Matt Regan – Composer and Musical Director
“Usually during my first read through of a script I sketch down ideas. I usually get an idea straight away when I read something, an idea of the chords or melody. It's hard to describe, but I get the flavour and sense of the sound in my head when I read. The sound I wanted to achieve for this production was… well, I think I was interested in things sounding strange, out of place, wrong. I didn’t picture the characters and musicians coming from a place where they are well practiced and honed, I envisaged that they would not play in a refined or elegant way. I wanted it to be raw. I think a person playing the saw exemplifies that, the sound of the saw is unusual, elegiac. It looks like a person has just grabbed the nearest thing and made a strange sound, out of urgency to play, rather than a refined aesthetic.
For me minimalism really evokes American cities. The Grapes of Wrath conjures vast open spaces, which we wanted to capture in the music, but I wanted our version to focuses on man-made desolation - not only dusty fields but concrete and cities.
I wanted all of the pieces to feel connected musically, part of the same world. When I created the main theme that appears at the top of the show, I had an idea to create a musical motif that informed all the other pieces. I listened to Philip Glass, The Pixies, Steve Reich as reference points. The Pixies have a strange beauty to them – an aggression and urgency.
The motif I adopted is a harsh wrong-sounding note, which slides into the correct note. This combination of incongruous, opposing sounds is at the core of the music.”
Matt Regan, Composer and Musical Director