Dan and Laura Curtis

All posts tagged Dan and Laura Curtis

If you love a good musical tune or two then this is the post for you.  Welsh musical maestros Dan and Laura Curtis are shortly to release a double album of original musical songs – ‘act’ one and ‘act’ two, if you like, of a complete musical theatre experience.  Filled with classic sounding tunes, mixed in with more contemporary jazz-pop songs along the way, Overture makes sure there’s something for all lovers of all musical theatre styles.

I recently interviewed Dan and Laura about Overture and asked why they wanted to write and produce a double or concert length album.  Laura said that musical theatre cast recordings have a very profound meaning for her as “it’s the closest thing to seeing a live show”.  Laura went onto explain that Overture was “inspired by our trip to New York, we love Broadway and we wanted to explore a musicals themed album that transcended genres yet where each song was related”.  Each song flows seamlessly into the next and with an overture at the beginning of each ‘act’, Overture the album would be a perfect concert to stage.  Laura implied that her and Dan would be interested in that but not yet – they’re about to start working intensively on a big project that must, for the time being, remain hush hush.

Now you would think that an album of twenty five songs would take a long time to write and when I asked Dan the question (in case you’re wondering, Laura and Dan both did the interview but as separate times), he said that it took about a year from start to finish.  Bearing in mind that they not only write the music they also record and produce everything too, that doesn’t seem like a very long time.  However, the more interesting thing for me was the revelation that most of the songs were only written after they had agreed who was to appear on the album, as Dan explains: “We’re inspired by people and voices, not ideas.  Although I do write bits of melodies, it’s much easier to write songs for particular voices.  Our songs are notoriously hard to sing, vocal acrobatics and the best of Broadway can do them justice”.  This approach means that the singers and songs are suited down to the ground:

My favourite songs on the album are Playing Games, sung by Matt Doyle and Keep Dancin’ On with Emmanuel Kojo.  Perfect storytelling to accompany the music but the stand out track for me, both vocally and dramatically is Natalie Weiss on When The Curtain Falls.  A look behind the glitz and glamour of the music business, these lyrics sum it up:

“When the playbill’s gone and your ego’s died, how you gonna feel… when nobody cares who you are any more”

Although Dan and Laura have already worked with some of the leading lights of Broadway and the West End, they don’t pull any punches when asked who they would like to write for and record with in the future; Audra McDonald, Seth McFarlane, Neil Patrick Harris, Josh Groban, Michael Ball and of course Alfie Boe are the names mentioned.  If the calibre of songs is as high as those on Overture, Dan and Laura should have no problem.

Overture will be released on 24 October.

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The Welsh husband and wife composers, Dan and Laura Curtis (who are expecting the arrival of their first baby very soon) have just released their first short musical concept written especially for the big screen. Based on the Disney / Pixar animation, Ratatouille, the unofficial video (made using fair use exception of US copyright laws) showcases their talents and announces their intention to move into the world of film composing in the future.

The music very much draws on the big screen musical style that we all know and features a full orchestra and a number of up and coming musical theatre artists, most of which have already featured on the London stage.

I spoke to Dan and Laura earlier this week and asked what drove the making of this video. In reply, they said that they had always been big Disney fans and one of their song writing dreams was to work with Disney. With this in mind, they were keen to show what their creative vision would have been, had they been given the task of writing music for a Disney film. In addition, many of their fans are also Disney fans and have been asking for something like this for some time now. So far, the response from those fans has been rapturous, with the video being shared multiple times across social media sites and receiving over 29,000 views since it’s release this week.

Dan and Laura’s work until now has been as award winning composers, producers and record label owners. Their most recent album Love on 42nd Street topped the UK and US iTunes vocal and Amazon Broadway charts and featured theatre legends such as Lea Salonga, Ramin Karimloo, Sierra Boggess, John Owen-Jones and Samantha Barks. Recent single releases with Laura Osnes and Cheyenne Jackson both topped the iTunes vocal chart.

Whatever happens with this musical concept video, (the video has been sent to Disney and Dan and Laura are hopeful that it will gain a positive response) Dan and Laura would like to move into the world of film and TV composition – and with their track record of making things happen, I wouldn’t bet against them. See the video here:

Love on 42nd Street is available here:

42nd street

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