Music you must listen to: Carner and Gregor

 Kirk Webeck makes a wonderful new musical discovery – the work of New York Composers Carner and Gregor. Sheet music for their songs is available via their website. Check out the YouTube links in this article, and introduce yourself to some wonderful new music. 

 Kirk Webeck makes a wonderful new musical discovery – the work of New York Composers Carner and Gregor. Sheet music for their songs is available via their website. Check out the YouTube links in this article, and introduce yourself to some wonderful new music.   Carner and GregorSo it’s been a couple of weeks since my last instalment but I’m excited to be back and extremely excited to be presenting these composers to you.  While stuck at home and bored out of my mind I began putting my time to good use and browsing YouTube. There is always so much fun to be had on YouTube and so many discoveries to be made. I love it, I could literally spend hours and hours and hours every single day given the chance. Anyway, I stumbled across the work 2 composers, some of you may have heard of them others of you most certainly not. I am talking about the very brilliant Carner and Gregor. (Sam Carner and Derek Gregor, pictured).  I managed to make contact with the New York-based composers and got some information from them about them and their works. Whilst the pair have been composing together for quite a number of years they have only been really putting their music out into the world (selling it out of context) in the past year and half.  This does not make them ‘newcomers’ to the musical theatre world by any means. Both gaining their masters of fine arts from New York University’s musical theatre writing program, the duo penned their first musical Unlock’d, which won the a Richard Rodgers award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, in 2007 and then went on to be produced at the world famous New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) also in 2007. At the NYMF, Unlock’d won the award ‘Best of the Fest’ – an audience award – and also received citations for ‘Outstanding New Musical’ and ‘Outstanding Original Theatrical Score’. This, as I am sure you can imagine, is an amazing way to start a career as a new musical theatre composer! In 2009 this talented duo returned to the NYMF with Sing, But Don’t Tell, a showcase of their works. They then followed this up with the independently produced concert Buzzed which showcased their songs being performed by the 12 cast members from the Broadway revival cast of HAIR. In 2011, 2 of their songs ‘Sing, but don’t Tell’ and ‘After Hours’ were nominated for the Manhattan Association of Cabaret Awards (MAC AWARDS) for Best Special Musical Material and Best Song – a huge achievement for both composers. When not composing for Musical Theatre, Derek co-writes country music with Laura Bell Bundy, who originated the role of Elle in the Broadway Musical Production of Legally Blonde. To date the 3 main projects of the Carner and Gregor are Unlock’d, (which is the adaption of Alexander Pope’s comical poem The Rape Of The Lock), Island Song which is a song cycle about isolation and connection in contemporary urban life and The Great Cookie Quest which is a 2 act musical for children which follows a brother and sister, the monster that lives under their bed and a few other friends.  3 very different ideas but from what I have heard so far 3 very exciting directions for Musical Theatre. Although unfortunately the pair does not have an album out yet that is available on ITunes, you can hear sample of their work throughout YouTube and bits a pieces on their website. There are several selections from the musical The Great Cookie Quest available for your listening pleasure on the duo’s website The thing I find fascinating about this writing duo is not only can they tackle the up-tempo comedic material they also write the big serious ballad and everything else in between really well something which not all contemporary composers can do. Often, composers either handle one or the other well, but not both with such finesse.  After listening to a fair bit of Carner and Gregors music I would have to say stylistically while everything is written for musical theatre and you can hear that musical theatre influence throughout, you can also pick up on the influence several other styles throughout their music, you can definitely pick a country tone in a couple of their pieces. If after listening to the music from this amazing pair of composers you too, like me, became a fan, you can purchase their sheet music from their website I will also include below several links to the music recordings they have available on ITunes for your enjoyment. Sam and Derek are hoping to make it out here to oz in 2012 to host a series of concerts and master classes around the country, so keep your eyes peeled on for more information.  I really hope you enjoy discovering the work of Carner and Gregor and if you already knew of them I really hope you can find something new from the music that I am posting today.  Hopefully the next instalment won’t take as long to get to you, I have lots more in store for you all, but until next time happy listening, keep smiling and enjoy the brilliance that it is Carner and Gregor.  P.S please feel free to post a comment in the DISQUS box below, and let me know what you think of Carner and Gregor. Image by Nick Gaswirth –  My Favourites and Recommendations Male solos:After HoursAll At OnceMake It HereSavin’ ItStay AwhileWall Lovin’ Female solos:After HoursCBTDancing in PairsThe Hair SongShoulders DownSing, But Don’t TellSo Far From Pennsylvania TMI (two different versions)  YOUTUBE SONG LINKS
Wall Lovin’ (from ISLAND SONG) — Down (from ISLAND SONG) — or in Pairs (from ISLAND SONG) — It Here (from ISLAND SONG) — a Gnome (from UNLOCK’D) — or First Kiss (from UNLOCK’D) — In My Memory (cabaret song) — Y6Hn2y_OVgSo Many Windows (from ISLAND SONG) —

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