After two years of research, 100’s of hours in front of the computer writing and rewriting, playing music for hundreds of hours to get everything just right, 89 recording sessions, editing sessions, mixing sessions, mastering… it was done.
And then, it wasn’t.
When I wrote my first (non-theatrical) book in the 1990’s, I felt the same: the masterpiece was complete – and there was no more room for improvement, so off to the publisher it should go. Instead, I decided to send a prerelease version six or seven people for their feedback, and they happily obliged. Let’s just say it was back to the drawing board.
The same with Esther: it was done until it wasn’t. The feedback that I’ve received meant new songs, new lyrics to new songs, and better orchestrations. It meant better flow, more powerful story-telling, and more three dimensional characters.
You quickly learn that writing a musical – like just about everything else – is a group activity, and that there truly is power in getting input from a diverse group of people. I wrote about this back in 2016 (The Power of Diversity), and it certainly has proven true here as well.