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On Music

On Music

Posted by Stephen Karam - December 9th, 2011

I want to highlight the music we use in Sons of the Prophet, composed by 
Nico Muhly.

Our sound designer M. L. Dogg (or Mutt) deftly weaves Nico’s music throughout the show during Peter DuBois’ beautifully orchestrated transitions. Nico’s music speaks for itself. Here are a couple samples, which can all be found on iTunes (most are from his Decca album “I Drink The Air Before Me”):

Salty Dog

Music Under Pressure #3

The song that ends the show is called “Relief”, arranged by Nico, sung by the incomparable Sam Amidon (Sam’s albums are all on iTunes). When I first heard this song, I was in physical therapy (and was fascinated by nerve glides—the closest I ever got to feeling like a ballet dancer), and I would practice them to “Relief”.


Nerve Glides

Sons of the Prophet is likely the only time I can claim the credit of both Dance Captain and Arm-Choreographer as well as playwright.

I discovered Mark Abernathy’s version of Come, Come, Ye Saints (All Is Well) on YouTube:


After sending Mark the script (which I thought was the best proof that the play isn’t mocking anyone’s faith) Mark was kind enough to re-record it for Mutt so we could use it in the show. Nico then added a few instrumental kicks to help it fit into the soundscape of our show.

Back to “Relief”. I thought it embodied the emotional landscape I was trying to create–emotional and hopeful and sad…but not sentimental (this is my opinion, of course).


More remarkable is that it’s a remake of an R Kelly song. Nico/Sam made a poignant, heart-rending song out of an R Kelly song that is, well, not so poignant and heart-rending.

Okay who am I kidding I like the R Kelly version too.



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Nico Muhly & Stephen Karam

Sons of the Prophet is playing at the Laura Pels Theatre through January 1, 2012. For more information, click here.

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