On November 12 and 13, the J-DHS Drama Club performed “Rabbit Hole” for their fall play featuring an immense amount of student talent and direction. Rabbit Hole is about a young couple grieving the loss of their son after a tragic car accident. The show encompassed a variety of deeply developed characters that beautifully portray a mourning family. Among the talented student actors was senior Max Oppedisano, who played a grieving father known as Howie. Oppedisano also composed original pieces that were used in the play. To learn more about his success with starring in a play where he also wrote music for, Oppedisano shares his background of composing and acting.
After playing around with the idea of producing music through apps like GarageBand, Oppedisano began his composing journey. After discovering more about the process, he learned that he enjoys focusing on a more musical aspect with composing, rather than producing, which mainly entails sound and acoustic design. With starring in the show as well as writing music for it, Oppedisano felt as though he had a more personal connection to the material since he knew what the emotions were on stage. This made it easier to connect the music to the storyline of the play. Oppedisano expressed how he took most of his inspiration from the events and emotions on stage when creating the music, as well as plenty of ideas that came to him naturally. In addition to that, he also took inspiration from British musician Jacob Collier, who specializes in a similar style to what he was going for.
For Oppedisano, this composing process started out a little different than his other projects that typically begin on a piano building different progressions and then transferring the rest to piano notation. However, for Rabbit Hole there was no actual score for the music and it was mainly done through GarageBand, layering different instruments to fit the sounds and emotions he was hoping to achieve. Starting with an idea and tweaking certain elements was mainly what he did through this process.
A beautiful musical piece is not created without a challenge. For Oppedisano, the scenes were packed with complexity and emotion, making it hard to sum up in only one piece and set the tone for the next one. Oppedisano says, “I had to be pretty delicate with the different themes that come out between each scene. I consulted with both the directors to make sure it fit their vision.” Overall, the pieces came together as the perfect elements to tell the story.
Starring in “Rabbit Hole” as well as writing the music for the show was definitely not an easy task, however Max Oppedisano made it possible and said that he wouldn’t trade the experience for the world.