The music for Sermon on the Board Room Table was composed and produced by Will Leamon at Thrillahill’s studio Tire Swing Studio.
The first requirement of the music was that it had to have the ability to be played live by a band. The Sermon is in fact a live musical experience, just with the COVID situation there can’t be any live shows for a while and sadly we can’t even go into production let alone rehearsals. Theater is a collaborative art in a shared space. I just can’t bring myself to produce it via Zoom meeting.
I wanted the music to reflect the world that the Sermon lives in – completely synthetic but pretending to be natural and organic. So all of the synthetic instruments are pretending to do the jobs of acoustic instruments. Not that synthesizers don’t have their place in the natural world, just in the context of the Sermon I wanted them to help represent the duplicity and hypocrisy of the modern work space.
The music for the sermon relies on the same set of instruments throughout the piece. The temptation when working with synths is to just keep piling on more and more sounds, especially when you love designing your own unique synthesizers and developing custom made timbres. But this makes the live music experience a bit ridiculous as you would have a dozen or so keyboardists making up the band. I also wanted to work within the context of musical theater as we know it today – a reliance on traditional strings, woodwinds, piano and brass. Therefore, each of these sections is represented by a synthetic variant buried inside a computer. When the day comes for the actual live show, I would like to use the traditional instruments but feed them into effect processors that mangle and distort them into a synthetic sound. This would be far truer to the Sermon, which is about taking the natural world, or our natural existence in it, and mangling it to satisfy the shallow pride and insecurities of those lucky enough to “lead”.