What is it like to play ‘live’ for a circus theatrical like this?
Adam: It helps to have a background in improvisation. Circus acts are very precise art forms and the music needs to move with the act, especially the drums – it handles much of the subtle accenting that makes the movements come to life. It was a challenge to pull together a complex show with this mix of ‘live’ orchestra and multi-track sequence arrangements. We had to be creative with the multi-track sequence so that we keep the wonderful details and textures created by composer Jonathan Lim. Even today, we still find ways to make the music better. It is – and likely will always be – a work in progress.
How ‘common’ is this style of music playing?
Erik: It’s very common – just look at Broadway and Cirque du Soleil.
Peter: I’ve done this for 20 years now.
Norbert: I’ve played for theatrical shows for 10 years but only as a sub. So playing for the same show for 7 days a week, for nearly a year is quite a new experience for me.
Bill: I’ve been doing it since high school – 7 to 12 shows a week since college. It is fun, I get to travel and so here I am!
How has the journey of life changed you in the past one year?
Adam: I’ve learnt a lot – though trial and error – about technique, software, music and management. Being a Musical Director for a show this complex is a first for me. We’re all very much like family – and like any families, some squabbles are bound to happen. I believe we are all very happy with where we are at now as a band and as ‘family’. Talking about families, the biggest change is parenthood! Both Peter and I had children one month apart – Peter’s second, my first. Norbert is expecting his first child in October.
Erik: I now know to trust only God and my heart.
Norbert: This country is very different from where I came from – that means a lot of changes.
Billy: I feel more like a citizen of the world. I’ve never lived outside USA previously so it’s very different for me. I’m more aware of the goings-on in SEA and see places I’ve only dreamed of visiting.
What are noticeable changes in the troupe over the past year?
Billy: New directors, new technical directors, new cast members, some acts that we opened with have been cut – overall, there were quite some changes. The music however, has changed very little.
If you can change one thing, what will it be?
Norbert: I’ve never seen the show as the audience. Perhaps whatever changes are required to make the show better for the audience?
Billy: Have the show tour (eventually). It would be cool to bring the show to some other cities – and to experience these cities myself as well!
Any hopes for the upcoming year?
Adam: For the show to keep growing, sharing it with even more people. I would love to see the show extended or to begin a new production here in RWS. I think we have grown quite fond of all the great things Singapore has to offer. I come to work in shorts every day – I LOVE it!
Erik: To continue to help this show improve to a highly professional level.
Peter: Good health.
Billy: To grow as a musician. Outside the show, to play lots of tennis! Love the warm weather all year round – where I grew up in Upstate New York, we can’t play tennis outside during Christmas.
More about the band...
Norbert Elek – Keyboards / Accordian
- played the piano since 5 years old
- performed with many leading Hungarian pop bands
- created pop music albums, including one for the winner of the Hungarian Idol TV show
- orchestrated for the Hungarian Military Big Band and several other symphonic orchestras
Bill Leary – Saxes / Ethnic Flutes / Clarinet / EWI
- played with jazz greats in college
- toured with Broadway musical “Annie”
- travelled with a 3-ring circus – complete with elephant, lions, horses and clowns!
- sailed around the world while performing on a cruise ship
Adam Kimont – Musical Director / Keyboards
- travelled 5 years with America’s (most famous) Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus (RBBBC)
- met and played alongside Bill and Erik there
Peter Csaszar – Bass / Guitar / Cello
- a bassist in the Hungarian State Opera for 6 years
- has performed in orchestras, concerts and musicals with notable names, like Yehudi Menuhin and Diana Ross
Erik Hargrove – Drums
- performed for kings and dignitaries on every continent except Antarctica
- toured and recorded with James Brown for 7 years, Bootsy Collins for 2 years and Sister Hazel for 3 years and Thomas McClary of "The Commodores"
- has performed with names such as Michael Jackson (at the 2004 BET Awards), Sting, Pavarotti and Red Hot Chili Peppers while on tour with James Brown
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