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Jim Steinman
Jimís work on UBU

Pere Ubu telling Jim how to compose music.
Frank Ward photo retouched by Demian
In the summer of 1971, Demian enlisted the musical talents of Jim Steinman for an adaptation of Alfred Jarryís Ubu On The Hill (originally written in 1888). Jim was a student at Amherst College and was an excellent pianist, composer and arranger.

Barry Keating, who recommended Jim to Demian, communicated to Jim the musical needs of the script. These needs included music for the introduction, several songs, many interludes and the end piece. Once the desired musical segments were made clear, Jim composed ó on the spot ó on a baby grand piano on the Amherst campus.

Because of the outrageously short schedule, there was little time to compose and Jim came through with just the right style, tempo and song variety. The melodies were excellently matched to the poetic texts. After finalizing the shape of each section of music, Jim played the pieces once again, recording on a reel-to-reel tape machine.

Later, the taped music was cued to play with the live voices and sound effects that were performed at the recording studio at the WMUA radio station. The resulting tape became the master ďsound trackĒ which was played for the live puppet performances of UBU.

Unfortunately, the music recordings for UBU are not available. The contracts with the music and acting talent for the sound track were made only for use in the original puppet show, and not for any further distribution.

Jimís current work can be heard through the songs he has written for Meat Loaf (Bat Out of Hell), Bonnie Tyler, Sisters of Mercy, Air Supply, Celine Dion (Itís All Coming Back to Me Now), and within Jimís own solo album, Bad for Good.


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