CABARET FESTIVAL – Compositions – Tyran Parke – 3K

SMA Kryztoff banner May 13 100dpiimagesBy Peter Maddern

Tyran Parke is one of three artistically talented brothers raised in Newcastle who lost their mother around their respective ages of 10. Tyran sings, beautifully, with a confidence and a passion, devoid of arrogance but with a gentle showmanship that reveals his identity and genuineness. His elder brother, Trent, is a nationally recognised photo-journalist who portrays an edgy and visually complex world through his black white images that play heavily on water – swirling seas that home at least for their moments human fish out of water ; rain – caught like short tracer bullets that separate people from their destinies; and vapour that clouds and make magical country settings and isolated people.

Compositions – A Musical Close-Up is Tyran’s attempt in the form of musical theatre to link music and images through the commissioned works of a variety of song writers, including some very famous names. This week’s two shows were the premieres of five years of work since the idea popped into has head while in New York.

The result has the makings of something excellent. Arranged by Luke Byrne and based on compositions sent to him inspired by the ideas evoked by single images of Trent, Tyran’s youthful enthusiasm for the project in its conception and performance is truly infectious.  It takes some balls, if not raw naivety, to approach the likes of Stephen Schwartz and John Bucchino to write songs on this basis but he has pulled it off. Highlights were his duet with Gareth Keegan for Colour My Life and Jeff Blumenkrantz’s Choose Happy.

The weaknesses were in the use of the images. The small screen, the lack of ‘Ken Burns’ effects with them and the insistence to maintain the stage’s lighting throughout detracted from their potential impact. The other oddity was the single of use of his two soloists – the aforementioned Keegan and punky Queenie van de Zandt. Perhaps having them rejoin him on stage for the finale would have helped round out the program.

But still, as written above, there is much to work with to develop this into an exciting musical theatre project and I hope it gets that chance.

Kryztoff Rating   3K

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