Episode 17

Lindsey Miller talks about touring with the RSC

Personal stories of inspiration from professional composers, songwriters and musicians.

In this episode, Gareth chats with musical director Lindsey Miller about touring with the RSC and learning the piano on her trusty Casio keyboard.

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Host: Gareth Davies

Produced by The Sound Boutique

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Transcript
Gareth:

Welcome to the music room.

Gareth:

At this time in the music room.

Lindsey:

apologies to my brother who I forced to be in a little band with me.

Lindsey:

When like aunties and uncles came to the house, we used to make him play guitar

Lindsey:

and I would put You know, the little automatic tunes you can play on the

Lindsey:

keyboard, and I would play the recorder, and I'd make a little program and hand it

Lindsey:

out to people, MDing from an early age,

Gareth:

Hello and welcome to The Music Room, the show where I chat

Gareth:

with composers, songwriters and musicians about what they're up

Gareth:

to before heading back in time to find out how it all began for them.

Gareth:

Today's episode is a cracker with Lindsay Miller, a musical director

Gareth:

for MD for Theatre Productions.

Gareth:

I'll give Lindsay a proper introduction in a bit.

Gareth:

But first, how are you?

Gareth:

I hope 2023 is going as planned.

Gareth:

And if not, you're still getting creative.

Gareth:

Whether that's on a personal or professional project.

Gareth:

I'd love to know what you're up to.

Gareth:

So get in touch.

Gareth:

You can follow the Music Room on Instagram, or even join our lovely

Gareth:

little community on Facebook.

Gareth:

It really is lovely.

Gareth:

And tell us there.

Gareth:

And if you're in that community, hi, I'll be back in a bit.

Gareth:

Anyway, if you look in the show notes to this episode, you'll find

Gareth:

the links to everything Music Room.

Gareth:

Otherwise just head to musicroom.

Gareth:

community and you'll find everything there too.

Gareth:

Rhino.

Gareth:

It's time for some music stories.

Gareth:

City Hall has signed off on a 100, 000 boost for the music industry in Belfast.

Gareth:

According to the Belfast Telegraph, elected representatives at Belfast City

Gareth:

Council approved the allocation involving three branches of the industry in the city

Gareth:

with funds going towards investment in venues, a new digital music and marketing

Gareth:

platform, and industry mentoring.

Gareth:

20, 20, 000 was approved for the Pipeline Investment Fund for music

Gareth:

venues, 50, 000 for the creation of a digital music support service

Gareth:

and marketing channels, and 30, 000 towards the development of the Music

Gareth:

Industry Mentoring Programme for 23 24.

Gareth:

So if you're in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Maybe investigate further.

Gareth:

Next, I asked the music room community on Facebook a blankety blank.

Gareth:

We do this every other week.

Gareth:

The one thing I wish could be automated in my music process is blank.

Gareth:

Go on, what would you say?

Gareth:

Valere Speranza says, Mixing, mastering, producing the 30 seconds, seconds edits.

Gareth:

That's a production music library thing, isn't it?

Gareth:

Uh, to produce edits.

Gareth:

And yes, that would save time.

Gareth:

Mike Langley says stems, similar thing.

Gareth:

Um, I agree with the edits, quite like mixing though.

Gareth:

Uh, feels like part of the process to me.

Gareth:

Ross Hemsworth says placement.

Gareth:

I'll mentor that brother.

Gareth:

Uh, Jamie Salisbury, conforming to new picture edits.

Gareth:

Uh, that would be great.

Gareth:

So when you're writing to picture, you line up the music to when

Gareth:

scenes change and everything.

Gareth:

So if the editors send a new edit, It can take ages to adjust all the

Gareth:

fine timings that you already have.

Gareth:

So like that, Jamie, if you can organize that, please, that would be great.

Gareth:

Lots of other things like automatic transcription.

Gareth:

Yeah, great.

Gareth:

So with all the talk of AI going around, this is really interesting.

Gareth:

Don't take our jobs, AI.

Gareth:

Just help us do our jobs more efficiently, please.

Gareth:

I think I speak for the Composer community on that.

Gareth:

Lindsay Miller has worked in the theatre industry as an MD

Gareth:

and keys player for 13 years.

Gareth:

She's also a composer, arranger, orchestrator and keyboard programmer.

Gareth:

She's been musical director for the 2023 Royal Shakespeare Company's

Gareth:

production of Julius Caesar.

Gareth:

The production played the Royal Shakespeare Theatre at Stratford upon Avon

Gareth:

before embarking on a nine week UK tour.

Gareth:

Let's get into it.

Gareth:

Lindsay Miller, welcome to the music room.

Lindsey:

Thank you very much.

Lindsey:

Good to be here.

Gareth:

Very welcome.

Gareth:

Um, this is the second time we've been on a podcast together.

Gareth:

The first time you were talking about the book you wrote about

Gareth:

your experiences in North Korea,

Lindsey:

Yeah, that's right.

Gareth:

on the, on the social media, they all say.

Gareth:

I'll let that sink in for a minute, but I'll leave, I'll put a link in the

Gareth:

show notes to that episode because it was really fascinating and it shows

Gareth:

a different side to your creativity.

Gareth:

But today we talk about your music.

Gareth:

You've just finished MDing a tour with the RSC around the UK.

Lindsey:

I have,

Gareth:

Amazing.

Gareth:

How did that go?

Lindsey:

it was great.

Lindsey:

Yeah.

Lindsey:

Good.

Lindsey:

It's been a six month contract, this one.

Lindsey:

So we started rehearsal in January, and an eight week rehearsal process and

Lindsey:

with our director, uh, otre Banerjee.

Lindsey:

So he was directing first time, I think, um, on major production, RSE in the

Lindsey:

Royal Shakespeare Theater and yeah.

Lindsey:

exciting young company.

Lindsey:

And what's quite nice about working at the RSC as an MD and as a musician,

Lindsey:

whether you write music yourself or not, is actually getting to work

Lindsey:

with composers who come in and create a brand new score for each show.

Lindsey:

And it's quite amazing, but I think the RSC and the National are one

Lindsey:

of the only sort of two remaining big houses left that commission new

Lindsey:

music for all of their production.

Lindsey:

So, so that.

Lindsey:

Part of the, well, actually the major reason why I enjoy working there is

Lindsey:

getting to work on completely new music and being able to feed into

Lindsey:

that as an MD is really exciting and is a lot more exciting to me than the

Lindsey:

sort of other work I've sort of done earlier on, which was a lot more kind

Lindsey:

of working on pre existing material.

Lindsey:

I like the devising and creating process.

Lindsey:

So yeah, it's been great.

Lindsey:

Yeah,

Gareth:

Yeah.

Gareth:

Yeah.

Gareth:

And if you follow Lindsay on Instagram, which I do, and by the way, the best

Gareth:

stories, just, they'll make you smile.

Gareth:

Go and follow her.

Gareth:

It's, it's, you know, lots of puppy and dog content.

Lindsey:

Oh, lots of dog content.

Gareth:

Yeah, yeah.

Gareth:

It's just very uplifting to read those.

Gareth:

Um, what was it?

Gareth:

What was my point?

Gareth:

Oh yes, you were posting, your various locations where you

Gareth:

were staying and performing.

Gareth:

Did you have a favorite?

Gareth:

Was there, there was a favorite show or a favorite place that you stayed?

Lindsey:

Um, I really liked Newcastle.

Lindsey:

I really love Newcastle as a city.

Lindsey:

It was quite special to go back there actually because the last time I had

Lindsey:

been there was, um, February 2020 just as the first lockdown was called and

Lindsey:

COVID was kicking off and I was there with the RSC actually doing three shows

Lindsey:

in rec and we just, we were doing two weeks in each venue and we just opened

Lindsey:

the second and we were in the middle of pecking the third about to open that.

Lindsey:

And the lockdown was called and all the theatres closed and then all,

Lindsey:

all of us were going, what do we do?

Lindsey:

Um, and then I, the next day was on a train back home.

Lindsey:

So, I hadn't been to Newcastle since then, so it felt really odd being back

Lindsey:

there, in that theatre and going, gosh, the last time I was in here was on

Lindsey:

that snap goodbye, you know, and can I hug people I've spent the last year

Lindsey:

and a half of my life with, you know?

Lindsey:

But it was great, you know, we got to do the whole week, but I

Lindsey:

really like the audiences there.

Lindsey:

They're really up for it and really curious.

Lindsey:

audiences as well.

Lindsey:

Um, I'm quite courageous actually with the kind of things that

Lindsey:

they like to go and see and the discussions they have about shows.

Lindsey:

Yeah, I think Newcastle is definitely up there.

Gareth:

nice one.

Gareth:

I personally, I haven't been on tour, like that before.

Gareth:

It must be satisfying, but physically draining to be, you

Gareth:

know, living at 100% of the time.

Gareth:

What do you look forward to most when you finish a tour?

Gareth:

Cause obviously you've just finished now, haven't you?

Lindsey:

Yeah, I think I look forward to being, like, having some I'm quite

Lindsey:

a quiet person in my own time, and I, I will quite happily sit in my

Lindsey:

house, without any music, um, not reading anything, just sitting quiet.

Lindsey:

My husband often says to me, I can't believe you can just sit in the

Lindsey:

silence for that amount of time.

Lindsey:

Yeah.

Lindsey:

But I think it's a thing.

Lindsey:

I've talked to musician friends about this and they say similar

Lindsey:

things where I think when you're.

Lindsey:

You're listening.

Lindsey:

So in a way that it's so targeted and so close and detailed and

Lindsey:

And you're active all the time.

Lindsey:

It's really nice to just kind of step out of that So at the end of a tour

Lindsey:

or when I can on tour I like I like things that sort of bring me into

Lindsey:

quiet, you know, I practice yoga.

Lindsey:

I like reading I just, I like being on my own.

Lindsey:

Um, I think also with MDing because you, I explain this to a lot of

Lindsey:

MD students I've worked with, that I think 80% of it is music.

Lindsey:

Um, actually, sorry, wrong way round.

Lindsey:

About 10% of it is music.

Lindsey:

Um, about 75 is...

Lindsey:

people management and the rest is emails and, and it, and it really being around

Lindsey:

managing people, working with people.

Lindsey:

So having time to yourself, I think is really important.

Lindsey:

So that's kind of the main thing I really look forward to.

Gareth:

That's fantastic.

Gareth:

Well, now we've talked about the tour.

Gareth:

Are you ready to go back in time?

Lindsey:

Let's do it.

Gareth:

So here we are back in time.

Gareth:

So Lindsay, how young were you when you first became aware of music?

Lindsey:

Oh, I think, in terms of theatre, as early as I can possibly remember,

Lindsey:

um, my parents are not musicians.

Lindsey:

None of my family are mus well, they're musical, but in that

Lindsey:

they appreciate music, but no one is a professional musician.

Lindsey:

They're all teachers.

Lindsey:

And I grew up watching videos of the old sort of 30s, 40s MGM classics.

Lindsey:

So, when kids in school were talking about how they fancied, Peter

Lindsey:

Andre or, or Victoria Beckham.

Lindsey:

Um, I was talking about Howard Keele and how much I love Catherine Grayson

Lindsey:

and they were all looking at me like, what, who are these people?

Lindsey:

Um, and that, that was just what, what I grew up with.

Lindsey:

I used to watch those films over and over and over again.

Lindsey:

And my parents would watch them while they were doing the ironing and I

Lindsey:

just sit under the ironing board just.

Lindsey:

Watching and take it all in and I used to recreate all the dance routines thing.

Lindsey:

But on the other side of that, I mean, my parents are enjoying music and my

Lindsey:

dad listens to a lot of rock music.

Lindsey:

So as a sort of alternative to that, um, I always, I always remember

Lindsey:

ACDC being on Billy Ray Cyrus.

Lindsey:

Um, ELO, State of Go, um, Beat Purple, you know, bands like that were just.

Lindsey:

You know, cassettes in the little cassette storage box that I used

Lindsey:

to kind of go through and play.

Gareth:

God, you could have gone in an entirely different direction,

Gareth:

couldn't you, with those influences?

Lindsey:

Oh yeah.

Gareth:

So is that your taste then?

Gareth:

you have that kind of nostalgia for heavy rock music?

Lindsey:

Oh, absolutely.

Lindsey:

I think I have, I have a very nostalgic taste in music anyway.

Lindsey:

you know, people say to me like, what do you listen to?

Lindsey:

I really do listen to anything and everything.

Lindsey:

I have always, I think it's more the style of certain music.

Lindsey:

Like I love a strong beat.

Lindsey:

I really love strong syncopation.

Lindsey:

It just really hooks me in.

Lindsey:

That, that is kind of the main thing I go for.

Lindsey:

So whether that's EDM, or it's, you know, 70s rock, or whether it's, you know,

Lindsey:

Motown, that stuff, that is what's going to hook me into that piece of music.

Gareth:

Interesting.

Gareth:

Yeah, a lot of people say melody, and especially composers will say melody.

Gareth:

So it's really interesting to hear from someone who has

Gareth:

the same effect with rhythm.

Gareth:

So that was at home.

Gareth:

Were you going to the theater as a youngster or, you know, what really,

Gareth:

tuned you into the potential of actually learning an instrument

Gareth:

or, you know, anything like that?

Lindsey:

I mean, I didn't learn, so I play piano.

Lindsey:

I didn't learn that start learning until I was about seven.

Lindsey:

So I was, you know, a little older I think, than a lot of other sort

Lindsey:

of peers that I've spoken to.

Lindsey:

But, um, theater was, I feel very, very lucky.

Lindsey:

And it's a big part of the reason why I feel very passionate about getting

Lindsey:

young people into the theater is that.

Lindsey:

I wanted to see a musical.

Lindsey:

I'd seen so many on the television and I used to recreate all the dance routines

Lindsey:

and I, I could, I still, the, the sound of those scores, I remember every little

Lindsey:

clarinet, you know, little, little bit and, and every heart flicking, just,

Lindsey:

I, I, it's just in my muscle memory.

Lindsey:

And my parents, every year for my birthday, would buy theatre tickets

Lindsey:

and we would go through to Edinburgh or through to Glasgow and go see something.

Lindsey:

So it could, it could have been anything from, like a local amateur

Lindsey:

group, you know, that were putting on a production of something.

Lindsey:

Or, um, the touring version, I remember going to see Miss Saigon and that was

Lindsey:

a big, sort of, turning point for me.

Lindsey:

But we always went, every year.

Lindsey:

My birthday's New Year's Eve, so it was, so there was always kind

Lindsey:

of a lot of shows on at that time.

Lindsey:

But yeah, I feel very lucky that they did that and that was where I became

Lindsey:

quite curious about what else went on in the theatre, not just on the stage,

Lindsey:

but I would spend a lot of time looking over the pit and, and just oogling, just

Lindsey:

like all these amazing things, these instruments and people are crawling around

Lindsey:

and Um, wondering sort of what was down there, and again, so interesting, I have

Lindsey:

friends who work as theatre musicians who said they used to do the same thing.

Lindsey:

Um, so I think it's amazing, even from that young age, you know,

Lindsey:

when you show an interest in that, it's really important that there's

Lindsey:

some, some way to access, art, you know, to encourage that curiosity.

Gareth:

Yeah, it's interesting to say it was, something special to go to the

Gareth:

theater, you know, on your birthday, then, uh, I'm sure that nostalgia

Gareth:

connected to that special treat, kind of adds to the magic, doesn't it?

Lindsey:

Oh,

Lindsey:

absolutely.

Gareth:

yeah, yeah.

Gareth:

So you mentioned Miss Saigon and that was a bit of a turning point for you.

Gareth:

Uh, why was that?

Lindsey:

I remember I went with, so my dad, my dad's a retired

Lindsey:

head teacher and his school was organizing a trip to go see the show.

Lindsey:

And, um, quite often, you know, if these school trips were running, my

Lindsey:

mom and myself and my brother might join and we did on that occasion.

Lindsey:

And I, I remember being in the Edinburgh Playhouse and I had never seen

Lindsey:

anything that spectacular on a stage.

Lindsey:

With the heli, you know, the helipopter coming down and they've

Lindsey:

got the fences and there's people singing and crawling up the fences.

Lindsey:

And I hadn't ever seen anything that was, based on, You know,

Lindsey:

I, a real situation like that happened, you know, with, that war.

Lindsey:

And, and there was really something very powerful about that.

Lindsey:

I'd been to see some, I remember going to see a couple of offers afterwards.

Lindsey:

But I think it was the first thing I'd seen that had been really

Lindsey:

sung through the whole play.

Lindsey:

And the music just felt.

Lindsey:

like this enormous character in itself that I really hadn't maybe appreciated

Lindsey:

as much in other things I'd been to see, where for me the emphasis had

Lindsey:

been on what I was seeing, whereas that was about how it felt and I could, I

Lindsey:

remember feeling it in the auditorium, with the subs going and the strings and

Lindsey:

at that time that was when there was a much bigger touring orchestra as well.

Lindsey:

I don't remember how many but it was quite, I remember it was

Lindsey:

quite sizable, um, so I think that was a lot to do with it.

Gareth:

yeah.

Gareth:

There's something about the community of watching something, you know,

Gareth:

with a, with a load of other people as well, and feeling that

Gareth:

electricity in the room isn't there.

Gareth:

You can feel it at certain gigs and things like that, where it's just really special.

Gareth:

So when you saw Miss Saigon, had you already started your own musical learning,

Gareth:

uh, at that point, or was it something that spurred you on to learn the piano

Gareth:

or how does that all fit together?

Lindsey:

I had, I think I'd be learning piano for a couple of years.

Lindsey:

I think I was about 10.

Lindsey:

Um, I was certainly still sort of end of primary school.

Lindsey:

So I think I 11 years old.

Lindsey:

And I'd been playing piano for a couple of years and I was enjoying it.

Lindsey:

But the thing I found with it was I didn't like practicing.

Lindsey:

And the reason I didn't like practicing was because I

Lindsey:

didn't like.

Gareth:

much.

Lindsey:

Oh, it's so boring.

Lindsey:

I, I, people who say they

Gareth:

20 minutes before the lesson.

Gareth:

Yeah.

Lindsey:

but my, my parents are really good because they, we

Lindsey:

couldn't, we didn't have a big piano.

Lindsey:

I had a little patio keyboard is what I practiced on at home and, um, uh, on the

Lindsey:

kitchen chair, the kitchen table chair.

Lindsey:

And, um, that was what I practiced on.

Lindsey:

And my parents like forced me to practice and they would sit and

Lindsey:

watch me and they'd go right.

Lindsey:

30 minute scales and arpeggios, 30 minute pieces, and they would find me and watch

Lindsey:

and like make sure I did it because I would try and talk my way out of it, um,

Lindsey:

just have a sit and have a chat, and so they were quite good at forcing me to

Lindsey:

practice and I'm really glad they did, but I think a big element of it wasn't

Lindsey:

just where because you're building the skills to then you're learning the rules

Lindsey:

to then take them apart and I wanted to take them apart because I had lots

Lindsey:

of, I'd seen all these amazing things and I was like I just want to do that.

Lindsey:

But it was the community element of it was what was missing and when I, my,

Lindsey:

I remember my first piano teacher had a little concert for all her students

Lindsey:

in a little town hall and I played a piece in front of people and it wasn't.

Lindsey:

A lot of kids, you know, say, oh, it was great at the end, I got to stand

Lindsey:

up and take a bow and everyone clapped.

Lindsey:

For me, it was actually being able to listen to other people

Lindsey:

and be in a room where other people were doing that thing too.

Lindsey:

And...

Lindsey:

I really wanted to play with other people.

Lindsey:

I didn't want to sit on my own in my house.

Lindsey:

You know, I wanted to go collaborate.

Lindsey:

And I didn't know that at the time.

Lindsey:

I do now.

Lindsey:

And I can totally see the signs of that now.

Lindsey:

But that, that really would have motivated me, I think.

Lindsey:

If I'd maybe been in a little band or something.

Lindsey:

And I did, you know, apologies to my brother who I forced to

Lindsey:

be in a little band with me.

Lindsey:

When like aunties and uncles came to the house, we used to make him play guitar

Lindsey:

and I would put You know, the little automatic tunes you can play on the

Lindsey:

keyboard, and I would play the recorder, and I'd make a little program and hand it

Lindsey:

out to people, MDing from an early age, uh, but yeah, I mean, just again, things

Lindsey:

like that, that, that, it's interesting looking back at that stuff and going,

Lindsey:

oh yeah, there's, there's signs there of that natural kind of, again, instinct to

Lindsey:

collaborate and be in a group, and yeah.

Lindsey:

boss people around and um, and make, make new music, you know, to

Gareth:

Well, it's interesting.

Gareth:

You're saying, you know, the opportunity to play with other people.

Gareth:

That's what you really wanted.

Gareth:

I started on the cello.

Gareth:

I played the piano as well, but I started on the cello and that it was

Gareth:

almost a condition of getting lessons.

Gareth:

from the school that you attend orchestra.

Gareth:

So you didn't even think about it.

Gareth:

It was just, you were shoved into that situation where you're

Gareth:

playing with other people.

Gareth:

Which I'm incredibly grateful for in a, in a sense, cause I wouldn't

Gareth:

probably wouldn't have sought that out.

Gareth:

But I suppose on the piano, you had to actually seek out those opportunities

Gareth:

to, to play with other people.

Gareth:

I hadn't really thought about that before, but it's, um, it's different for pianists.

Lindsey:

Yeah, it is.

Lindsey:

I mean, I do think about that sometimes.

Lindsey:

I mean, my, my second instrument, although it's very rusty, is the flute.

Lindsey:

And that was when I was much older, in sort of high school.

Lindsey:

And I had to do the same thing.

Lindsey:

I had to play concert bands and jazz bands.

Lindsey:

And I'd been singing in some choirs and doing various things, but that

Lindsey:

was really nice because you're in a section, you know, and you, and you

Lindsey:

have someone, you know, at least.

Lindsey:

Well, at least like one or two, three people sitting next to you

Lindsey:

who are playing the same instrument.

Lindsey:

You go, this is great!

Lindsey:

And I just didn't have that on the piano at all.

Lindsey:

It felt very much like a very isolated little island.

Lindsey:

And that's, again, the link with theatre, that playing with someone

Lindsey:

who's singing was, was an option.

Lindsey:

You know, where...

Lindsey:

playing a different instrument might not have been such a natural

Lindsey:

progression collaboratively.

Gareth:

So moving on from, you know, learning piano and going

Gareth:

to the theater, did that inspire you to go into further education

Gareth:

for music or what happened there?

Lindsey:

So I did, when I was at school, I did do music as part of my exams and what

Lindsey:

were, what used to be called highers and advanced highers, I don't think they exist

Lindsey:

anymore, um, but going to music school, I mean, I actually wanted to be an actor for

Lindsey:

a long time and I used to do all the local amateur dramatic societies and pencils and

Lindsey:

I was in a Shakespeare group and a street theater group and I was in a, I was an

Lindsey:

actor and I was like, I want, I want to be a performer and, um, but, but training.

Lindsey:

In musical theater didn't just didn't feel accessible to me, very expensive.

Lindsey:

It was in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Lindsey:

I mean, I'm from Glasgow originally, but I've grown up in lots of small towns.

Lindsey:

It felt very far away, very alien, and I didn't know anyone who did that.

Lindsey:

Um, and so I kind of thought I'll keep it as a hobby.

Lindsey:

I'll keep music and theater as a hobby.

Lindsey:

And by the time I went to university, that was really ingrained in my way of

Lindsey:

thinking was this can always be a hobby and something to do, alongside my real

Lindsey:

job, which I decided would be a teacher.

Lindsey:

And so I went to university and I studied French and Spanish, and that

Lindsey:

was with the view of doing my degree.

Lindsey:

I'd go and train for a year to be a teacher, get my PGCE and then go off and

Lindsey:

be a secondary teacher and work my way up to head teacher like my dad had done.

Lindsey:

Um, When I was at university, I did a year abroad in Spain teaching English

Lindsey:

in Valencia, and when I was on that year abroad, I just, I was so tired

Lindsey:

and bored of, of doing these languages.

Lindsey:

And the reason was because they'd been so, I, I just wanted to learn, I love speaking

Lindsey:

as you can tell, um, but I, I just really, I really wanted to communicate.

Lindsey:

I wanted to be able to speak and a lot of the emphasis was on reading and

Lindsey:

really academic kind of Working and I wasn't really interested in that.

Lindsey:

And serendipitously I had been talking to a friend who was in a lot of

Lindsey:

the acapella world, uh, at, at that university and as Andrew and I'd said,

Lindsey:

you know, I really met the theater.

Lindsey:

And just before I'd gone to uni, I'd actually accidentally ended up envying

Lindsey:

a show because the person dropped out.

Lindsey:

And I conducted the, the Amateur Dramatic Society in doing a little cabaret show.

Lindsey:

And I said, look, I really.

Lindsey:

I really miss doing that.

Lindsey:

I really wish I could join like the musical society, but I don't really

Lindsey:

know how to go about doing that.

Lindsey:

And she had just sent me an email and had said, I've just met someone.

Lindsey:

They're putting on a production of a funny thing happened on the way to the forum.

Lindsey:

They need an MD.

Lindsey:

You want to do it?

Lindsey:

And I went, okay.

Lindsey:

And then when I came back from Valencia, I just kind of went,

Lindsey:

this is, this is what I love.

Lindsey:

And I spent the next few years in my degree.

Lindsey:

Not doing any work for my degree, but just doing shows.

Lindsey:

I was writing music for shows, MDing shows.

Lindsey:

We did Jerry Springer, the opera, um, which was a phenomenal thing to do.

Lindsey:

I was accompanying loads.

Lindsey:

I ended up getting a piano accompaniment scholarship and a guy who, Ben

Lindsey:

Murray, I credit with helping me.

Lindsey:

Get to where I am now, who is, um, One of the first people who studied

Lindsey:

the MD course at Royal Scottish Came, had gone to St Andrews and came

Lindsey:

back to play on Dowdsbringer And he said to me, you know, have you ever

Lindsey:

thought about doing this course?

Lindsey:

That's the, uh, the, at the time the academy used to be RSAMD and

Lindsey:

I said, no, and he went, well, why don't you come through to Glasgow?

Lindsey:

You can come meet the staff and just see what you think.

Lindsey:

And again, it's just seemed like a totally alien world.

Lindsey:

I was like, I'm a teacher.

Lindsey:

I'm going to be a teacher.

Lindsey:

I'm going to be a head teacher.

Lindsey:

So, you know, it still was in the back of my head, even though I was doing it

Lindsey:

all at uni, I was like, Oh, you know, I just never thought that you could.

Lindsey:

pay a mortgage and like fund a life, you know, with money from the arts.

Lindsey:

So it just didn't seem feasible to me.

Lindsey:

But I went through to Glasgow, met the staff and Ben was so kind and let

Lindsey:

me sit in on a lot of his classes.

Lindsey:

And I remember sitting on the steps of RCS and drinking a coffee

Lindsey:

and just be, I was so emotional.

Lindsey:

I just went, I, I belong here.

Lindsey:

Like I need to be here.

Lindsey:

Um, it just felt so right.

Lindsey:

And I auditioned.

Lindsey:

I didn't get in and that year I was like, I don't, what am I going to do?

Lindsey:

And I was doing Fame at the Fringe and the production company who

Lindsey:

were doing Fame, I ended up sort of stepping into the MD role.

Lindsey:

Because an issue, there was an issue with the MD and then they, because

Lindsey:

they'd seen my work and said we're taking Blues Brothers to the West End.

Lindsey:

Do you want to do it?

Lindsey:

And I went, uh, yeah,

Gareth:

Wow.

Lindsey:

And ended up MDing, did all the orchestration, played

Lindsey:

in the band, fixed the band.

Lindsey:

We did a month long run.

Lindsey:

Um, and then I did a show at the library, which we were at with

Lindsey:

Caesar a couple of weeks ago.

Lindsey:

Um, and, and then work kind of dried up.

Lindsey:

I went back to waitressing for a bit, saved up some money

Lindsey:

and then reapplied and got in.

Lindsey:

So, so this sort of thing of like keeping it as a hobby, it still feels that way to

Lindsey:

me because when people ask what I do and I say I'm a musician, I feel like I'm not

Lindsey:

really, I never describe my job as a job.

Lindsey:

I never ever say I'm off to work, I'll say I'm off to rehearsals, I'm off

Lindsey:

to the studio or I'm off, you know, I never ever say I'm off to work.

Lindsey:

Um, I feel very lucky for that.

Lindsey:

Um, but yeah, could have, could have all gone the other way.

Lindsey:

Um, so thank you to Ben Murray for.

Lindsey:

Suggesting I come in and sit in because I really don't think I would have ever gone

Lindsey:

for that opportunity had he not said that.

Gareth:

Wow, that's amazing.

Gareth:

It's really nice to acknowledge the people who have been, kind

Gareth:

of a milestone in life, isn't it?

Gareth:

So that's, that's nice.

Gareth:

He, um, included him in that.

Gareth:

Um, I ask all of my guests to leave an item and a piece of advice in

Gareth:

the music room for others to find.

Gareth:

And hopefully that's helpful to other people in the music industry.

Gareth:

Firstly, what item would you like to leave in the music room?

Lindsey:

I would leave my old Casio keyboard in the music room.

Lindsey:

And I wish I could remember the model.

Lindsey:

It was, it was, you know, from Argos, that I got for Christmas one year.

Lindsey:

I think I would, I would leave that because it signals to me that you don't

Lindsey:

need, you know, I, I didn't have a piano.

Lindsey:

I didn't have a big fancy piano.

Lindsey:

That wasn't something that my parents had and I still was able to

Lindsey:

nurture a skill on something else.

Lindsey:

Um, and it, it is accessible, music is accessible and, and also whether that's

Lindsey:

playing a recorder, you know, I remember when I was a kid I used to go to a group

Lindsey:

called Semi Quavers, my mum used to send me to, and that was like, hitting

Lindsey:

Pringles tubs filled with lentils and, you know, shaking boxes with, broken

Lindsey:

shells in it and things like that.

Lindsey:

And that was making music.

Lindsey:

So I think, I think I would leave my Casio keyboard in there for that reason.

Gareth:

Yeah, that's, that's really interesting actually.

Gareth:

And, hopefully we'll speak to lots of composers who think that, you know,

Gareth:

getting the latest sample library will make them a better composer when in

Gareth:

fact it's not the case at all, is it?

Gareth:

so your advice, what advice would you like to leave?

Lindsey:

My piece of advice would be...

Lindsey:

That your creative priorities will change and that's okay.

Lindsey:

And it's important to listen to yourself with like what is

Lindsey:

going to creatively satisfy you.

Lindsey:

And it's, you know, when you're a kid and you might be

Lindsey:

dreaming of being an astronaut.

Lindsey:

But as you get older, you might have other dreams and you might then want to, you

Lindsey:

know, work in the fire service, or you might want to be a musician, or you might

Lindsey:

want to run for prime minister, or you might, you could, you could want a whole

Lindsey:

host of things and they're not wrong, but just as you, as you grow and you

Lindsey:

start to live more and more of your life, you're going to start to have different

Lindsey:

priorities and different focuses.

Lindsey:

And I think something that I've kind of really discovered over the last It's

Lindsey:

especially sort of effect from training at music school is that I felt very

Lindsey:

much like I had to be a certain thing or do certain something to feel like I

Lindsey:

was worthy and I'd achieved and I was You know, I was, I was really, really

Lindsey:

doing my best and actually it's not, those things can, can change over time.

Lindsey:

What is, you know, musicals were my passion for a long time,

Lindsey:

but plays are now my passion.

Lindsey:

And, I think it should be important to listen to yourself and listen to how

Lindsey:

your needs, listen to what your needs are and just ask them, what, what are my

Lindsey:

creative needs and are they being met?

Lindsey:

And how do I go about doing that for myself?

Lindsey:

So that's the, as much as it's scary being self employed and, and in the

Lindsey:

art, it's also, can be really exciting in that way because you are the person

Lindsey:

who chooses how you nourish yourself.

Lindsey:

Um, but you have to listen out for what those changes are.

Gareth:

That's amazing.

Gareth:

Great advice.

Gareth:

Thank you, Lindsay.

Gareth:

It has been a joy chatting with you.

Gareth:

Thank you for joining me in the music room.

Lindsey:

Thank you.

Gareth:

Thanks for listening to the Music Room podcast today.

Gareth:

If you'd like to know more about the show or the community that surrounds

Gareth:

it, head to music room.community.

About the Podcast

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The Music Room
Personal stories of inspiration from professional composers, songwriters and musicians.

About your host

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Gareth Davies

Audio creator of music, podcasts, tales and rhymes. Toad & Friends (Warner Bros. Discovery) arriving in 2023.

Gareth is also the creator of The Music Room community, podcast and newsletter.

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Thank you to the wonderful listeners who have chosen to support this podcast.

With your continued support, we reinvest into the show and continue to make the best content that we can, whilst putting more time and effort into growing the audience to reach and help more people.
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Danny Brown $5
Saw your excellent post on Facebook, and happy to become a supporter!
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Anonymous £1
Thanks for making this podcast! I appreciate all the advice and useful items that guests leave, it’s helped me think about how I go about things.