Ryan Scott Oliver

#MusicMonday … Throwback edition

Nachdem ich letzte Woche (trotz eines freien Montags, aber wegen einer sehr ausgedehnten Premierenfeier am Vorabend…) der #MusicMonday hier auf dem Blog ausgefallen ist – immerhin gab es eine Pseudovariante auf der Facebookseite – sind wir heute mit einer Throwback-Edition zurück!

Normalerweise versuche ich ja mehr oder weniger erfolgreich und/oder offensichtlich meinen Beruf und den Blog zu trennen (deshalb habe ich zum Beispiel auch nichts zu Jesus Christ Superstar am Hessischen Staatstheater Wiesbaden geschrieben, wo ich letzte Woche in der Premiere war, weil…es ist schon irgendwie “mein” Haus), aber heute muss es mal sein.

Als ich nämlich gestern ENDLICH mal wieder den ausgelatschten Pfad von Glöckner und The Great Comet verlassen hab musiktechnisch, bin ich irgendwie bei Jasper in Deadland gelandet. Und dann ist mir aufgefallen, dass es ein inzwischen fast ZWEI JAHRE ALTES Video gibt, was sehr lustig ist (und unglaubliche 1000 Views auf Youtube hat…#ironie). Was sind wir alle klein und was hat Lisanne am Anfang für einen peinlichen Auftritt (ohne Mikro für Sänger kein Lied, Lisanne!) – es ist zum Brüllen komisch, finde ich, und immer wieder eine schöne Erinnerung.

In diesem Sinne: Lach, wenn du nicht mehr lebst! #lol



Music Monday … Sorrow Done

The other day Ryan Scott Oliver – and people know I value his work BIG TIME! – uploaded a number of videos from the We Foxes / Rope concert at 54below back in March. This concert actually happened the very same day German versions of two of his songs from 35MM premiered at schreib:maschine in Berlin – total conincidence, right?


Anyway – I never knew many of the songs really well before, but these videos changed EVERYTHING. It’s just real good music (and cool orchestrations!) played by amazing instrumentalists (that violinist!) and sung by amazing singers. Over the last couple of days I became totally obsessed with the performance of Kerstin Anderson as Willa – seriously, she’s AMAZING. And while Sorrow Done is a real good example of that I definitely suggest that you check out the whole playlist RSO has created for the We Foxes part of the concert, because it’s just….ah….I have to repeat myself….really cool. 🙂



and here’s the complete playlist:

Music Monday … Lifesong

I’m sure there is the occasional Monday that just isn’t for you.

My Monday was a little something like that, mostly because I went up to Hamburg yesterday and my Sunday wasn’t really a Sunday (normally me on Sundays: hit the gym before lunch and then do nothing. or…next to nothing). And then I “lost” a day of sitting in a library and write little and procrastinate lots – instead I had to go to Leipzig and back and then run a couple of errands. Anyway…

On those Mondays when you are tired and all “meh” and “WEEKEND!” – and for all the other Mondays, too! – go and listen to the gorgeous Andi Alhadeff letting out here (inner) Persephone by singing “Lifesong” from Jasper in Deadland.

Mostly because Jasper is a fabulous show and the albums will be released this month if I remeber correctly! So YAY!

And go and watch / listen, ok? Will you? Will you? Will you?

I hope your week was off to a great start!


Music Monday … Odyssey

Oh LORD! When I posted last week’s #MusicMonday I was all like “YAY! Let’s get back into that blogging-thing. Like ALL THE WAY” – and you know what? Didn’t work out this way….I’ll tell you a little bit more about that sooner or later.

Anyway….better late than never I have a new one this week (and hopefully at leat another post before the next Monday) and it includes a song by Ryan Scott Oliver – let’s just pretend I’ve never EVER featured a song of his before….The funny thing about that song is that I’ve never really gotten into it and grew to like it before last night when a dear friend of mine asked me if I knew anything more about that song (and a potential musical it apparently was written for) and then one thing led to another and I was almost cancelling my plans for the night (knitting with a lovely group of ladies from Australia and the US) because I literally was so blown away by that song and the way it feels when I listen to it. Talking to my friend I was like “You know, it makes me feel so warm inside like a vodka-shot or something” and he went “Well, you seem to be an expert” and then at least I laughed really hard. Because everyone knows Lisanne and drinking stamina do not go together. At all.

Back to topic, though (it’s called #MusicMonday afterall and not #LisannetellsstupidstoriesaboutliquorMonday) – I’m talking about RSO’s rather old song “Odyssey” and as my friend put it: It captures the vibe of the odyssey in quite an amazing way.

So, sit back and listen on you Monday night. I hope your week was off to a great start.

What are you listening to?


Music Monday … My Lass, She Tied Her Lace to Me

Sometimes you just need a more concentrated tune to start your week with, right?

Then I’ve got the P E R F E C T #MusicMonday for you.

Some of you, especially those who follow my twitter and/or know me personally enough to go through ALL the videos and tunes and translation-talk with me, know that I’ve been on a HUGE Ryan Scott Oliver-kick lately. Yes, I know….again.

And because I can’t share all the amazing stuff from Jasper in Deadland with you (because if you aren’t like a very close friend, let me tell you, my Jasper-talk will get on your nerves!) – I share with you a beautiful song beautifully filmed and produced and – to be honest – what’s better than that on a Monday morning in the beginning of November?

RIGHT!  – Not much!

So, lean back, have a coffee and listen with all the listening capacity your ears possibly have to offer.

What are you listenting to these days?

Have a great week!

MusicMonday … Crayon Girl

Long time no #MusicMonday….but since I so want to get back into blogging as in actually writing things on a regular basis and post that on here, I thought a MusicMonday post would be a good (re-)start. – Although this not-blogging is kind of a lie: over on the Theaterkind facebook-page there’s plenty of stuff going on, at least more than here, over there you can stay up to date with all the shows and performances I see, it’s fun!

Anyways…this week’s MusicMonday is a song I’ve been OBSESSED with for more than three weeks now. When I went down to Ludwigsburgs to see a friend (that’s the short version, there is a longer one, but is doesn’t have to do anything with music or Monday….) a little more than these mentioned three weeks ago I spend the whole 6hrs train-ride listening to this Ryan Scott Oliver song over and over (and over and over and over and over) again. And although I also LOVE Lindsay Mendez’ version of the song, this one quite stole my heart!

I think “And I want it out – out – out of my head and onto paper!” should be a general motto in the creative community. I’m sure it is, but we should be saying it out loud a litte bit more often.

What are you listening to today?

What have you listened to in the last weeks?

What’s your favourite new music discovery of this summer?

Don’t You Know the World Is Water? … Jasper in Deadland

the programme/playbill of Jasper in Deadland at West End Theatre in 86th Street.

the programme/playbill of Jasper in Deadland at West End Theatre in 86th Street.

If you know me a little, you know that I’m always all in for original (musical) theatre and smaller scale productions. Because smaller productions mean a smaller buget and that sometimes (can) mean(s) more creativity regarding the creativity of the production.

(Does this even make sense?)

I was excited to get to see Jasper in Deadland during its Off Broadway run which ended April 13th. (as you can read in the picture…) Parly because I love the recording of Ryan Scott Oliver’s 35mm and partly because of the reason I stated right in the beginning.

Beforehand I read basically everyone’s rave reviews on that show, and I’ve listened to Living Dead a couple of times. Anyway, I wasn’t prepared for this energetic kick this show would have. I wasn’t prepared of the beauty of the song Stroke by Stroke and of water, on stage, shown by blue fabric (although I am sure I’ve seen that before – but this one was the most artistic and three-dimensional one…) – and in a way I wasn’t prepared to be taken in by that sweet, adolescent love-friendship story.

I had seen The Bridges of Madison County only two days before and frequent readers of this blog know how much I loved Bridges, but in a way rather different from the way Bridges does most of the music of Jasper in Deadland finds its way directly into your body while you are listening. As I mentioned in my Music Monday post on the song Stroke by Stroke is really is like swimming – or for me: like running. Or basically like any kind of sport you have to push yourself to put one foot/arm/hand in front of the other. (which brings me to a whole new song and musical…) – anyway, I’m stopping the random rambling here and now.

So, for those of you who don’t know: Jasper in Deadland is a kind of Orpheus and Eurydice story. Girl/Woman dies, best friend/husband follow her into Hades to bring her back. On his way to find Agnes, his best friend, Jasper has to face a number of riddles and dangers until he eventually finds her, makes up his mind regarding some important questions and brings her back up to the living world. Orpheus fails because he doesn’t really trust Eurydice or maybe himself, but still – he turns and only sees her going back down to Hades. However Jasper succeeds and eventually brings her back up with him right after finding out that he indeed loves her. This sounds so cheesy and does not do the show justice.

During the show the two main characters – Jasper and Agnes/Gretchen – are given the opportunity to discover themselves. They are in this adolescent ‘I kinda know who I am, but I’m not sure’-age and Agnes/Gretchen has the very literal opportunity to learn (again) who she is, because apparently being dead and drinking water in deadland makes to lose your memory, while Jasper struggles in his living life (as we learn in the first song of the show) and then comes into this new Deadland-environment, where he is the ‘living boy in Deadland’, kind of a superstar, and needs to find his position and his motivation for his actions down there as well.
In a way Jasper in Deadland can be seen as a very clever high school allegorie with songs and without a high school, but with a (normally) somewhat more permanent destination.

In my opinion this is the probably the big strength of the show – it opens up a very closed world, the world of the dead with normally no oportunity of escape.
Besides that it offers a lot of somewhat comedy elements and an amazing three headed dog (I have a very soft spot for puppets of any kind – so basically I was sold when the dog “entered”), but all of that only seems to provide a home for this coming of age story and realizing who matters in life.

And as far as I can remember I cried.

Music Monday … Living Dead

I know, I have featured the musical this song is from already. For those who don’t remember it’s right here. But over the last couple of days I remember how much I loved the energy of the New York production of Jasper in Deadland (thoughts on that are to be up here soon, I promise!) and I went a little crazy over Living Dead, especially this version from 2011 linked below. I love how the music produces energy producing the music producing the music. (I know, logically, this isn’t possible, but remember: theatre scholar talking about music, right here!)

So, listen and take a moment to appreciate the rawness of the music and the energy. 🙂 And: Happy Monday, folks!

Music Monday … Stroke By Stroke


On Sunday, March 30th I saw a performance of Ryan Scott Oliver and Hunter Foster’s show Jasper in Deadland Off-Broadway. RSO’s music already had been featured in my Music Monday series before, but this song from the show is so amazing! I just really love how the rhythm of the music resembles the rhythm of swimming (or how I imagine it to be….I’m so not into swimming, I could totally be making this up! But it kind of sounds like running and swimming can be quite similar to running, right?) – a fighting, struggeling kind of swimming at least, the water is giving you a hard time… And it’s actually performed a few times during the show at different points of the story and everytime is kind of gets a new vibe.

Anyways – I REALLY hope for a recording of that gorgeous music, because: I like the show and the music so much. (detailed thoughts will be up soon, though…)

Music Monday … The Ballad of Sara Berry

One of my biggest hobbies (the most time consuming at least) is searching Youtube for new composers I didn’t know yet. While I did that some time ago (like…more than two years ago)  I found the work of Ryan Scott Oliver (he’s often abbreviated with “RSO” which some people in German write when they mean: Rundfunksymphonieorchester. Read that out loud – sounds like one of these funny German words? – You’re right!) – his song cycle/musical “35 mm” sounds like the most accurate thing for me music and text describing (or: not describing) photographs. Music and photographs in one sentence? That’s right.

Not to mention Lindsay Mendez’ outstanding (vocal) performance! And the lyrics are as original as the lyrics of 2 Little Lines and yet very, very cruel. 🙂 (and we love us some cruel lyrics going with sweet music, right?)

Relistening to his songs make me very excited for his latest piece to be produced in New York this spring (which I hope to be able to see when I’m there…). So, do as I did, sit back, listen, enjoy! And: Happy Monday!

What are you listening to today?