Writing about the world of theatre inevitably brings me into contact with those who work within it and I have met many great talents of both the stage and behind the scenes because of that. One such individual who I count myself most fortunate to have met in this way is librettist/lyricist Robert Gould.
I first encountered him when covering a studio recording session for the concept album of My Land’s Shore, an original musical inspired by the Merthyr Uprising and which has been dubbed ‘the Welsh Les Mis’. Having written the book and lyrics for the musical, Robert Gould was present in the studio that day and we enjoyed a lengthy chat as I interviewed him for the feature I was writing. We have kept in contact ever since that day and I have continually supported his various projects, which include the forthcoming album and accompanying concert coming this way in April.
The album Words Shared With Friends is set to be released on iTunes on 14th April 2014 and features a collection of original songs for which Gould has written or co-written the lyrics in collaboration with a variety of composers from around the world. He has worked with such composers as Christopher J. Orton, Ben Messenger, Joe Sterling, Jonathan Eio, Filip von Uexkull, Tristan Bons, Omri Lahav, Dean Heller and Ty Kroll to create ‘an eclectic and international mix of musical styles’ from the UK, Sweden, the Netherlands, Israel and the USA. He has also gathered a number of top talents from both the West End and Off-West End to perform vocals for the album’s 16 tracks, some of which will also be appearing at the launch event the night preceding the album’s release.
The live album launch concert of Words Shared With Friends takes place at the Leicester Square Theatre Lounge on Sunday 13th April 2014 and will offer the audience an exclusive preview of the songs which feature on the album, as well as some additional bonus material. The stellar line-up will include the likes of Kieran Brown, Jordan Lee Davies, Carolyn Maitland, Shaun McCourt and Rebecca Trehearn, all of whom will be performing the songs they recorded for the album. Singer/songwriter and actor Joe Sterling, who contributed a song to the album which he composed and co-wrote lyrics with Gould on, will also be performing on the night, along with special guest artists Keith Ramsay and Kane Oliver Parry. There are several ‘stand-alone pop/rock tracks on the album, whiles others have been taken from original musicals Gould has been working on, such as the songs ‘Perfect Eyes’ and ‘From The First Time’ which were written for the musical Nova. There are also featured songs from Based on A True Story, Shadow On The Sun, Alone, Ron And Julie, Roundabout and Flop! One such song, ‘I Cannot Lose You’ comes from the Gould and Orton musical My Land’s Shore and was created during the show’s most recent rewrite.
The album, which was recorded at the wonderful Auburn Jam Studios, features the vocals of many other great stage talents in addition to the vocalists who will be performing at the concert. Other names who recorded songs on the album are Will Barratt, Andrew Bateup, Ceili O’Connor, Jonathan Eio, Sarah Galbraith, Kit Orton, Laura Pitt-Pulford, Jos Slovick, Jodie Steel, Ben Stott and Benjamin Vivian-Jones.
The live album launch concert of Words Shared With Friends is a unique opportunity to not only see some top quality singers performing up close and in person, but also experience some new musical theatre writing first-hand. As a steadfast advocate of new writing, I will always encourage theatre fans to broaden their horizons and open themselves up to the work of unknown writers. There is such joy to be had in finding something original and exciting and you never know who may become the next big name in the world of musical theatre. Already being familiar with Robert Gould’s work, I would highly recommend any theatre fan to familiarise themselves with it too. Tim Rice was once an unknown name in the industry and he rose to become one of, if not the, most celebrated and respected musical theatre lyricists. Robert Gould is steadily attracting his own followers too and there is no reason why he can’t go down the same route. Words Shared With Friends is set to be a great night for every music lover, whether a theatre fan, new writing enthusiast or just someone who appreciates good music in general.
By Julie Robinson @missjulie25
The Words Shared With Friends album launch concert takes place at the Leicester Square Theatre Lounge on Sunday 13th April 2014.
For further information about Robert Gould you can follow him on Twitter: @bobwordsmith
Thursday 13th March 2014