“The Second City e.t.c.'s 35th new revue, has practically everything you could wish for. It's funny through and through. Accompanied by the talented and versatile musical director Jesse Case.... Second City e.t.c. taps into America's great optimism by also tempering it with realistic doom and gloom.” - Windy City Times
“The show would be nowhere near as effective without the musical direction of Jesse Case. He’s there providing the gun shots, piano underscoring, ukulele playing, pace-defining drum beats, and more. His work is as much of an integral part of the success of this show as anyone.” - Chicago Theatre Beat
As the musical director as well as the sound designer for the show, all of the piano, synth, ukulele, and singing (as well as several songs sung by the cast that are not included here) were performed live nightly. Therefore, most of the tracks here were not used during the actual show, but are an estimation of what a typical live performance might sound like.
The pre-recorded tracks have a significant live element as well, “Pay Attention” 1-3 and “Showdown at the Hancock” in particular. In order to sync the music as closely as possible to the action on stage, the music never played as one single track but was rather stemmed out into single instruments all playing simultaneously. This essentially allowed me to “play” pre-recorded music live - similar to the way a video game soundtrack follows the actions of the player. It also meant that - not including any of the live music or the series of FX cues run from a sampler keyboard (horns honking, glass breaking, too many gunshots to count) - the show had over 250 separate sound cues.
Unlike my soundtrack and production work, my sound design for Second City uses copyrighted samples - including, in this case, the voice of Renee Fleming, which sparked the partnership that eventually became THE SECOND CITY GUIDE TO THE OPERA.