NATALIE MACMASTER JOINS JOE DELEAULT AND PLAYWRIGHT ERNEST THOMPSON ON GOLDEN POND
‘On a day in the spring,’ this song starts. ‘When the wind blows strong, you might feel it again, that ageless bond that keeps drawing you home where your heart belongs, in the life that you’d known On Golden Pond.’
“Celtic,” Joe Deleault said, and Ernest agreed. It was precisely the tone the lyric, and this very heartfelt, almost primitive play, needed. Ernest was distracted with putting the pieces together for his first time directing ON GOLDEN POND, so Joe took the long drive to Natalie MacMaster’s home in Canada and began what would become a collaboration that now extends over a handful of songs and shows no signs of losing steam.
“The music was in the lyric,” Joe and Natalie both felt and the melody came quickly. After only an hour or so of matching their styles, Joe on guitar, Natalie, naturally, on her famous fiddle, they were calling Ernest to play what they’d created, the indelibly anthemic “On Golden Pond.”
With Natalie’s niece Emily Flack supplying the extraordinary vocals, backed by a breathtaking band of Canada’s finest musicians, the song accomplishes exactly what Ernest wanted it to, to underscore the deep feelings the play engenders. As director, Ernest uses the music to open the show and as transitional interludes between scenes. And then brings back Natalie’s haunting solo as accompaniment when Norman invites Ethel to dance in the last scene. The effect for the audience is heart-stopping, confirmed by the utter silence in the theatre, except, of course, for the sound of tears.
ON GOLDEN POND*
Lyrics by Ernest Thompson
Music by Joe Deleault and Natalie MacMaster
Vocals by Emily Flack
Fiddle by Natalie MacMaster
Cello by Matt Brubeck
Guitar by Rob Piltch
*Licensing rights must be obtained and are available through The Office of Ernest Thompson. Click here.
Featured photo by Richard Beland.