Scene & Heard
Leave it to Barbara Truex to create more musical havoc in America. First it was turning hide-bound, feather strumming dulcimer players on their collective ears by introducing jazz nomenclature and outrageous ensemble arrangements into the folk vernacular. You could almost see the frost forming on their shoulders while they listened to her play. And now this: Scene & Heard: Music for American Theatre. Not music for American musicals...that's been done already, thank you. Not music for American film... that's post-scoring and Barb has always been into creating vital interactive stage experiences. No, this is the kind of music specifically designed to support an actor's performance It is not ornamental or 'incidental,' and it doesn't compete with the playwright's intent to communicate, or the actor's ability to transport an audience. Barbara's compositions allow an actor to pause mid-scene and reflect...or to improvise if the phone cue is - horrors! - inexplicably late. It's the kind of music that doesn't overwhelm the moment, but encourages the audience to become both visually and sonically challenged by the play's content. This is truly American Music: it liberates you. Voices are not explicit, they're implied. Action may be taking place, or perhaps not. You get to decide for a change. You can read scenes out loud with the score. Or, if you prefer, just imagine you're part of an opening night audience. 'Welcome to Scene & Heard: Music for American Theatre. Please remember to turn off your pagers and cell phones during the performance....' And I might add, like everything else that Barbara Truex does, be prepared to listen to American Music in a brand new way. - Vincent Pasternak 2002 'Mother's Room' is a one minute and forty-five second mini-masterpiece that immediately casts all foreboding to the wind, while raising a whole set of different questions. Why have I never heard this woman's work before? Why doesn't everyone play the banjo ukulele? Has this tune really taken up permanent residence in my head? (Answer-yes)...... This music deserves to be listened to... there's a touch of just about everything good about American music here. Blues, old-timey, rock 'n' roll, jazz, all barely perceptible threads woven into the tapestry by the artist...... [O]ne of the most imaginative, intelligent, unusual and downright life-affirming albums of instrumental acoustic music that I've heard in a long time and I just can't stop playing the thing. - Stephen Hunt, Green Man Review June 2003 (greenmanreview.com) -------- It's creative, well organized, fun. We can't escape the knowledge that it corresponds to something theatrical, but in spite of that it can stand alone. The music holds it's own. - Murdoch, Face Magazine August 2003 (the monthly music magizine of Maine) -------- Truex, a composer and arts administrator...is one of Maine's few theatrical sound designers and may be the busiest. ... For 'Repossession', a black comedy about two brothers caught in a morass of inertia and dysfunction, [Director Joan] Sand wanted music suggestive of both the Midwest and circus. ... The theme Truex came up with on her banjo-ukulele was a three-part song, in three-quarter time and a minor key, that evokes Kurt Weill as well as the big top. - Doug Hubley, Casco Bay Weekly June 10, 1999, Portland, Maine ------ I felt incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to have worked with you before you get gobbled up by a major production studio! I felt every moment of 'Off the Map'! There is so much power packed into your music. ... Thank you for sharing your amazing talent with us. - Renee St. Jean 2003 (Mad Horse Theatre Co. Actor in 'Off the Map') BARBARA ALSO PLAYS WITH the world music band LOOPIN' and the accordion ensemble THE MAINE SQUEEZE. See the links to get more information.