The Andy Paley Orchestra
Crafting with Love
The Andy Paley Orchestra started almost ten years ago when the show was at The M Bar.
Ben Acker & Ben Blacker had created a show that was in the style of old-time radio and I wanted the music to sound exactly right. The writing and the acting was at such a classy level ….I had to match it sound-wise. If some horrifying apparition appears before Frank and Sadie Doyle, the sting from the band should appropriately scary. And we’d have to be ready with something great when Colonel Tick Tock opened a time hole or encountered a “bally dinosaur …from pre-history!” Orchestras used to play live in the studio for the classic radio shows and my dream was (and still is) to have a big orchestra with a full sound to compliment the action in the script.
The tiny stage at The M Bar had a baby grand piano and barely enough room to cram a few musicians in the corner.
I started writing songs and score for the show, hiring players, rehearsing with the actors and playing keyboards and guitar on stage. I needed help and started looking for the right people. Most importantly I wanted someone to take over the task of copying the music I’d written for horn and string players etc. I wanted someone who loved the show and could play piano and write out the charts for me. Ben Acker suggested I meet Jonathan Dinerstein who he thought might fit the bill. We had a rehearsal and I explained what I needed. Jonathan, being an enthusiastic fan of the show, worked out perfectly. He’s a gifted pianist and has taken care meticulous care with the charts and cue sheets month after month for 9 years. Occasionally Jonathan has come up with additional score for the show too which has worked brilliantly. He’s added to my music and contributed generously to the sound of The APO and therefore The Thrilling Adventure Hour.
Jonathan’s wife Becky Ward is a violinist. Becky has been a loyal member of The APO since she and Jonathan joined. A sensitive player Becky doesn’t just mechanically play her parts like a robot. She puts her heart and soul into her playing and brings emotional responses from the listeners. Hearing Becky play my music is a joy. I ask her to double on Glockenspiel which is her least favorite activity on earth. I always feel a great sense of glee when I know that an upcoming episode features “Amelia Earhart Fearless Flyer” or “Jefferson Reed” because I’ll be handing the Glockenspiel over to Becky and I can enjoy her magic mallet work!
Sean Johnson is the perfect drummer / percussionist for the APO. He’s got great ears and is always ready to change rhythms at the drop of a hat. Barre Dureyea is tech. and sometimes bassist and percussionist. Barre was introduced to me by my old buddy Lenny Kaye. He’s taken care of Lenny on the road for many years and came on board mainly as a tech. guy. Since then he’s played bass and percussion with us and has never let me down. Barre Durea engineers the recordings of the Thrilling Adventure podcast every month. When I produce records I always get the best engineer possible and Barre’s done a great job for me.
There have been many great players in and out of the APO over the years.
God bless them one and all for making the music and the show unique and beautiful!