Festival Interview: Ethan Maltby on The Masters of Mystery
Composer Ethan Maltby is a lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University and one half of Donnelly and Maltby Productions.
Their latest commission, The Masters of Mystery, will feature for four performances at this year’s festival.
Ethan scored the multi award-winning feature film Son of Cain and composed the score for the 2008 and 2009 FA Cup Final Opening Ceremonies. Now the festival has commissioned him to present the world-premiere of The Masters of Mystery:
“We originally liked the idea of these two brilliant kids – who everyone assumed didn’t know anything because they were too young – set against these scary criminals. But the teenagers are running circles around everyone else because they’re much smarter than them. I wanted to think of a way of empowering young people – older generations write you off as being useless, but actually you’re perfectly smart, functioning people with great ideas and minds of your own.” ‘It’s paralleling a lot of the contemporary issues that are going on today, but through an adolescent’s worldview. Essentially, we wanted to write a mystery, which is something that we’ve never done before. There aren’t a lot of musicals that are ‘proper’ murder mysteries, and we wanted to explore that. We’re thrilled to be doing it in Canterbury, and that the festival and The Marlowe, Canterbury Christ Church University and Arts Council have supported us. We feel really lucky that someone has said, ‘we’ll take a chance on you and support what you’re going to create’. It’s great to be able to write something that you know is going to go in front of an audience, so we feel really privileged that we’ve had this opportunity.”
Singing, laughing, crying, emoting, thinking. I was six and people looked at me suddenly.
Playing concerts. Not playing. Thelonious Monk, Benjamin Britten, Nina Simone I aim to turn up. Work harder. I had a tendency to busk my way through, using natural talent. I now know that you have to honour any talent you are given.