Elmo is a music theater composer / director / producer living in New York City. He is an arranger for many successful show choirs including John Burrough’s “Powerhouse” and Waconia “Power Company.”
1. Please describe your basic setup. (Your technical setup as well as the physical space that you work in.)
MacBook Pro w/a BenQ 27″ Screen Monitor, Pro Tools, Sibelius, UA Apollo 8 Interface, UA 610-MKII Pre-Amp, A pair of Yamaha HSM 8 Monitors. My studio is in it’s own room in my apt in Queens NY.
2. What is your process for brainstorming or inspiration-seeking as you start a new arrangement?
First I get everything the director and choreographer want and the vibe they are going for and where it is in the set- then I will listen to the first verse and chorus see what’s up with the original if I don’t already know it. After making sure I have what I need to incorporate from the choreo/director I just kind of fly by the seat of my pants, and as I go arrange it in ways I would’ve liked to have done in my time in HS showchoir while keeping the songs integrity in tack.
3. What is your go-to snack and/or drink when arranging?
90% of the time I got my vanilla iced latte at my desk (any time of day or night) and usually something sweet. Oreos are often a mainstay.
4. What is one thing you wish you would have known when you started arranging?
You don’t always need to throw every cool trick you have in every corner of an arrangement.
5. What is your favorite shortcut or time-saving trick in your notation software?
Oldie but a goodie-Copy/Paste. Doesn’t get much better than that.
6. What is a favorite arrangement of yours?
Some would argue my best one is still the first one I ever did which was JB Powerhouse’s closer in 2014. “Turn to Stone” by Ingrid Michelson. Two of mine that are more recent is a ballad I did for Waconia Power Company this season mostly of JRB’s “Sanctuary” and the closer for Powerhouse’s covid virtual year “Half Way Down the Stairs” also is one I really dig since it was so off brand musically for me. You can listen to all my arrangements www.soundcloud.com/elmozapp. They’re all bops and self recorded/produced.
7. How can people get ahold of you?
Good ol’ fashioned email firstname.lastname@example.org or through my personal facebook page.