SOAPStone is normally used to analyze reading and writing, but can this limit be expanded?
Being in the front ensemble (band stuff), we team up with the school’s drumline every winter to put out an indoor drumline show. In these shows, we try to tell a story through the music we play, our facial expressions, and the way drill is put out on the floor. This year’s show is called “Sit Down. Stand Up” and since I still have a difficult time trying to understand what this show is about (which is terrible since I’m the performer that’s supposed to convey emotion towards the audience and direct them how to feel), I’m going to give a shot at SOAPStoning this musical mess.
First off, I’ll talk about the musical elements in our show. For the most part, the music is based off Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring and several songs from Bon Iver. Bon Iver is an Indie Folk Band and Aaron Copland is a very well known American composer, credited for having a distinct American style of composition. This gives the music an interesting mix of modernity and folk.
Next is the show concept. Our instructor tells us this is a show about gaining confidence. Hence on one side we have a lonely sitting “statue” (in a weak, curled up position) and a tall, confident standing “statue.” Throughout the show, the performers slowly gain confidence as they discover themselves. Using boxes to elevate the players, the audience can easily visualize when we are in a depressed state or a confident on. Since the show is divided in movements, I will just say movement 1 is where we’re supposed to be melancholy, movement 2 is a playful sort of “self-actualization stage”, and movement 3 is where everyone has finally found confidence and we’re proud enough to show it off to the audience. Now for the SOAPStone analysis.
SPEAKER: This is tough since we don’t have a single narrator. However, I would say that the speaker is also all thirty of us performers, which may be a little odd since one would imagine us to be referred to as the speakers” then. This is not true as all of us are actually set on performing the same way to make the audience feel the exact emotions they should be feeling. Through our expressions and character of the music, we can be considered the voice that is heard. We start off sad but will slowly gain confidence as we “stand up.”
OCCASION: Well I know that my instructor thought of this concept during his trip to the Chicago Symphony, but I’m not sure if that can really apply to the occasion of the show itself. If anything, he recently got married and is just in a really feel good mood. The show is set in a way to demonstrate that even if you’re at a low point, you can gain confidence to be happy.
AUDIENCE: In a broad view, the audience is well, the audience in the stands. Or the judges that will be scoring us. On the other hand, this show could be focused on those who are going to rough times and could gain a confidence boosts, or to show that things will get better.
PURPOSE: To fulfill the audience’s need of wanting to watch a great show, but on a more serious note, to illustrate the gaining of confidence musically and visually.
SUBJECT: I’ll make this short and sweet, the subject is on gaining confidence.
TONE: I’ll divide the tones by movement (expressed both musically and facially). Whatever the tone of the music is in the movement should be the same tone towards the audience. Movement 1 has a sullen tone and is very calm sounding, reflecting a melancholy and slow feel. Towards the end, we become a little more upbeat, a small boost of confidence if you will. Next is Movement 2, which has an energetic and playful tone. There’s a sense of discovery and the end crescendos as we seem to be growing louder and louder with pride. Lastly Movement 3 is filled with confidence. It’s very grandiose with cymbal crashes, rolls, and a company front. Meanwhile, everyone is standing tall with bright smiles and a regal look.
Well I tried, and I’m not sure if it’s too successful (maybe you just can’t apply SOAPStone to performing arts?).
If you’re interested, here’s a video of the show. We’re not quite done here, but it’s up to all the parts I have analyzed. Enjoy! Undefeated so far this season. 🙂
Sadly, the facial expressive part of this is too hard to see!