Also celebrating their 10th anniversary, Nikki and Joe from Auburn Jam Music take their turn with 10 Questions for 10 Years
Where were you 10 years ago?
This is a nice coincidence because ten years ago we were just setting up Auburn Jam Music! We also got married that same year, and didn’t have money to rent a space so we started the studio from the spare room in our flat. Living and working together isn’t always a walk in the park so we’re quite glad to now have the studio and home in separate places, with a nice dog walk between and a soundproof room if we need some headspace from each other!!
Best show you’ve seen in the last 10 years?
Being the super-geeks that we are, we shall refer to our ‘Shows We’ve Seen’ spreadsheet to see which ones we gave five stars to… we’ve settled on Dear Evan Hansen. We went to NYC for Nikki’s 30th and Joe queued up from 4am and managed to nab two day seats – hero!! Ben Platt and Rachel Bay Jones absolutely floored us, and the orchestrations are superb.
What has been your professional highlight of the last 10 years?
Oooh that’s tricky… we’re so lucky to have worked with so many incredible performers and writers, producing albums. It’s especially satisfying when we’re on the creative team as well, and Broken Wings was a special one for us: orchestrating a brand new musical from scratch, working closely with our dear friend Nadim Naaman, producing the Original Concept Album with a superb cast and band, releasing it on our label to wonderful reviews, and then Joe making his West End MD debut conducting the run on-stage at The Theatre Royal Haymarket.
Non-theatre related, we also perform with rock band Felix Hagan & The Family and have toured the UK & Germany supporting both Frank Turner and Arkells which has been awesome. And we got to do the music for the Argos Christmas advert last year, with our orchestrator pal Simon Nathan, which was pretty cool too!
Top flavour of interval ice-cream?
Joe: Mint Choc Chip
What show do you wish theatres would give a rest for a few years?
Haha! Oooh the shade… honestly whatever keeps the industry going and people keep coming through the doors and being entertained is great! In an ideal world though, it would be nice if producers would take more risks on new original musicals rather than there being so many jukebox shows, and I think with decent marketing and PR the public would get on board. So I hope we don’t offend anyone with this but we’ll say Mamma Mia.
Name someone who you think is a really underappreciated talent (in the world of theatre)?
Nikki says “can I say Joe?!”… seriously though… we think casting folks are sleeping on Caroline Kay and Rebecca Levy! Luckily, both of them are clever enough to make their own music and work and have excellent albums/EPs coming out imminently (even if we do say so ourselves!).
Elphaba or Glinda?
What is one thing that you think would help theatre survive and/or thrive the next ten years?
We’re actually working on a project at the moment which we can’t say too much about, but it has funding specifically for reaching new audiences using new media which is very interesting! This sort of approach to new work both helps to engage non-traditional audiences (and hopefully will hook them into coming to theatres for more), and also challenges creators to find ways to keep theatre fresh.
Which is your favourite theatre?
On a sunny day, and with the right sound set-up (v important!) Regent’s Park Open Air is gorgeous.
Can you say anything about what’s to come for you, (in the next ten years or otherwise)?
We’re excited about taking Broken Wings ‘home’ to the Middle East, to the audience it was written for, and who don’t have a lot of theatre telling their stories. We’ve also had some forays into writing music for TV and film and would love to do more of this. More imminently, we’ve got a handful of albums & EPs in the pipeline for this year & next with some excellent West End performers which will be fun!