In the first, I do indeed hope that you and yours, my followers, friends and watchers, are all having a fine and palatable new year, thus far. Indeed, this month of January hasn't been without it's ups and down and watery digressions, as my phone could perhaps attest, but still a fine and promising start to our year of 2019.
Also, in this vein, I would like to perhaps start off with something particular in that many, if not most here, know me for my various investments in transformation, but aren't aware of the often powerful and resonant role that music plays in this fascination. Something I think that stands for all of us, if we were to give full voice and light to those stories, scenes and episodes that intrigue us today.
Truly, the delightful, black irony of "Blue Moon" during the ill fated David's first transformation in "An American Werewolf in London", or the lilting, ethereal and dark melody which accompanies "The Howling" transformation before a terrified reporter. Of course, these are only two of what is understood to be a thousand like minded examples: from the classic renditions of Jekyll and Hyde in the 30's, 40's and 50's, to the coldly rich, felling and swooning notes of Sister Hyde's transformation in 1971. And, of course, the modern and irrepressible classic that is Mark McKenzie's "Breakfast Transformation" in Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde" as the unwitting Dr. Jacks' begins his own irrepressible transformation into something and someone else..
Wellman College, Los Angeles, Where "The Nutty Professor" unfolds
As abundant and sometimes under appreciated as these compositions are - indeed, worthy and powerful accompaniments to such stories - I would like to highlight today a potent, but doubly obscure work, from the 96' remake of "The Nutty Professor", itself an inspired version of Jekyll and Hyde from the comic styling of the late Jerry Lewis and Bill Richmond in 1963.
The celebrated and latently mnemonic 1996 version has a indelibly versatile Eddie Murphy star as the brilliant but bashful and rather large Prof. Sherman Klump - a man whose breakthrough with a certain metabolic formula is overshadowed by his lack of personal traction and welcome elsewhere in life. Apropos, and in the very best fashion, the professor gives to the wind and drinks back the experimental cocktail: the result a metabolic and dramatically slimming transformation into Buddy Love - a suave, compelling and disinhibited alter-ego who's influence in Sherman's life becomes all too dramatic, before the end.
Not otherwise known beyond the title of "Track 5", this brief, but powerful and darkly intimate composition is the very music which underscores Sherman's first and perhaps most intense transformation into his new, slim alter-ego in the soon to be Mr. Love. In my own respect, I have always found this to be a remarkably singular experience which works to intimate the intensity and personal drama of the scene; the darkly sparkling and unsure giving way to something imposing and reverberating before leaving us perplexed and shaken. Indeed, much like the newly shrunken and dazed Sherman before he meanders to the mirror to discover the shock reality of his new self.
An instrumental and all too remarkable force in my musical imagination for some twenty years, this is a musical masterpiece which I would heartily recommend to any and all of the curious or compelled. And still, more so, given our recent dalliances with the world of Wellman College, so many years later, as in the strange case of Dr. Andrea Laurie welling up into the big, golden and all too sensual Ms. Vanessa DeRoss.
Indeed, i hope this musical flavor finds you inspired - as does my future intentions for this hopeful fixture, this year - and that, perhaps come time, we may find ourselves again in the labs of Wellman College, as a certain Dr. Laurie may remark upon in her... misadventures of research...