Men Shouldn't Sing - A Soundtrack Perspective by Michael Bell
What a privilege it is to have 47 of Christchurch's best orchestral musicians give up five full evenings to record this album.
This album was recorded in January 2007 and has been worked on as we progressed through the feature film over the remainder of the year.
Originally, the plan for this film soundtrack was that we would use piano backings for the songs, then gradually layer MIDI instruments and
a few live instruments over the top if some people were available to do so. On this basis, in 2005, we built a small soundproof studio in my house -
approximately 2 metres by 2.5 metres, which was enough to squeeze an instrumentalist in, maybe two, and for an engineer to be there to hit record
on the computer. We called the room "The Orange" because it had orange walls.
Between the building of the room and the actual recording session, some things changed. I can't believe that we got all 47 musicians, the singers
and the engineers in the same place at the same time for five nights! In fact much more has changed since we first set out on this feature film adventure.
A one month shoot became a four month shoot. 25-50 volunteers became 200 volunteers. A one year production became a two and a half year
production. What we expected to be quite a bit of work for a couple of people turned out to be lots and lots of work for lots and lots of people.
Recordings of larger live ensembles have become increasingly regular and "Orange Studio Ltd" had to move out of the small room into a larger
space, currently the Christchurch Music Centre. We tried to make sure that there's something for everybody on this album. That's the nature of the film -
each character sings and dances in their own genre. Because of the range of dance styles alone we had five choreographers.
It was particularly exciting to be working with a mixture of some of Christchurch's top jazz musicians alongside some of the city's top orchestral players.
I would especially like to thank some of the people that put in lots of work behind the scenes to make this album happen: Hamish Oliver, Steve Compton, Tom Rainey, Peter Rattray, Richard Marrett, Markus Hoetjes, Reuben Bijl, Michal Connole, Tim Powell and my parents, Tim and Judith.
Thanks to Oakley Buchmann for the German libretto. Thanks to Richard Paton and Chisnallwood Intermediate School for letting us use their great
music facilities. Thanks to the 47 orchestra members who gave up so much time voluntarily. Finally, thanks to the singers/actors who have each put in hundreds of hours to this film no matter whether the commitment was difficult or not. We hope you enjoy the album. Obviously.