Day one saw the collective creative minds of Jetson, Jansen and Jon (The Letter J) come together and thrash some ideas about using the medium of big paper and chunky crayons. Some inspired sounds were realised (nod to the Shipping Broadcast) by the team and taken further by flute, voice and electric guitar.
Two rather contrasting seagull characters were discovered and the world of Grandad and Mebegan to take shape.
With a snowy start to the day, the team began with a well deserved coffee and biscuit and a colouring in session. Fish (above) was created and might even make a sneaky appearance in a certain boating scene in the production (I can’t say anymore than that, I won’t, I can’t, you’ll just have to come and see Grandad and Me!).
Once pencil crayon shavings had been correctly disposed of, the day got under way with some inspiring lyrical writing from Jude and Jon.
Music was the name of the game on day two and a shimmery dream like moon tune was developed; as well as a haunting piece documenting a grand daughters search through the belongings of her Grandad. Electric guitars, loop pedals, vocal warbles, glockenpiels and harmoniums were used to create the soundscapes.
The hunt for a Thunder Tube (yes, that is it’s name!) began and some more cake was consumed toward the end of the day.
Day 3: Taking shape
Grandad and me began to take a bit more shape with the introduction of the first animated sequence, courtesy of Jessica Ashman, and the fine audio editing skills of Andy Mcgeoch. With some initial experiments with video mapping and projection, the feel of the space became much more real and complimented the sound experiments.
Big questions were thrown into the mix, like ‘how do we tie the seagulls on?’ And ‘could we get past gravity, using enough balloons?’ Or the toughest one coming at lunch ‘rocky road or iced yum yum?’
The day was full of challenges but none hindering the exploratory nature of the letter j team.
Days 4-8 were absolutely lovely, a great time was had by all and no hick ups or pre gig meltdowns happened at all, none whatsoever….
Now on the eve of the grandad and me dress rehearsal, the letter j team are tying up any loose threads remaining. Those last minute details which can make a show sink or swim, including the ongoing debate of whether we use real wurthers originals or build them out of fibre glass? With the budget now stretching thin and the pile of w.originals wrappers mounting, it is a just cause for debate.
Aside from all this the animations that Jess has been creating have been completed and Andy has worked his magic with projections and sound. The SFX has gone through the roof with the addition of both a bubble maker and a smoke machine. The story has been fine tuned after a feedback session from Mr and Mrs Williams and assistance with all the background details has been generously given by jack and Katie. We’ve been paying them all in wurthers originals, which has benefitted the letter j monetary kitty but caused great concern for our lead prop maker.
The seagulls have turned from Glaswegian to Welsh, then to cockney and back again and this child friendly production now features a face melting, uk metal, guitar thrash that would make Hendrix reach for his hanky!
And tomorrow is show time, the jitters are setting in… I need a wurthers!
Today ‘the letter j’ are taking an audience with them on a sea faring, intergalactic, grandad finding mission. All of this will be happening within the confines of T4 at Tramway in Glasgow.
Here are a few sketches drawn up by the Grey Earl (Jon to his mum), in the early days of ‘Grandad and me’.