John Gordon Armstrong

Canadian Composer



This was my first show with Odyssey Theatre and director Laurie Steven. I was offered the job because of they needed someone to create “Indian Electronic Music” like what I had created for Anjali with Prana Vrisksha. It was a steep learning curve and a much more primitive process than what can be done now on a computer in my studio. I used the Mac Plus, synthesizers and patch bay in the University studio and mixed the resulting sequences down to a digital audio tape that I then needed to take to a studio to have it burned onto a CD. There was no trying things out. Laurie would come to the studio to listen to what I had done. I still remember her asking me if I could make a gesture “more evil”. For those who speak music, I did a quick doubling at the tritone with great success! I did final timings at a late rehearsal and made a best guess for the CD. The actors and had to adapt to what I’d done. In a way it was easier than it is now because I couldn’t make last-minute changes!

I used Vision, a now defunct sequencer, similar to Performer. In most respects of course, my current Logic Pro is much more powerful, but there were a few things I could do with vision that were cool. One of the scenes in Kamalay (below) was in a seedy bar. I was able to create four tracks of four, five, six and seven measures respectively and loop them individually. I think it took 10 minutes for the music to repeat! I can do this in Logic but not with them same ease and elegance.

Here is a link to the Odyssey Theatre description.

Here are a few cues from the show:

The above-mentioned Bar Scene.


A love song. This is the instrumental version. It was also sung.