it to us. The better we know the music, the better the performance. Period. The more performers there are, the more time we need to get them hearing the same thing.
We are happy to help our clients select music or offer options for a client to choose from. We also have the ability to change music a little as well. If you love a song but it needs an ending or it’s only 3 minutes and it needs to be five, we can make those kinds of adjustments. At the end of the day, we can make almost anything work and enjoy the challenge.*
*one caveat…We will not perform to an aerial act to “Wind beneath my Wings” Sorry, no exceptions. Thank you.