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Catholic Mom Music Spotlight

Timothy J. Melody
Birdsong at Midnight



LH: I am pleased to have the opportunity to conduct this Catholic Music Spotlight interview with Timothy J. Melody, author of Birdsong at Midnight. Timothy, please tell our readers a little bit about yourself and your family.

TJM: Well I suppose it is always worth saying that "Melody" is my family's
real last name. I am the youngest of six children, all of whom displayed
musical talent as we grew older, though our parents, grandparents, did not.
My wife, Katie, and I met in the theatre and ran our own for many years. We
have been married for six years and have two daughters, Olivia and Veda, and
a 7 month old son named Francis. We currently live in Las Vegas, NV where my
wife's family owns a landscape business here.

LH: Could you please describe Birdsong at Midnight and share about how
your faith journey led you to write the play and the score?

TJM: Birdsong at Midnight is a contemporary musical drama which tells the story
of Medjugorje, a small village in Bosnia where in 1981 six children claimed
to have apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The play dramatizes how
these events began and how this tiny village was transformed into the
world-wide "oasis of peace' it is today.

I had known about Medjugorje for many years in the 1980s but it wasn't until
1991, after a year long period in my life of profound spiritual renewal,
that I decided it was time to find out for myself what it was all about.
When I read the account of the first few days and weeks of the apparitions I
was left in a state of shock. It was such an amazing and dramatic story. I
had never imagined something like this happening in this way. I was working
at Priscilla Beach Theatre in Boston, MA at the time and I shared these
feelings with the artistic director, Geronimo Sands. In his usual fashion he
suggested "it would make a good play." I didn't think much of the idea until
he then suggested that I write it. After thinking about it for a moment I
suddenly found the idea very exciting. I just couldn't resist the
opportunity to bring such a spiritually charged, true story into people's
lives. I knew I wouldn't be alone in my amazement and my reception of the
profound implications. It was the perfect blend of my two greatest passions.
I had always wanted my artistic work and music to be as meaningful as
possible and to give it this kind of meaning was very exciting.

As I did more research, Medjugorje and Our Lady's presence and messages
became and even more important part of my life and I can say, really did
change it forever. All this despite the fact that I have never been there,
which I feel offers strong witness to the power and importance of
Medjugorje, for anyone, anywhere.

LH: What is the history of Birdsong at Midnight and what are your dreams for the future?

TJM: Birdsong at Midnight was first produced as a workshop in 1992. It was
originally scheduled for just five performances. However, it was so
successful the run had to be extended for three months. The show was then
brought back in numerous other productions as it developed until 1994. At
that point I realized I needed to somehow give it a much larger venue of
production if it was ever to develop further, and reach the audience I
wanted it to reach. The show laid untouched and unheard for many years after
that, as I tried to pursue other avenues. It was in 2000 that I had the idea
to bring it to the Internet, but this idea was not realized until just this
year. My hope is that I can use the web to generate enough interest and
support to further it to a full professional production or recording and
maybe even a film.

My dream for Birdsong at Midnight has always been to create something which
anyone, anywhere could sit down and watch and listen to and have that same
experience I had when I first read the story; an experience which might open
a doorway to conversion and genuine spiritual renewal, something which the
world needs as much of as it can get. I do not think that the power of the
story is limited just to catholics. As a true story, about real people and
real events, I think it can and should capture the interest of anyone who is
a human being (past productions have shown this to be true). No matter if
you believe Our Lady actually appeared or not, it should still at the very
least make you think. I want to bring this experience to the largest
possible audience and I have always kept that in mind while writing. My
hope, dream and prayer is that this will someday be possible.


LH: You have produced a lovely CD featuring songs from the production.
Could you please describe the creative process for producing this CD and share
information on how readers can hear and order the recording?


TJM: I needed to find a way to get other people involved and merely describing
the show has never worked- one time I even got the question, "Is it a
comedy?"(!) I needed to create a "demo" but time and resources did not allow
the use of a full or even partial cast of singers.
So, being left without any other realistic options, I decided to select some
songs from the show and arrange them to a suitable key for my own voice, and
to sing all chorus parts myself, treating them almost as if they were a solo
artist's pop songs. The process took almost a year as I was only able to do
a little bit each and every day. But it finally got done and is currently
available at www.birdsongatmidnight.com along with many other interesting
stories about the history of the show.

LH: Timothy, thank you again for your time and participation.
Are there any closing thoughts or ideas you'd like to share with our readers?

TJM: As one of my directors used to say "Tell all your friends . . ." God Bless.

 

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