A musical I composed for radio is being broadcast on Good Friday at 11pm and repeated at 6:30am on Sunday morning on London based arts radio station Resonance FM. Inspired by the Clapton/Hackney area in the mid to late noughties. The loose concept behind the musical is that it follows a collection of disparate characters living in the Clapton/Hackney area depicting their points of view through songs and dramatised scenes. I did all the voices and most of the instruments with a bit of help from my friend Adam Stewart who also helped me edit it together.
The area has seen quite a few changes of late, but when I lived there in the early to mid noughties it was full of boarded up shops, pokey old pubs with no-one in them and fried chicken joints. 'Clapton Pond' evokes this version of the area on grey, rain soaked afternoon.
The idea for making a musical specifically composed for radio was inspired to some degree by another resonance programme; an episode of Richard Scotts show 'Opera Hour' in which composer Leo Chadburn (aka Simon Bookish) discussed the work of artist and composer Robert Ashley. I cannot claim that the finished piece resembles Ashley's work as such, but it was the wider possibilities for opera/musicals in other mediums like radio and TV that his work suggests that sparked the idea.
Here is the blurb from the resonance site....
'Clapton Pond is a musical devised specifically for radio written and performed by artist and musician Patrick Wray. Inspired by Hackney and Clapton in the early to mid-noughties a host of fanciful characters take center stage for a visceral, nightmarish tour of Claptons seedy inner life.'
Here is the schedule for the broadcast.....
The sections of the musical are as follows:
1. Clapton Pond Theme Intro
A short piano piece. This is designed to be like a soap opera theme in the style of the great Simon May.
A claustrophobic look inside the 'damp flat' of terminal bachelor Simon. Full of dark, seedy, sleazy atmosphere.
3. The Song from Inside the Pipes
A bluesy, jazzy number sung by an unidentified character.
4. Ode to Dissapointment
From outside the pipes we hear an unidentified character singing this short jaded song in the shower.
5. Bailiffs Blues
As the rain pours down the window a bailiff sings this pained ballad. The music for this was written and performed by my friend Daniel Halliday.
6. I'm the Landlord!
A ruthless landlord rants out his skewed manifesto. The music on this was originally used on a track called 'Piss Flower' from my 2008 album 'New Primitive' but has been remixed and remastered for use here.
7. Ian and Lorraine
Abusive husband Ian get annoyed at his wife Lorraine when he discovers she has left daughter Jenny in the care of uncle Julian.
8. Uncle Julian
Ian confronts uncle Julian.
9. Radio Waves
Changing stations on afternoon radio. A delirious synthesiser song about nothing in particular.
10. Simon (Reprise)
We return to the flat of Simon as he contemplates venturing outside.
11. News Report (Off Licence on Fire)
An authentic sounding news report about an off licence in the area catching fire. As with 'Ian and Lorraine' and 'Bailiffs Blues' the words to this were pretty much improvised on the spot.
12. Clapton Pond Theme (Reprise)
You can listen to or buy my album 'ICU on Telephono 1986' released last year on the link below. 10 songs of experimental pop. https://patrickwray.bandcamp.com/