posted by Nick DePinna, composer
So if I were to tell people who knew Sean Pawling that he was doing an opera next week, no one would be the least bit surprised. “No big deal, he plays trombone in operas all the time,” they would say to me, looking at me as if I were stating the obvious.
But Sean won’t be playing trombone next week. He’ll be singing and acting – one of the three actors in “Strange Fellowe,” – taking up the role of “The Band Leader.”
I met Sean at my first class, on my first day as a student at UCLA in 2003. He was the rock-star classical trombone major of our year (and continues to be, to this day), and it was immediately obvious that he was also an incredibly funny and warm human being. But it wasn’t until I visited and stayed with him during his time at the Aspen Music Festival in the summer of 2007 that I learned that he was also one heck of a singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Though I myself am a jazz trombone player and composer, I began to play piano and keyboards with him in his groups shortly after. We played together a LOT.
Last year, at the Banff Music Festival, Sean recorded and subsequently released his EP, “Inner Child,” combining his classical and popular music interests by accompanying his voice solely with trombone quartet. Just last month he returned to LA after another summer stint in Banff and I was delighted to learn that he had recorded more music(!), this time as a portion of a full-length album to be released in the Spring of 2013.
Imagine my delight when, after I sent his music to the production team, Jerome and Andrew jumped on top of securing him for our production. They too saw what an invaluable musical asset and shining personality he was. We had our first music read-through last week with him, and all I can say is that the guy’s got serious style – on top of being a truly beautiful vocalist. I’ve always known it, but seeing him bring that to music of mine really felt like a dream realized.
Tomorrow morning (Monday, 10-22) is our first reading and rehearsal as a near-complete team, (bellowes, actors, writer, director, producers, managers, and designers), and I couldn’t be more excited. Stay tuned for some behind-the-scenes pictures and videos next week!