Tonight was our first run-through of Coraline the musical at the Lucille Lortel Theater. I have felt extremely lucky and excited to be part of this incredibly unique project. The music is written by the singer-songwriter Stephin Merritt (from the Magnetic Fields) and everything is scored for solo musician. I am playing toy pianos, prepared piano and regular “adult” piano throughout the entire show. This is a project that was apparently in the making for over seven years between Stephin, Neil Gaiman (author), David Greenspan (bookwright) and Leigh Silverman (director). I joined the team about a year ago when I came to New York to explore prepared piano sounds with Stephin. I can still remember some of the odd noises we seem to be able to create by cramming a lot of junk into an upright piano. The “finished” prepared piano has evolved quite a lot since then–in fact, 69 out of the 88 keys of the piano have some sort of preparation on it. The timbre of the piano is altered by using screws, bolts, erasers, rubber bands, playing cards, jingle bells, banana clips, pennies, pipe cleaner, a knitting needle and other found objects. The amount of detail in this show is a bit overwhelming, but I believe it to be a truly magical piece of work. Please come see it at the Lucille Lortel Theater (Bedford/Christopher St.) in the West Village! Previews start tomorrow and our official opening is June 1st.