How much time and energy does a musician spend on an interdisciplinary project? A three-month-long production period does not equal 90+ days of labor. How many days are spent on music, and how many of them are spent on meetings with the collaborators? How much of the music created for the show ends up in the show? I ask myself these questions to better understand the practical role of a music creator in a project involving performing artists of other fields. Answers to these questions require measurable data, such as the total working days and total minutes of music composed. These numbers lead to an insight into the productivity of music creators.
In 2023, Artlab J, Detroit Puppet Company, and I created a one-hour show titled Objects at Play. It was a non-verbal dance and puppet show aimed at young audiences. The first meeting was on February 18, 2023, and the show premiered on May 27, 2023, at the Detroit Film Theatre. I recorded my production process from the start of the project to study my collaboration productivity. I gathered and organized the data according to the numbers I worked and the minutes of music I produced as I composed, recorded, and mixed music. The analysis and statistics revealed that a fraction of the total collaborative period is spent on person-to-person interaction. About two-thirds of the total music communicated with the collaborators ended up in the show.