Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman tell all about the process of "marrying" music to the scenes of Showtime's hit show "Nurse Jackie" as part of the 2010 American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) I Create Music Expo.
Nurse Jackie is not getting married again. But it's not far-fetched to match a polygamy storyline with the over-the-top, drug-addicted, cheating wife that Edie Falco plays in the Showtime series. The environment that Nurse Jackie operates in is continuing to clash in the second season of the hit series (which airs Monday nights), and the marriage of music to the show's episodes is continuing to evolve.
The title sequence of Nurse Jackie does not include beeping EKGs, screaming patients, or the doctor-nurse-speak that permeates a hospital, but when you see the pills flying, the coffee dropping, the wedding-ring slip from finger to pocket, and the blurred face of Edie Falco -- the music keeps your mind spinning. Without music, the compelling stories told in the show would feel empty. To make sure that audiences can feel themselves in each scene, there are unseen characters who take the content to another level. That's where Wendy and Lisa come in.
While the show is written and filmed without music in mind, it's up to Wendy and Lisa, formerly of Prince and the Revolution fame, to create and record the soundtrack to each 30-minute episode in two-and-a-half days each week. It's a sprinter-coach relationship that pushes the musical composing duo to the limits. The mind-boggling process is based on screening an unfinished version of the future show. They are often given cues from the producers from their previous work, but the rest is up to them to figure out. With Lisa on keyboards and Wendy on bass and rhythm they create the feel that eventually includes dozens of instruments and large-scale studio recordings. It's a challenge that the two enjoy, but for the benefit of their families are happy to be free of, beginning May 1st.
As Season Two continues, you can now appreciate the sound of All Saints Hospital with the release of the soundtrack for Nurse Jackie's First Season. Relive the sounds of some of the show's most pivotal scenes by downloading the album on Itunes or Amazon.com. If you'd rather spring for hearing the music when you watch the show, you can catch "Nurse Jackie" tonight and every Monday night at 10 p.m. ET/PST on Showtime.